The major questions that led to the island’s top civil servant standing down following a row over having two jobs remain unanswered today, five weeks after his departure was announced.
The Government has confirmed that the minutes of a key meeting between CEO Charlie Parker and the States Employment Board (SEB) over his controversial Non-Executive Directorship at UK real estate firm New River have still not even been completed, so it says they cannot be made public.
And, responding further to a request made by Express under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Law, officials added that they won’t finish those minutes until at least the New Year.
But the exact nature of the discussions between the SEB and Mr Parker over his second role aren’t the only element in the saga that remains shrouded in mystery more than a month on.
It still remains unclear who signed off a media statement saying that Economic Development Minister Senator Lyndon Farnham approved Mr Parker’s second role when he had, in fact, expressed “reservations” about it.
Pictured: It remains unclear who was responsible for saying the Economic Development Minister (centre) had approved Mr Parker's second job when he hadn't.
The Chief Minister recently received a blow-by-blow account of what happened, but no details have been made public as yet, with requests by Express for confirmation of who was responsible for the blunder, whether any disciplinary action has followed, and what has been done to tighten up communications protocols since all met with silence.
The Government has also informed Express that it needs more time to respond to three separate requests under FOI Law seeking to ascertain what happened. Responses are currently expected “on or before 17 December.”
Addressing a Scrutiny Panel, he hit out at the way the situation was handled, saying it was "very strange" that second role had been turned into a "crisis" and that many people felt "embarrassed and ashamed" at how he had been treated.
His final departure date is not yet known, but it is believed that recruiting an overall successor could take up to nine months.
A campaign to recruit that person, who will be expected to lead the Government of Jersey for a period of six to 12 months, started on Friday.
A dedicated website says the Government is looking for an “exceptional individual”, noting that it is “ open-minded about what you are doing now and we welcome a wide range of experience.”
Their key priorities are listed as delivering the Government Plan, the bid to secure a new Government HQ, developing and implementing the new Jersey Care Model, regenerating Fort Regent, leading the island’s covid-19 response and recovery, and dealing with the challenges of Brexit.
Pictured: The regeneration of Fort Regent is listed as a key priority for Mr Parker's successor.
The successful candidate will be entitled to up to 31 days leave plus UK bank holidays and Liberation Day.
The pay package is not listed on the website. When asked by Express for details, a Government spokesperson responded: “We expect it to be in line with the current arrangements, although it will be subject to negotiation depending on the individual and their experience."
The Government is using UK recruitment firm Odgers to assist with the process, and is also offering a relocation package, but SEB Vice Chair Richard Buchanan noted that he would welcome a local candidate.
“It is extremely important for the public sector to have strong leadership so we can continue to build on the ambitious Government transformation programme, started by the current Chief Executive,” he said.
“The Government is determined to continue to drive transformational change and improve the quality of life for Islanders. The interim CEO will need to be someone who can ensure that progress to date is not lost, and that we maintain the pace of transformation without interruption.
“I would very much encourage all Jersey candidates who have the relevant experience and qualifications to consider applying for this vital role.”
Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed during the second week of January, with the second candidate starting “as soon as possible” after that date.
The recruitment processwill be overseen by a panel consisting of: The Chief Minister, Dame Janet Paraskeva (Jersey Appointments Commission), Peter Charalambous (Jersey Appointments Commission), Jane Burgess (UK Civil Service Commissioner), and a yet-to-be-appointed independent Jersey member.
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