Labour MP Clare Curran has apologised for directly copying paragraphs of The Economist and pasting them into a research paper on Labour's "Future of Work Commission".
The Commission was launched in December and is a two year project led by Labour Finance Spokesman Grant Robertson. He has not returned calls from 3 News, but Labour has issued a statement blaming Curran.
The backbench MP says a "large number of documents were used during the research for this paper, from many sources over a period of weeks and months. These paragraphs should have been cited in the final text and I apologise for the oversight".
The copied text was revealed in a blog post by former party member Phil Quin - who dramatically quit after Labour used leaked Chinese surnames to allege a foreign buyer problem. Quin has accused Labour of "straightforward plagiarism".
Quin tweeted "students would face expulsion for the plagiarism uncovered in Labour's Future of Work doco. Academics would be fired". He also hit back at Curran's apology saying the "late addition of footnotes doesn't excuse stealing others' work and passing off as own. Paper should be retracted".
Three paragraphs of the "issues paper" are directly copied from business publications, including The Economist and Business Insider.
Quin's blog provided the following evidence, which 3 News has verified:
Complex tasks such as programming a computer or writing a legal brief can now be divided in component parts and subcontracted to specialists around the world.
On January 5 this year, in an article titled Workers on Tap, The Economist reported:
Complex tasks, such as programming a computer or writing a legal brief, can now be divided into their component parts-and subcontracted to specialists around the world.
Labour went on to write:
Fast-moving tech companies competing in this arena have developed new models - such as Uber, Handy and AirB&B - that are transforming industries which have been historically slow to innovate. Transportation, grocery, restaurant and personal service industries are seeing hyper-growth in the on-demand world.
On July 13, 2014, an article in Business Insider titled The On-Demand Economy Is Revolutionizing Consumer Behavior - Here's How, Mike Jaconi wrote:
The fast-moving technology companies competing in this arena have developed new models that are transforming industries which have historically been slow to innovate. The ground transportation, grocery, and restaurant industries are prime examples of hyper-growth categories in the on-demand world.
Labour also wrote:
The "on-demand economy" is the result of pairing that workforce with smartphones and other devices, which now provide far more computing power than the desktop computers which reshaped companies in the 1990s, and reach far more people.
Also in the January 5, 2015 edition, in an article titled There's an App for That, The Economist wrote:
The on-demand economy is the result of pairing that workforce with the smartphone, which now provides far more computing power than the desktop computers which reshaped companies in the 1990s, and to far more people.