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How well are Jersey's top civil servants being held to account?

How well are Jersey's top civil servants being held to account?

Wednesday 05 April 2023

How well are Jersey's top civil servants being held to account?

Wednesday 05 April 2023

A review of how well the performance of the island's CEO and top civil servants' is being measured and managed has opened.

Launched by the Public Accounts Committee, a group of politicians responsible for scrutinising spending and governance in the civil service, the review will examine the current situation and also aim to establish whether previous recommendations to improve performance management across government have been acted on.

The panel will gather written evidence, as well as holding public hearings and private briefings with key officers, before publishing a report detailing their findings and recommendations.

Their work will aim to build on a report by the previous PAC, who examined the OneGov reforms made under former CEO Charlie Parker and associated new performance management processes.

PAC Chair Deputy Lyndsay Feltham said: "A robust system of performance management is key to holding government accountable and encouraging better performance, streamlining and culture across departments and employees."


Pictured: Deputy Feltham hopes the new review of how senior government officials perform in their roles will encourage better performance across all departments.

It emerged during a PAC hearing in February that CEO Suzanne Wylie was working without any performance targets, one year into the role.

These targets - known as 'key performance indicators' or 'KPIs' - were due to be set by the end of February. The following month, however, the Chief Minister admitted that this deadline had been missed. 

Around two weeks later, Mrs Wylie handed in her resignation notice to the Chief Minister.

The previous government came under strong criticism when Express revealed that Chief Executive Charlie Parker, who led the government from 2018 before being instructed to leave  in 2020, did not have any KPIs eight months into the job. 

The situation was only partially rectified in November 2018 - after a landmark challenge by Express under the Freedom of Information Law revealed that Mr Parker’s contract allowed him to write his own job description. 

That same day, the government announced that Chief Minister John Le Fondré had set seven “strategic objectives” for the CEO, and that a world-leading business psychologist, who Express uncovered that Mr Parker had previously worked with, had been appointed to assess his progress against these.  

Those objectives, which included “deliver One Government” and “lead organisational change”, came under fire for being vague. 

Mr Parker did, however, commit to report back to the States Assembly at six-month intervals on his major restructuring of government, which was blighted by unrest among staff and concerns over the number of highly paid consultants being brought in from the UK.

Ms Wylie was not asked to provide any reports.

The Chief Minister said in a statement that work was underway to "assess the role of the CEO going forward", while Mrs Wylie said in her resignation letter: "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."


FOCUS: How might the role of the next Government CEO change?

Gov CEO still working without agreed job criteria… again

INSIGHT: Unlimited power with limited accountability

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Posted by Aston Francis on
Before we start asking all the right questions above, we should establish the true reasons for the Chief Executive’s abrupt resignation and for the 9-day secrecy around it. Given the two other high profile departures from top of Health in such close timing proximity we should also understand what if any role did Suzanne Wylie pay in their equally abrupt defections and if any NDA/ other payments had been made to the two leaving their posts without serving their contractual notice periods. Whom did Caroline Landon report to? Any NDA signed by Suzanne?
Posted by Lesley Ricketts on
How can the performance of CEO be measured when no KPI’s have been agreed. This is muddying the water to draw attention away from the real problem!
Posted by Tobias Philpott on
There are other questions that should be answered.
1. Why was bullying and harassment in the Government Departments, particularly Health not acknowledged or addressed by the previous CM and Suzanne Wylie? Why did it take an anonymous letter (craftily sent to Ministers and Media so it couldn't be buried and swept under the carpet) to get everyone to sit up and officially take notice?
2. Why is no evidence being provided by "Bullied" Civil servants about their latest allegations against the current Government.

The rot has pervaded all levels and needs to be cut out and the civil service needs to be trimmed drastically. The red tape and beaurocracy they encourage ( to justify there existences) is phenomenal and Suzanne Wylie came from a similar background.

No doubt a lot has gone on behind the scenes but the current Chief Minister must hold firm and tackle the Civil Service vested interests head on
Posted by Martin on
EVEN if a complaint against a Minister is made via the measures in place ( EG Administrative Decisions Jersey Law via The Greffe. ) these are toothless & without actual penalty & as such there is little or NO concern for THE individual when breaching the known rules/oath the Deputies take!!
Posted by Lesley Ricketts on
How can the performance of CEO be measured when no KPI’s have been agreed. This is muddying the water to draw attention away from the real problem!
Posted by Keith Marsh on
Something is wrong with this Government. To have three major Heads of Departments resign almost at the same time, smells of an underlying problem.
Whilst our CEO works out her notice, the Chief Minister and her must have "heart to heart" discussions and the full truth revealed.
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