Thursday, 13 June 2019
Department of Finance
Central Bank of Ireland Staff
The New Zealand State Services Commissioner is carrying out an investigation into the unauthorised access of New Zealand Budget material and the events surrounding it. The State Services Commissioner, Peter Hughes, has stated that his office will not be making any comment on the matter until his investigation is concluded and all of the facts have been ascertained. The investigation aims to conclude by 27 June 2019, if possible. Consequently, it would not be appropriate for me or the Government to comment on the matter at this time.
Department of Finance officials have been in contact with our Embassy in New Zealand to obtain updates on the matter.
I understand that Mr. Makhlouf has agreed to the ongoing review as the best approach to establishing the facts of the matter. He is continuing to work as usual in his role as CEO of the New Zealand Treasury.
The appointment of the Governor of the Central Bank is provided for under section 19 (1) of the Central Bank Act 1942 (as amended). The Government recommended the appointment of Mr. Makhlouf as Governor of the Central Bank to the President following a comprehensive, open, and international process.
The process included a public call for expressions of interest, a comprehensive search using independent executive search firm Merc Partners, a rigorous shortlisting of applicants, psychometric testing of final interview candidates, and a final interview of five candidates.
Mr. Makhlouf was the recommendation of the independent interview panel. The President signed the warrant appointing Mr. Makhlouf to the role of Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland on 14 May 2019. He is due to take up his role in September.