Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf supposedly acted in good faith when responding to the Budget "leak" crisis in May, according to the inquiry into his actions.
That is not a statement of fact because, like the term "hack," acting in "good faith" can have a variety of interpretations.
You don't need to reach for the dictionary. It simply means acting with sincere intentions.
It may well be that Makhlouf's sincere intention was to cover his butt over the early release of confidential Budget material in his final days in the job.
And what is laid bare in the report released by his employer, the State Services Commission, are a series of failings by Makhlouf.
Many of them are failures by omission.
The National Party are choosing to focus on his (and that of his Minister Grant Roberson's) failure to correct the public record over their original claims it was a "hack" rather than a simple "search."
But Makhlouf's greatest failure was one of leadership.
He failed to do what a person in his position should have done and that was take responsibility for his own department's failures.
Even when explaining how it had happened, he was lashing out those who had dared to search the Treasury's website for confidential documents and had struck gold.
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His boss, State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes, was right: Makhlouf should have owned the problem, fixed it, learned from it and been accountable.
And Hughes is also right when he says that the reputational damage it has caused to Makhlouf, just as he is about begin a job heading Ireland's central bank, will be the harshest punishment.
It is an academic point because today is Makhlouf's last day in the job but Hughes says that after seeking legal advice, the failures were not enough to have warranted his sacking.
However, what is clear is that there were more than sufficient grounds for Makhlouf to have offered his resignation. It may not been accepted, who knows?
One is left wondering why this previously estimable pillar of the public service let himself down so badly at the very end by poor judgment.
One is left to surmise that he believed admissions of failure and responsibility might impact on his new job than protestations that he acted in good faith at all times.
It appears a clear case of good faith butt-covering and, if nothing else, hopefully his peers in the public service will have learned from his bad example.