Bolger to help select next commissioner

Former Prime Minister Jim Bolger will help select the next State Services Commissioner in an apparent bid to head off Opposition criticism of the appointment process.

National's state services spokesman Gerry Brownlee last month wrote to the Government asking for the party to be involved in the appointment process in order to preserve political neutrality.

But he was rebuffed by State Services Minister David Parker who said the Government would follow convention and not consult with other political parties.

Current commissioner Mark Prebble was appointed for a five-year term that expires in mid 2009, but will leave the job on June 30, citing a succession of minor health problems.

Applications for the job closed this month and Mr Parker today said a three-member panel would make a recommendation to Prime Minister Helen Clark on who should be appointed.

The other panel members, alongside the former National Party leader, are former Labour minister Stan Rodger and senior public servant Dame Margaret Bazley.

- NZPA

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