Call to delay recruitment of chief executive

THE recruitment of a new permanent government chief executive could be halted until after the next election, if States Members agree.

Former chief executive Charlie Parker left the role earlier this year. Picture:DAVID FERGUSON.
Former chief executive Charlie Parker left the role earlier this year. Picture:DAVID FERGUSON.

Deputy Kirsten Morel has lodged a proposition calling for interim chief executive Paul Martin to remain in post until at least June next year.

Mr Martin took over in March after Charlie Parker stood down following controversy surrounding his decision to take a non-executive director role with UK-based real estate firm New River. Mr Parker was given a £500,000 severance package.

Following Mr Parker leaving as Jersey’s most senior civil servant, Comptroller and Auditor General Lynn Pamment issued a report criticising the States Employment Board, which oversaw the appointment. She recommended that a ‘review of the original appointment process for the former chief executive’ be undertaken as ‘soon as practicable’.

Deputy Morel, in his proposition, said: ‘It is understood that the appointment process for the new chief executive has continued despite the recommendations of the C&AG not having been implemented in full, including recommendations from previous C&AG’s reports that are pertinent to the recruitment process.’

Senator Kristina Moore has previously raised concerns that a new chief executive could be appointed just before the election, and before a new ministerial team is appointed. She said that the new Council of Ministers should have a say in the appointment.

Deputy Morel added: ‘After three years of turmoil, the Government of Jersey and its public administration are experiencing a period of calm and competence, which should not be needlessly disrupted. The States Assembly should put the needs of the Island before the needs of a recruitment process, no matter how far advanced it is.

‘As such, the States are asked to request the chair of SEB to pause the current recruitment process, to extend the interim chief executive’s contract until at least a date after the formation of a new Council of Ministers in 2022 and to start a new recruitment process only once the C&AG’s recommendations have been implemented in full.

‘This proposition is made with the understanding that the current interim chief executive is willing to remain in post beyond the timeframe of his existing contract.’

The recruitment process for a new chief executive began earlier this year. The proposition is due to be debated in September.

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