CM Quizzed Over States CEO

The Chief Minister says it could take up to a year to recruit a permanent States Chief Executive.

Deputy Kristina Moore has given an update following the shock resignation last month of top civil servant Suzanne Wylie.

An interim States CEO will be recruited before she leaves, and the role is likely to be reshaped.

Deputy Kristina Moore has told colleagues an interim should be in place in June to allow a month's handover before Ms Wylie's departure.

"I am pleased to say that there have been expressions of interest in the role of Interim from talented local people and I hope that others, who are considering how they can contribute to the public life of the Island, will put themselves forward for consideration whether they be from the public or private sectors."

She said a permanent appointment will take longer:

"At this stage it is difficult to say much more about the process or timeline, however it is likely to take between 6 and 12 months before a permanent Chief Executive is in place. This allows for time if required for any candidate to serve any notice period in their current role."

In a lengthy address to the Assembly, Deputy Moore concentrated on the future shape of the CEO role, and 'any high-level changes required within the organisation'.

"Recent events create the right moment to reshape this key role, to create the right conditions for serving the Government and, in turn, the whole of the Island. It is my ambition that by getting the next sequence of actions right a successful structure will emerge that will be both effective and enduring for the Island.

What is important now is how we take the Island forward and attract the best candidates who can work with us and make a long-term commitment to Jersey and our mission of creating a community where everyone can thrive."

This was the first States sitting since Ms Wylie's decision to leave office was publicly announced.

Despite her desire to focus on what is ahead, the CM faced 30 minutes of questions - largely examining how news of the departure was handled.

Deputy Moore has previously apologised for unclear comments, while facing accusations from her own Infrastructure Minister Deputy Tom Binet that the government was being 'disingenuous' in its response to the resignation and claims of a 'toxic culture' in Broad Street.

In one exchange, Deputy Lyndon Farnham asked:

"Does the Chief Minister consider that any aspect of her own conduct contributed to the resignation of the Chief Executive?

"Sir, no I do not. The Chief Executive has given her reasons for her resignation in her letter, which has been shared publicly."

In which case Sir, would she consider that any of the conduct of her ministers or assistant ministers might have contributed to the resignation of the Chief Executive?"

"Sir, the answer would be exactly the same. No"

Deputy Moore also refuted calls for an independent investigation, saying there is 'no need' for one.

 

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