Jersey’s outgoing Government CEO - who agreed to step down in the wake of a row over his second job - has said he will be looking for more “non-executive opportunities” upon his “retirement” in three months’ time.
Charlie Parker’s departure from the island’s top civil service job was confirmed in November after the States Employment Board came to conclusion that his £50,000-a-year non-executive director role at UK real estate firm New River was “not compatible” with his local role.
Announcing his exit in a public letter to the Chief Minister, he said he would stay “for as long as the Government requests me to.”
Government officials have repeatedly declined to confirm the exact date, noting that the process to select an interim replacement will first have to be selected.
However, Mr Parker has now confirmed to a UK civil service magazine that he will be out of the £250,000 job after April.
Pictured: The article in the Local Government Chronicle.
He also confirmed that the end of his time in Jersey would mark the start of his “retirement” - during which time he’ll be seeking more board roles to keep him busy.
In his first public comments since stepping down, Mr Parker told the Local Government Chronicle: “After a career of nearly 40 years, the majority of which has been in the public sector, I am looking forward to both my retirement and new non-executive opportunities after April.
“I have enjoyed the numerous challenges and successes over the years, and I wish Jersey well in the future.”
Mr Parker, who came to Jersey after holding Chief Executive roles at Oldham and Westminster City Council, previously penned a column for the publication - the last of which was published shortly after he came to the island in December 2017 and entitled: ‘Charlie Parker: My mission to modernise Jersey government’.
Pictured: Mr Parker appearing on the New River website.
The CEO’s second job at New River came to light in October, with the Government defending the role at the time as having been approved by the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister.
However, it later emerged that the CEO had not followed the proper process for getting permission for the second job - which should have been granted by the States Employment Board, as per the terms of his contract, which Express revealed in 2018.
It also surfaced that the Deputy Chief Minister was also against it, having expressed "reservations and concerns as to how the appointment might be received among some quarters in Jersey.”
Despite declining to answer a Scrutiny Panel over who signed off the erroneous statement to the media, a Freedom of Information request later discovered that it was Mr Parker himself who had done so.
Pictured: The relevant part of Mr Parker's contract, which was made public by Express.
Email chains unearthed by Express also disproved a pledge that Mr Parker would only work on his second role in his spare time.
Among the NewRiver-related matters Mr Parker and other Government officials responded to while at work throughout 2020 were approvals to a statement announcing his appointment, installing specific software for him, and scheduling a number of meetings.
One message sent by a civil servant from Mr Parker’s account on 9 September suggests mid-week meeting times of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in response to a request for several 30-minute meetings to “give Charlie some background to NewRiver.”
“I am holding all the above in the diary for you with the suggested order if their availability suits… I look forward to hearing from you soon and apologise for not being able to provide a few alternative options but unfortunately due to current commitments his diary doesn’t allow,” the Government employee says.
Pictured: Meetings relating to New River were scheduled mid-week.
The correspondence also shows how at least one other Government employee was involved in processing paperwork related to Mr Parker’s NewRiver appointment.
Express asked the Government for a comment on the cache of emails at the time, and is still awaiting a reply.
A spokesperson did, however, confirm that interviews had now been held to appoint an interim successor.
“Once a decision has been made and the appointment is finalised an announcement will be made. No details will be disclosed about the candidates while the appointment process has still not been completed,” they said.
Pictured top: Outgoing CEO Charlie Parker, who told the Local Government Chronicle that he is on the lookout for new board roles in his retirement, and that he "wish[es] Jersey well in the future."
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