The Education Minister used her 'no confidence debate' speech to call for reform in how the States Employment Board handles HR matters in the wake of the controversy over the Government CEO’s second job.
Senator Tracey Vallois said she had really struggled with the debate, which came following a bid from Senator Kristina Moore in the wake of a bitter dispute over Charlie Parker's NED role at UK real estate firm New River, for which Senator John Le Fondré had given verbal approval.
Much of her speech revolved around the topic of governance – something she said the reputation of the island was based upon.
Noting that “things need to change”, she called for the creation of a sub-committee of the States Employment Board, which she said would "enhance and speed up progress on our human resources policy whilst the main board carries on with business as usual.”
Senator Vallois also asked for the role of the public ombudsman, which would hear complaints against the government to replace the current system in which islanders can take issues to the States Complaints Board, which makes recommendations that the relevant Minister can then simply reject without repercussions, to be put back on the agenda.
Pictured: Senator Vallois called for changes to the States of Jersey Employees Law to be brought forward.
The States Assembly agreed in principle two years ago to set up a Jersey Public Services Ombudsman (JPSO) but the Legislation Advisory Panel (LAP) – a group of politicians tasked with considering legislation matters that do not fall under the responsibility of a particular Minister – decided this year not to support that view.
The Education Minister also called for changes to the Employment of States of Jersey Employees Law to be brought forward "in short order" with senior civil servants to be trained on democracy in Jersey and for the Treasury to not rely on one Director General.
Finally, she asked the Chief Minister to create a different reporting mechanism for the Ministerial Support and Policy units.
"One final question I have," she added. "In the correspondence we have received last night with regards to the loss of our Chief Executive Officer, I ask whether the last paragraph of the letter that we received where it suggests he will stay on for an orderly transition should the Government wish him to; I would like to know how long that length of time will be and whether the mention of the Government in that letter refers to the Council of Ministers or States Employment Board and what role the Council of Ministers has in terms of advising the Chief Minister in appropriate political direction for the betterment of our island?"
Pictured: Senator Vallois asked the Chief Minister to publicly address the issues she raised, but he did not.
"The Chief Minister is aware of my disappointment and anger at where we are," she concluded. "Maybe I’m just a troublemaker, maybe I’m the problem, maybe I am not as loyal as I am supposed to be but sir my loyalty lays with the public I serve and the principles and values I hold so dearly."
However, in his closing speech, the Chief Minister did not respond to Senator Vallois’ challenge – despite an intervention from the Education Minister in the closing minutes of the debate to ask that he reply.
In the end, Senator Tracey Vallois abstained from voting.
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