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States confirm CEO worked with directors previously

States confirm CEO worked with directors previously

Tuesday 22 January 2019

States confirm CEO worked with directors previously


States CEO Charlie Parker worked with three of the new Directors prior to them joining Jersey's government - one of whom beat off competition from 33 other applicants.

In total, Mr Parker attended seven Director General interview panels and 23 Director and Group Director panels. Of those, he declared an interest in three interviews: Chief Operating Officer, Commercial Director and the Director of Local Partnerships.

The finding came in response to an Express Freedom of Information request, which explained: "The successful candidates were known to the CEO in a professional capacity and the Jersey Appointments Commission who oversaw the process were content that the recruitment process was robust and fair."

Chief Operating Officer John Quinn was recruited to one of the States' most senior roles in July 2018, having previously worked alongside Mr Parker at Westminster City Council. Director of Commercial Services Maria Benbow also worked at Westminster City Council.

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Pictured: States CEO Charlie Parker disclosed that he knew three people who applied for roles in his Jersey team - all three were recruited.

Director of Local Services Sean McGonigle took up his Jersey role after being Assistant Chief Executive at Manchester City Council - another of Mr Parker's previous workplaces.

The news comes just days after another FOI response revealed the total spend on senior (those earning over £100,000) interim employees brought in since Charlie Parker first joined the States in October 2017 stands at over £3.31million, including expenses and accommodation.

Yesterday, Chief Minister Senator John Le Fondré, who has been Chair of the States Employment Board (SEB), which is responsible for signing off on senior recruits to the States, was grilled on the topic of appointments under Mr Parker's new 'One Gov' structure by the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel - a group of politicians tasked with reviewing the running of the States.

During the session, Director of People Services Jacquie McGeachie said that nine public sector positions that were filled in on a temporary basis could become permanent roles, with the States looking to recruit someone permanently for nine of the current interim positions or a post of a similar nature.

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Pictured: The Chief Minister appeared in front of the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel. 

She added the current post holders would not necessarily be the ones being appointed on a permanent basis.

The hearing, which was led by Panel Chair Senator Kristina Moore, focused on the ongoing States pay dispute that led to widespread industrial action involving hundreds of employees last week.

The Chief Minister, who has chaired the SEB since Senator Tracey Vallois stepped down, refused to give any details over the on going negotiations. He described the meeting between representatives from union JCSA Prospect, including General Secretary Mike Clancy, Chief Executive Charlie Parker and the Chief Minster, Senator John Le Fondré as having been productive, adding that "things will keep moving forward."

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Pictured: The Chief Minister kept details of negotiations with the unions under wraps.

Senator Le Fondré declined to comment on whether the SEB would move away from the 1% offer made to civil servants, repeating that he was unable to comment "at this stage."

"It's an ongoing process that is happening, it’s not static," the Chief Minister said of the negotiations. "Just because we are not conveying anything to the public doesn’t mean nothing is happening."

He was more vocal when questioned about whether he understood the "frustrations of public sectors workers and members of the public at the number of interim appointments and the amount they are being paid." "From the way it has been reported, yes I can," the Chief Minister answered, before saying he was glad the question had been asked.

He went on to defend the importance of interim appointments saying that some of them, especially in the Children and Health services, had "rightly" been made by the previous Council of Ministers. "There are sometimes genuine and absolute reasons why the money has to be spent... Under the previous management for whatever reason things hadn’t been done and this is the position we inherited with a very short deadline ahead," he added.

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Pictured: The Chief Minister defended the salary of the Interim Director General of Health, Anthony McKeever.

The Chief Minister added that interim positions would either go away once work has been completed, or that a new recruitment process would start. He however described the positions as "one-offs" designed to deal with specific issues, adding that they shouldn't be regularly recurring.

Senator Le Fondré also moved to defend the Interim Director General of Health's, Anthony McKeever, salary which recently came under fire for being paid £27,000 a month - the equivalent of some Health workers' yearly pay.

He said the previous Director of Health had been paid £19,000 each month, adding that a temporary contract would incur a higher salary. "It's not a new expense of £27,000," he added. "It's the differential between those two figures."

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Posted by Michel Trehorel on
We keep hearing about these interim posts,but what i have yet to read is an explanation as to why so many posts are vacant. Is an explanation available please.
Posted by David Moon on
The real problem is the Appointments Board consists of three academics from UK universities who treat the Island like an English borough recommending UK applicants for Jersey posts. It should be disbanded and replaced with Jersey residents whose aim should be to promote local applicants to senior positions in the public services. The Island flourish for decades with local people in charge. Bring a halt to the further angliciasation of the Island and encourage our own people and a wider outlook rather than then being so UK focused.
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