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Crucial Parker meeting minutes ‘incomplete’

Crucial Parker meeting minutes ‘incomplete’

Monday 14 December 2020

Crucial Parker meeting minutes ‘incomplete’


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. 

parkercomms-2.jpg

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.”

Mr Parker made his first public comments on the bitter dispute that led to his departure last week

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.

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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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Posted by Peter Townend on
One hopes that the SEB have now actually written a full and concise "Job Description" for the position, before its put out in the market place, and not left it for the individual to write his own once in the job.
Posted by john garner on
Shouldnt minutes be taken at the meeting and at least written up whilst fresh in the mind to avoid artistic licence later ?
Posted by David Moon on
Maybe they should start by replacing the members of the Jersey Appointments Commission with Jersey residents with the appropriate experience and only appointing ex UK officials to post in the public services in the absence of Jersey resident candidates. This would be no different to the test which firms in the private sector had to satisfy before brining in employees from the UK.
Posted by Paul Troalic on
Well this delay doesn't surprise me at all. They don't really want the public to know too much.
As for the replacement, who the heck are these people on the panel. Clearly not local so will have no idea of the Island's requirements in terms of its history or indeed getting the backing of a local workforce. We need someone who puts Jersey first and can tailor the requirements of the job accordingly. Someone who can connect with people and inspire confidence from his/her employees.
Of course this is exactly what we won't get so we shouldn't hold our breath. What a sorry state of affairs.
Posted by L Brindle on
Any sign of the promised £100m savings yet?
Posted by Keith Marsh on
It gets more like Yes, Prime Minister, every day.
Posted by Private Individual on
Grandiose projects that the taxpayer cannot afford.
Where is the lowering of taxes?
Where is better health care?
Where is the population policy?
Where is the accountability?
Where is the honest open transparent government they promised us?
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