10 May 2006
Official Information Request: 14 Questions
Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. Rick Barker
and the Chief Executive of the Department of Internal Affairs, Mr Christopher Blake
Re: Appointment process involving eight vacancies on the Film and Literature Board of Review
The Society’s national executive is seeking urgent answers to the following questions:
1. Why did it take the Minister 18 months before calling for nominations for the eight statutory positions on the Film and Literature Board of Review that became vacant on 31 May 2004?
More Questions (2-14)
2. In the light of the expiry date noted in Q.1: Why has it taken the Minister four months following the closing date of nominations for these eight positions, 21 December 2005, to make a decision to reappoint all eight members of the board, a decision first notified to the public by way of his press released dated 8 May 2006?
3. How many nominations were received by the Minister for these eight positions and how many of the the nominees were suitably qualified for consideration for the positions.
4. What was the nature and scope of the appointment process undertaken by the Department of Internal Affairs and the Minister in the consideration of those applicants nominated?
5. How many meetings were held by the Department of Internal Affairs officials to seriously consider the suitability of those persons nominated for board positions and did the Minister attend any of these meetings – if so how many?
6. Were any of the persons nominated formally contacted by the Department and/or the Minister in order to acknowledge that their application/nomination were being considered, or for any other reason, and if so, how many and when?
7. Was a short list ever drawn up by Department officials and/or Minister of the most suitably qualified nominees and were any meetings held by the Department and/or Minister to discuss the persons on any short list created?
8. What was the nature and number of the meetings held between Mr Barker and the Ministers of Justice and Minister of Women’s Affairs over the applications involving nominated persons?
9. Does the Minister take the view that his statutory duties to apply the law (re the appointment process) are suspended during the period a select committee considers a bill that proposes changes to that law, and if so, why and on what legal basis?
10. Does the Minister take seriously his statutory duties under the Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act 1993 to ensure that vacancies in the executive of the Office of Film and Literature Classification are filled, and if so why?
11. Why has the Minister not done anything about the fact that there has been a vacancy in the Office of Film and and Literature Classification since late September/October 2005, namely the position of Deputy Chief Censor of Film and Literature.?
12. On what, if any, legal basis, does the current Deputy Chief Censor Ms Nicola McCully, still hold office following the expiry of her term of office?
13. When does the Minister envision calling for nominations for the position of Chief Censor, currently held by Mr Bill Hastings, which becomes vacant later this year?
14. Does the law allow the Minister to reappoint eight board members so that they are able to hold the postion for a continuous period exceeding six years, as has been done with respect to five of the board members reappointed?
Mike Petrus (President)
Graham Fox (Vice President)