Telecom spins out of control over cabinet document leak

, posted: 6-May-2006 12:13

It's fascinating to read statements by Telecom spokesmen John Goulter and Bruce Parkes over the leak of the confidential cabinet documents outlining Communication Minister Cunliffe's regulation package. Goulter is Telecom's general manager of public affairs and government relations, and Parkes is the general manager of industry and regulatory affairs - two very senior people within the organisation.


No idea where the document came from...
TVNZ report May 4:
Telecom claims the report simply turned up. Spokesperson Bruce Parkes says a staff member received an unsolicited copy of the report.

"I'm not sure where it came from and we immediately did the right thing by informing the minister's office."

We destroyed the documents...
Morning of May 5:
Telecom spokesman John Goulter told the New Zealand Herald destroying the paper was "the proper thing to do, that's what our legal advice was to do, so there was no question it could be distributed any further".

Oh, hang on, no we didn't actually destroy all the documents, but we have no idea where they came from...

Later in the day, May 5, the NZ Herald reported:

Telecom says it still has a copy of the Cabinet paper that was leaked to it but has destroyed several copies it made.

Telecom spokesman John Goulter today issued a statement, saying the company wished to clarify "any confusion" over the status of the documents leaked to it earlier this week.

Mr Goulter, asked earlier whether Telecom had considered that by destroying the paper it could hamper the inquiry, said the inquiry was not a factor in the paper being destroyed.

Telecom destroyed it "because our legal advice was that the document had not been intended for us so the best thing we could do would be to destroy the document and give the Government an assurance that that is what we'd done so that there could be no question that the document would go any further".
"It was a hard copy, it wasn't an email or a fax copy so there were no markings at all on it that would indicate where it had come from or anything like that," he said.
To his knowledge, the copy had no identifying numbers.

Wait, I think we might know where the documents came from...
NZ Herald report today: Telecom is understood to know who leaked the document but refused to confirm or deny this yesterday or to say whether that information was being handed to the commission.

But in a signal it was volunteering the person's identity, or was likely to, Telecom spokesman John Goulter said the investigation had reached some "firm conclusions".

"I think it will help their inquiry and mean their inquiry will be quite swift."

Marvellous spin.

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