The same company tasked with evaluating the performance of the States Chief Executive in Jersey also performed a similar role for his previous job in London, it has emerged.
Last week it was announced that Dr John Nicholson from consultants Nicholson McBride had been appointed to gather feedback on Charlie Parker, who earns a base salary of £250,000 as the island’s most senior civil servant.
He will be responsible for preparing a report to be sent to the Chief Minister, who will then be able to assess how far Mr Parker has succeeded in achieving the six general objectives set for him last week, which include “deliver[ing] One Government”.
But now it has emerged that Nicholson McBride were involved in Mr Parker’s appraisal process in his previous role as Chief Executive of the London Borough of Westminster.
Pictured: Westminster is listed as a client on Nicholson McBride's website.
The borough is listed as a client on Nicholson McBride’s website, but their specific involvement with Mr Parker’s role came to light in a document entitled ‘Appraisal Arrangements for the Chief Executive’, which details how the City of Westminster’s General Purposes Committee decided to re-evaluate their Chief Executive’s assessment process after it was announced Mr Parker would be leaving last year.
Mr Parker’s contract, which Express made public for the first time last week, doesn't reveal any bonuses or performance-related pay arrangements - but two significant sections have been withheld, as they have so far been judged to be personal. The contract also gives him the ability to set his own job description, against which he'll be measured.
Under his former scheme in Westminster, his remuneration package comprised an element of deferred pay of 18%, which “comprise(d) a performance element to recognise the significant accountability of the delivery of services and corporate objectives aligned to the management of the Council’s senior team”.
Pictured: One of the redactions on Mr Parker's contract.
Whether Mr Parker would receive this deferred element was down to the Appointments Sub-committee, which received input from Nicholson McBride.
“They receive a report from the Director of People Services which has input from Nicholson McBride, who are the current consultants for this purpose. The consultant conducts a 360 degree feedback exercise and discusses the year’s performance with the Chief Executive, Leader and other leading Members and Officers and reports their findings to the Sub-Committee,” the Council document said.
However, the General Purposes Committee later concluded that the process wasn’t sufficiently objective and suggested that it should be changed. “The process stipulates that the Chief Executive presents his/her annual achievements to the Sub-Committee both through a paper and then verbally at the committee. Given the decision on deferred pay is directly linked to this presentation of achievement against objectives (along with the 360 feedback supplied by the external consultant) the presentation will always lack the sense of objective reflection that characterises the best appraisal interactions,” they said.
The news of Nicholson McBride’s input into Mr Parker’s assessment process follows weeks of questioning from Express to States officials, who repeatedly declined to reveal any information about the “independent assessor” – despite having told Express that they had been appointed many months ago under the previous Chief Minister.
Pictured: Mr Parker's assessment process in Westminster was linked with a deferred 18% salary payment.
It also comes after Express revealed over summer that Mr Parker had been operating without any specific Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) since his appointment.
Despite being finally announced last week, the objectives given - announced one year to the day after Charlie Parker first signed his contract with the States, which included specific reference to performance monitoring - were far from the specific and measurable targets that islanders and States Members had called for.
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