State Services Commissioner considering allegations Treasury Secretary misled Finance Minister Grant Robertson

The State Services Commissioner has said he is considering allegations that Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf misled Finance Minister Grant Robertson.

Leader of the Opposition, Simon Bridges, has accused Makhlouf of sitting on information about the alleged Budget hack.

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes told Newshub on Thursday: "Serious allegations have been made today, and I am considering the matter."

Bridges said Makhlouf knew about the way in which National had obtained the Budget information ahead of its release day.

"Treasury has known since Tuesday exactly what happened, and they covered it up," Bridges said on Thursday. "The Secretary of Treasury's position is untenable - he must resign."

The State Services Commissioner is responsible for the hiring and firing of public sector chief executives.

Budget 2019 was announced amid the most exceptional of circumstances: leaks, hacking allegations and police involvement.

National revealed on Thursday how they got their hands on Budget information ahead of its release.

Makhlouf refused to be interviewed, referring Newshub back to a statement Treasury released on Thursday morning.

Bridges planned a surprise attack on the Government by revealing the blunder on Budget Day, but the Treasury scooped him after putting out a press release early in the morning explaining what had happened.

Someone appeared to have exploited a feature on the website search tool, but that it did not appear to be unlawful.

"It was nothing more than what New Zealanders do every single day of the week on Google," Bridges said, referring to how the Budget information was obtained through a simple search on the Treasury website.

First, they typed the upcoming Budget year into the Treasury website's search-bar. On the next page, Budget-related key-words like "purchase of assets" were typed in.

Then low and behold, the Budget details appeared.

"Treasury has known since Tuesday exactly what happened, and they covered it up," Bridges said.

Why was the material accessible? The documents were loaded to a test site in preparation to go live on Budget Day. But the documents appeared in the search results.