Ministry of Justice boss questioned over Justin Timberlake music video spending

  • 01/02/2017
Ministry of Justice coat of arms

Ministry of Justice boss Andrew Bridgman has been called on to defend his decision to spend $23,000 on five videos including one of staff dancing and lip syncing to a Justin Timberlake song.

The leadership videos, which reportedly include Mr Bridgman dancing at his desk to the pop star's song 'Can't Stop The Feeling', were filmed by a production company and shown at an internal staff conference last year.

According to newly-released Official Information Act documents, the video clip was the idea of the department's corporate deputy secretary Suzanne Stew who said it was a chance for staff to "celebrate their connection in an upbeat and informal way".

"It was received in the spirit in which it was made - as an opportunity to engage with colleagues from around the country in a positive way," she said.

Justice Minister Amy Adams said on Wednesday that she wasn't aware of the decision to make the videos and had not seen them.

On whether they were a waste of money she said that was something for Mr Bridgman to reflect on and "be prepared to answer for it".

The video won't be released publicly. Department staff cited privacy reasons, saying staff only agreed for the clip to be shown privately.

According to internal emails some staff appeared embarrassed about appearing in the clip.

"I'm not sure how I feel about being filmed grooving to it in my very uncomfy work clothes," one said of their "most favourite song at the moment".

Another appeared not to have been told before filming.

"There was no mention of dancing and miming haha .... It was a lot of fun but I hope they cut us out lol."

Four other videos were filmed focusing on the ministry's leadership.

Staff leaders were asked questions about their most defining experience as leader, when they feel most vulnerable and most proud and about their aspirations for collective leadership.

Other staff were asked what value all leaders should demonstrate.

Mr Bridgman has been approached for comment.