A Scrutiny panel has piled pressure on the Government to delay the appointment of the new CEO, one week ahead of a crucial vote on whether the Interim Chief Executive should have his contract extended until next year's elections.
The Corporate Services Panel's recommendation to keep Charlie Parker's short-term successor, Paul Martin, for longer came in a report published today examining the Government's workplace culture, with a specific focus on bullying and harassment, exit interviews, and disciplinary and culture.
The 'People and Culture Review' was prompted by the retention issues regularly shared with the Panel as well as the "uncertainties created by a lengthy structural change programme", Senator Kristina Moore, the Panel's Chair, explained.
Pictured: Senator Kristina Moore, the Chair of the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel.
The Panel’s findings and recommendations suggest that there are "various areas of improvement" for the States Employment Board, relevant Ministers and Government Officers to consider.
"It is evident that the Public Sector is continuing to go through a significant period of change from a Human Resource management perspective and that this needs to be carefully managed to ensure employees feel valued and supported," the Executive Summary notes.
The Panel concluded that the SEB lacks "transparency, coherent strategy and consistent implementation of policies and procedures" and that the Team Jersey ‘get on the train or get left behind’ messaging has alienated employees.
They also found that training on discrimination is optional, which clashes with the Government's desired culture, whist a procedure for grievance which was due earlier this year has yet to be introduced.
Pictured: In some departments, particularly the Health services, staff morale and wellbeing were reported as "worryingly low", the Panel found.
The Panel also discovered that staff morale has been negatively affected in some departments as a result of the implementation of the One Gov initiatives. In some departments, particularly the Health services, staff morale and wellbeing were reported as "worryingly low", while there is a "concerning" level of staff turnover.
They have made a number of recommendations to the States Employment Board, which include making discrimination training mandatory immediately, introducing a code of conduct for the senior leadership team before the end of the year and replacing Team Jersey with an alternative training programme to "combat the low morale within the Government’s workforce".
They have also renewed their calls to delay the appointment of the new Chief Executive until after the 2022 elections. Earlier this year, the Panel suggested the delay in a letter to the Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré.
Paul Martin was hired as Interim Chief Executive Officer of the Government and is currently on a 12-month contract which is due to end in February 2022.
He was appointed after his predecessor, Charlie Parker agreed to step down in the wake over a row about taking on a second job as a Non-Executive Director at UK real estate firm New River.
Pictured: Paul Martin is currently on a 12-month contract which is due to end in February 2022.
Recruitment for a permanent CEO started in March with the deadline for applications set for 19 April. Shortlisted candidates were expected at the time to be interviewed in late June.
In her letter, Senator Moore said that delaying the recruitment until a new Council of Ministers is in place would "avoid a repeat of the previous recruitment process" - Mr Parker took up his new role just months before the 2018 elections brought in a new Chief Minister.
“This would allow greater transparency with regards management style and certain objective setting," she further argued.
Meanwhile, Deputy Kirsten Morel published a proposition seeking to halt the recruitment process in August, which States Members will debate next week.
In a report outlining his proposal, Deputy Morel commented: "If the wrong person is appointed to the role, the consequences are profound and have a serious detrimental effect on the Island’s public administration."
He went on to note that the Government's last three Chief Executives had all left with compromise agreements that led to three reports by the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG), each featuring recommendations that still need to be implemented.
Follow Express this week for in-depth analysis of the 'People and Culture Review'...
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