27 Aug 2013

New Parliamentary Service head at odds with predecessor

12:11 pm on 27 August 2013

The current head of Parliamentary Service says he does not agree with the view of his predecessor that a leak of a document to a journalist constituted a security risk.

Parliament's Privileges Committee is continuing its investigation into the unauthorised release of Andrea Vance's email and phone records to the David Henry inquiry.

The inquiry was set up to find out who leaked a report into the GCSB to Ms Vance.

Former Parliamentary Service head Geoff Thorn quit his job when it emerged Ms Vance's phone records, emails and swipe card records were released without her consent.

He has already told the committee he did that because he believed Mr Henry regarded it as a security issue.

Mr Thorn said he also had to consider that Ms Vance was a journalist and so therefore it was appropriate.

His replacement David Stephenson told the committee on Tuesday that everyone who works in Parliament should be treated the same, but acknowledged that had clearly not been the case with Ms Vance.

MPs put it to him that the information of anyone who works in Parliament should only be able to be obtained under a police warrant.