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“No more closed selection process for top States job” – departing minister

“No more closed selection process for top States job” – departing minister

Wednesday 04 November 2015

“No more closed selection process for top States job” – departing minister

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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Posted by Gordon Lawrence on
Good for you Tracey - there's too much of the old boy network in States' appointments. Need some fresh air to blow through the corridors.
Posted by PaulGaynor50 on
Strange that she is now telling people how to do there jobs when she could not handle the job she was given, “people in glass houses”
Posted by Davey West on
The top states executive over all executives was actually recruited to bring states departments up to speed in both efficiency and reducing costs. That was Mr Bill Ogley's remit. His right hand man Mr Richardson walked straight into the job and has also failed miserably.
If the Ministers wish to prove Deputy Vallois wrong and are serious about reform and savings being made, then it is absolutely the right time to say goodbye to Mr Richardson and invite Mr Kevin Keen or someone of a similar disposition to apply. An executive who has back bone and who knows how to run a corporation efficiently with a decent track record something which has completely evaded John Richardson.
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