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Chief Minister: No official behaviour complaints made by outgoing CEO

Chief Minister: No official behaviour complaints made by outgoing CEO

Thursday 13 April 2023

Chief Minister: No official behaviour complaints made by outgoing CEO

Thursday 13 April 2023


There have been "no formal grievances raised, or investigations undertaken, relating to unacceptable behaviour by Ministers or senior civil servants" since the current government came into office, according to the Chief Minister.

However, Deputy Kristina Moore admitted that she is "aware that from time-to-time relationships can get strained, as they do in any organisation", but added that "these are usually resolved informally, often with the support of the Chief Executive or other senior officers".

She made these comments in a letter dated 6 April — but only made public on 11 April — in response to requests for information from the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel about the sudden resignation of the former Government CEO, Suzanne Wylie.

In the letter, Deputy Moore also said that the "States Employment Board (SEB) has restated its commitment to the values set out within the People Strategy".

She explained: "In terms of positive and constructive working relationships between Ministers and Civil Servants, this is an area I intend to address personally with Ministers and the senior leadership team within government directly."

The Chief Minister added that the SEB had recently taken part in a workshop to explore how to "apply the values and behaviours of the organisation", which "identified further areas to improve everyone's understanding of creating a safe, constructive work environment".

The Council of Ministers and senior leaders are also due to take part in the workshop process.

WYLIE.jpg

Pictured: Former Government CEO, Suzanne Wylie, announced her resignation on 22 March after just over one year in post.

In a response to the Chief Minister's letter, the Corporate Services Security Panel have now requested additional information about concerns regarding allegedly unacceptable behaviour in the senior levels of government during the Chief Minister's term of office.

The Panel's Chair, Deputy Sam Mézec asked the Chief Minister to disclose "an overview of all concerns (not only "formal grievances") raised by Ministers and Government Civil Servants regarding unacceptable behaviour that have been resolved informally during your term of office" or "have fallen short of being classed as formal complaints".

The Chief Minister is yet to reply to this request.

The same issue was also highlighted in a written question submitted to the Chief Minister on 3 April. Deputy Moz Scott asked if "any complaints were made to anyone in Government about their working conditions" by the Government CEO, the Chief Officer for Health and Community Services, and the Chief Nurse.

In her reply on 12 April, the Chief Minister confirmed that "none of the Government members of the States Employment Board are aware of any complaints being made by the three postholders to anyone in Government".

However, she added that "as a matter of respect for the duties of confidentiality and privacy that we owe to our employees, we would not comment on individual employment matters".

Express and the JEP have made several requests to interview the Chief Minister on the matter of the CEO's departure, and comments made by her Infrastructure Minister, who claimed communications around the issue had been "disingenuous",  but these have been declined.

CEO_to_CM_Resignation_letter.jpg

CLICK TO READ: Suzanne Wylie's resignation letter, dated 14 March.

Mrs Wylie has never commented publicly on her departure. There has been speculation that it may have been linked to potential changes to the role of the CEO. 

Mrs Wylie's performance metrics were never agreed prior to her resignation being announced.

In her resignation letter — released following requests by Express and the JEP — Mrs Wylie wrote: "There is much political debate on the role of the CEO and my departure will also open the opportunity to assess if it should be changed and to what degree.

"I appreciate that the search will need to start now for my replacement, and I assure you that I will do all I can to support a new CEO coming into post."

The Chief Minister recently shared the timetable and process for recruiting a new CEO - with a focus on recruiting a candidate already based in Jersey.

The Interim CEO recruitment timetable...

April

  • Agree the statement of works and the recruitment timetable (States Employment Board).

  • Agree the timeline and approach to the recruitment with the Jersey Appointments Commission.

  • Advertise on-island for suitably qualified local candidates and invite agencies to submit candidates.

  • Shortlist to a maximum of three candidates.

May

  • Interviews and appointment

June/July

  • Handover in meetings

  • Interim starts in post

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Comments

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Posted by Martin on
Are the No formal grievances due to fear of retribution or such?
Posted by IanSmith97 on
Doesn’t mean to say there weren’t issues. Many public servants are terrified to speak out, especially at our hospital
Posted by Aston Francis on
If it is so good why it is so bad down there. Why organise the workshops if there are no problems? The most thrilling was a confirmation that neither Caroline Landon nor Rose Naylor complained of being bullied. I would also ask the Group Medical Director and the HR Director if they suffered much bullying and if the answer is no, it means there is no bullying at Health. Simple.
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