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‘Charlie Parker’s power embodies Jersey way’

News | Published:

JERSEY’s top civil servant – chief executive Charlie Parker – has too much power, according to the Island’s only political party, which said his level of authority is the embodiment of the so-called ‘Jersey way’.

Charlie Parker

Mr Parker has been criticised by several politicians this week after the Home Affairs Minister claimed in the States that the chief executive had denied him access to a report following an investigation into the conduct of a senior civil servant.

That civil servant was director general of Justice and Home Affairs Julian Blazeby. The government has since moved to confirm that the complaint was not upheld.

Now Reform Jersey, which is led by Children’s and Housing Minister Sam Mézec, have issued a statement saying the party was ‘disappointed’ that Home Affairs Minister Len Norman had not been given ‘access to information relevant to his portfolio’.

The statement continued: ‘We see this as an affront to democracy and the position of the Island’s elected representatives.’

Reform Jersey members include Deputies Geoff Southern, Montfort Tadier, Carina Alves and Rob Ward.

The Reform Jersey statement added: ‘Ministers and elected members of the States of Jersey are accountable to the electorate – the people of Jersey.

‘The chief executive officer should not have the right to withhold information that is requested by a minister.

‘The public expects that ministers are responsible for their portfolios and how the public service is administered.

‘The response from the government has not given us confidence that ministers, and members of the States Assembly, are being given the support from senior civil servants to do the work that they were elected to do. The suggestion that politicians should not be involved in administrative matters is particularly concerning given the findings of the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry, which criticised States Members for not having appropriate political oversight.’

The government and independent HR experts were contacted for comment.

Jack Maguire

By Jack Maguire
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