THE Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister have both been referred to the commissioner for standards over their handling of events surrounding the resignation of chief executive Suzanne Wylie.
Deputy Kristina Moore and Deputy Kirsten Morel have come under intense scrutiny for statements they made in the wake of Mrs Wylie’s departure, with Deputy Moore facing criticism for her timeline of the events and Deputy Morel forced to clarify comments he made in the States Assembly saying he was unaware of any future resignations – despite being told of Mrs Wylie’s intentions a week before.
After being contacted by several States Members and an ‘urgent meeting’, the Privileges and Procedures Committee has now decided to refer the matter to the commissioner for standards, who decides whether the Code of Conduct for Members has been broken.
In an email sent to all States Members on Friday, PPC wrote: ‘The committee recognises the strength of feeling amongst Members and public at large, regarding the way in which the resignation of the chief executive was communicated and the subsequent confusion in relation to the timeline of events. As part of PPC’s terms of reference is to take the necessary steps for the enforcement of the Code of Conduct for Members and to promote high standards amongst Members, the committee has concluded that it cannot ignore the concerns and questions expressed by Members on this matter.
‘Members will be aware, PPC does not undertake investigations into allegations of breaches of the code, but has appointed a commissioner for standards who is able to independently and objectively review any complaints and bring forward recommendations to the committee as to what action, if any, should be taken if such complaints are upheld.’
It added: ‘Taking this into consideration, the committee has decided to make a referral to the commissioner who will independently and objectively review the matter and bring forward recommendations to the committee as to what action, if any, should be taken if it is found that the code has been breached. To be clear, the committee’s referral will be in relation to both the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister and the circumstances around the communication to the Assembly of the resignation of the chief executive officer Suzanne Wylie. Both the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister have been informed.’