Friday, May 05, 2006

More on the Leak

Telecom has now destroyed the leaked paper on legal advice. I would have thought that sending it back to the Prime Minister's and Cabinet Department would have been the wiser thing to do but it seems they could no longer have the reasonable belief that it would have been secure there.

More information has emerged about the content of the paper. It was leaked the day before before the Cabinet Policy Committee met and contained a letter from David Cunliffe to Helen Clark. That means it was one of the papers sent out to all Ministers on the weekend for discussion in Monday's cabinet meeting. Telecom got the paper on Tuesday night and tried to find out whether it was true while the Committee meeting didn't take place until Wednesday.

The list of suspects is now somewhat larger. Most of the previously excluded ministers can still be eliminated but a new suspect appears. Clayton Cosgrove has ties with TelstraClear as he had once worked with Clear as their Public Affairs Manager. Ordinarily this would preclude him from being the source of the leak but the longer time frame makes me pause. What if there were two leaks? One from the Cabinet to TelstraClear and a second from a Telecom mole within TelstraClear to Telecom? Food for thought.

UPDATE: Telecom has clarified its earlier comments about destroying the document by saying that it has destroyed copies of the document but that "one document" has been retained.