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Gov CEO still working without agreed job criteria… again

Gov CEO still working without agreed job criteria… again

Friday 03 February 2023

Gov CEO still working without agreed job criteria… again

Friday 03 February 2023


Jersey’s top civil servant has not been working towards a specific set of targets since taking on the £250,000-a-year role a year ago, it has emerged.

News that the Chief Minister is yet to set Suzanne Wylie OBE’s ‘key performance indicators’ (KPIs) 12 months after she was appointed emerged during a grilling by Scrutiny politicians earlier this week.

Ms Wylie became the island's first female CEO in February 2022. Since the change in government in June 2022, one of her key roles has been overseeing the development of a Cabinet Office as part of Chief Minister Kristina Moore's bid to unpick Charlie Parker’s controversial ‘OneGov’ reforms,

Asked about how her progress was being tracked by the Public Accounts Committee, the former Belfast City Chief said that she instead meets Deputy Kristina Moore weekly to “discuss performance”, but that specific, measurable targets won’t be set until the end of the month.

Ms Wylie told Scrutineers this week: “In terms of my appraisal, since this government came in the performance of government, of me, and of my chief officers has been something that has been an ongoing discussion from day one.

“All ministers have made it really clear what their expectations are from me in terms of running the public services but also in terms of delivering on the priorities they set.”

She added: “…In terms of tracking that to KPIs, that is still a work in progress. That will be completed by the end of this month.”

The previous government came under strong criticism when Express revealed that Chief Executive Charlie Parker, who led the government from 2018 before being instructed to leave  in 2020, did not have any KPIs eight months into the job. 

The situation was only partially rectified in November 2018 - after a landmark challenge by Express under the Freedom of Information Law revealed that Mr Parker’s contract allowed him to write his own job description. 

That same day, the government announced that Chief Minister John Le Fondré had set seven “strategic objectives” for the CEO, and that a world-leading business psychologist, who Express uncovered that Mr Parker had previously worked with, had been appointed to assess his progress against these.  

parkerlefondre.jpg

Pictured: Mr Parker's general objectives - which were criticised for being vague and not clearly measurable - were agreed by former Chief Minister John Le Fondré (left).

Those objectives, which included “deliver One Government” and “lead organisational change”, came under fire for being vague. 

Mr Parker did, however, commit to report back to the States Assembly at six-month intervals on his major restructuring of government, which was blighted by unrest among staff and concerns over the number of highly paid consultants being brought in from the UK.

Ms Wylie has not been asked to provide any reports. 

When asked by PAC chair Deputy Lyndsay Feltham whether lessons had been learnt from previous restructuring attempts, Mrs Wylie said: ‘Getting it right is about communication all the way through. Communication is a two-way street.

“It is about listening to people and taking those concerns on board and making sure we allay those concerns."

Mrs Wylie, whose one-year anniversary as government Chief Executive was on Tuesday, also stressed the importance of the 'People Strategy', the government's blueprint for managing and developing staff. 

“We want to take them [government staff] to a place where they have aspirations, where they understand their roles and how their roles affect the future,” she said.

She added that she did not know at this stage the potential headcount for the Cabinet Office, as the work to bring the departments together was still being carried out. 

broadstreetonegov.jpeg

Pictured: The potential headcount for the new 'Cabinet Office' remains unclear.

Figures released this week showed that the size of the public sector had swelled by more than 1,000 employees over the past five years and that the number of top earners – taking home more than £100,000 per year – had also increased significantly.

Speaking after the Public Accounts Committee hearing, Mrs Wylie said: “The PAC have asked me about future changes in the organisation and setting up the Cabinet Office, which will be clearly looking at all of those issues, including efficiencies and value for money.”

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Posted by Aston Francis on
Surprising to anyone? Not really. People like Director General Landon, awarded with similar 200k+ salaries, have not been measured against any tangible objectives, no KPIs whatsoever. How about the Minister of Health? Does she have any specific, measurable, time-bound objectives? We don't know. The waiting lists for surgical procedures are longer than ever, we have just learned from JEP that private orthopaedic patients get operated on by our surgeon in Southampton. More than 13 000 patients waiting for their initial consultations and surgical or diagnostic procedures. Against that background, the Minister keeps paying for reviews and multiplying independent boards and change 'shadow' teams. All that with clear disregard for any prudence in spending public money. The non-executive chair of the new (more independent than the previous one) board gets paid in total far over 300 000 for 2-3 days of work weekly. None executive roles like this are paid at NHS at a maximum of 60-70k. The good thing about not having a specific, measurable set of objectives is that accountability and responsibility become empty slogans for the public. The word on the street is that the new change team is trying to curb any negative commentary on the performance of the department. So perhaps soon we will be hearing only good news or none.
Posted by IanSmith97 on
All the Chief Minister was intent on doing was bowing to the ‘Stop Overdale Hospital’ obsessives. Well, she managed that, falling for their spiel that the hospital could be built for less than £800 million. Well we now know that was bunkum.
Posted by Martin on
I am currently unemployed!

I will do this job for just 20% of that wage!

If it turns out I am useless - which I will ensure I will be - I am happy with a 500K payoff!

Sound familiar??
Posted by Christopher Brun on
It is not her fault. A clear job description should have been ready before she got recruited and the KPIs set within the first 90 days latest. It is common in small jurisdictions like Jersey that homegrown politicians believe they don’t need all that red tape of performance metrics, deadlines and objectives. Professionals hired from larger jurisdictions get first surprised but then they quite enjoy it as it makes it next to impossible to hold them to any account.
Posted by Keith Marsh on
Who in their right mind, advertises, interviews candidates and appoints a CEO without having any way of checking on her performance ?
We did that once before with Parker and what a mess that was.
The Chief Minister should really do her job ~ now she has cleared her pet hate, Overdale, and cost the taxpayer more by having multi hospital units.
IF the CEO wants to do something important, get her teeth into the current non-management of the hospital.
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