The £210,000 job of States Chief Executive John Richardson should be opened up to full and fair competition this year under proposals tabled by departing Assistant Treasury Minister Tracey Vallois.
The Deputy – who resigned her post yesterday citing dysfunctional leadership and senior civil servants blocking reform – wants a States debate that would force the States to open the role up to full competition, and have an open recruitment process once Mr Richardson’s contract expires at the end of the year.
It's understood that the States have been planning to simply extend his contract without going through a recruitment process, despite the fact that the three-year contract he signed in 2012 was for a fixed-term.
In June, a Freedom of Information request by Bailiwick Express revealed that Mr Richardson was given the job after an internal job search without the position being advertised or opened up to candidates who were not already working for the States. It's understood that two other chief officers applied for the role.
At the same time, it was also revealed that the States’ heads of IT, finance and HR were also appointed internally, without their jobs being advertised.
In all four cases, the States HR department say that the independent Jersey Appointments Commission endorsed the decision to recruit internally.
Deputy Vallois says that she wants States Members to debate forcing the States to follow their own rules, and make sure that the Jersey Appointments Commission Guidance on Senior Recruitment. Those guidelines – published here – include specific rules on appointing a new States Chief Executive. They would require the Appointments Commission chairman and two members, along with the Chief Minister and a UK Local Authority Chief Executive to form a panel to pick a new Chief Executive, and that the post should be advertised, and that clear selection criteria should be applied.
She says that the role is increasingly important after the States agreed in July to empower the Chief Executive of the States with authority over departmental chief officers – when the role was created in 2003, the individual chief officers effectively ran their own departments, and no one chief officer had authority over the others.
Mr Richardson took on the States Chief Executive role in 2011 on an interim basis after the departure – with a £546,000 pay-off – of Bill Ogley. The following August that role was made permanent on a three-and-a-half year fixed-term contract – that three-and-a-half year contract would be set to end early next year.
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