Friday, May 27, 2011


There are currently 3 senior States employees under suspension and 3 or 4 “on restricted duties” according the CM Senator Le Sueur.

Whether the 3 or 4 keep moving about and so it’s difficult to count them or Le Sueur was never good at maths – was not explained to the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel on Wednesday 25 May. It’s also strange that “suspension” does not attract much discussion these days. Sarah and Jim – the public scrutinizers – did not ask for more precise details but they had a polite wander through the wonderful world of PR and HR where everything is more or less ok and suspended people in general are regularly reviewed and kept busy so as not to waste public money etc etc.

Of course, Le Sueur has that bumbling, homely sort of way of answering questions – from the Harold Wilson School of “leadership” – which means that little or no information is actually divulged but a few public pleasers are dropped into the conversation from time to time. These tend to throw potential interrogators off the scent of any scandal – Harold used to draw a few puffs from his pipe to the same effect.

Today though it was especially “just a game” because “Call me Jim” Perchard was working up to his great, well rehearsed, revelation and after Le Sueur had delivered a verbal assurance about contracts and how recruitment was all about “seeking the right person for the job”- Jim delivered his mighty atom smasher of a bombshell.
Apparently, golden handshakes of £500,000 and £300,000 had just been paid to the departing Chief Officers of the States and Health Department respectively! There was no bang though – just a very slight pause in the proceedings and Le Sueur’s head sank just a few millimetres more into his slumped shoulders whilst he drew upon an imaginary briar.

Jim tried to deliver questions why these golden handshakes had been paid at all if the two officers had “resigned” and were the payments in accordance with their contracts? - but Le Sueur was explaining that their contract terms and conditions reflected particular circumstances at a particular time….

(Had yours truly missed a Jersey tsunami or an outbreak of cholera …It must have been something really important and serious…)

…but Call me Jim’s purpose had been achieved and the accredited JEP reporter had her headline for the next edition and she didn’t have to undertake any research or move from her chair…. and Jim had achieved a gold star in the Parishes  that would shine brightly in October.

Ironically, Le Sueur had previously been warning about not believing everything that appears in the JEP but he didn’t attempt to stop this message from hitting the press.
Sarah looked slightly bemused but remained silent and chewing.

Next to Le Sueur at the interrogation table was John Richardson who had hardly exerted his magnetic personality over the proceedings. In fact he is, like so many of Jersey’s senior officers, from the Invisible Man School of administration and he was sitting taller in his seat now that he was Interim Chief Executive Officer of the States. Presumably he was now even more comfortable upon his own increased package, designed to reflect these particular and extraordinary circumstances – but nobody asked about his revised contract and conditions or if the regular job was already his, “in the bag” or had he even applied for it?

The vacancy for CEO has only been advertised in the JEP because a local 3 years appointee is being sought Le Sueur explained, but he was suitably vague about the terms of the proposed contract. Would it be different from CEO Ogley’s? The answer was lost in the imaginary smoke from the imaginary pipe….what about the new head of Health? That contract will reflect current circumstances …another cholera outbreak must be looming yours truly thought….

How about Deputy Le Herissier’s proposition that all salaries over £100,000 must be agreed by the States? The pipe replied that an answer will be lodged in 2 weeks… and on Zero Ten the Treasury has lodged a proposition but the EU procedures are arcane ( which would be an improvement in Jersey yours truly thought) and it will be December before ECOFIN considers the harmful effects arising from Ozouf’s latest cunning plan….

The EU are so inconsistent in approach Sarah suggested – we are fed up with being bullied….but Le Sueur replied that we are not being bullied, we would protest too if the practices were harmful to Jersey and we must be good European participants although not part of the EU.

Are we in competition with Guernsey and the Isle of Man, what is the meaning of “Tax Neutrality”?  Who pays for our joint Brussels office with Guernsey? What about E- Gaming and the Fulfilment Industry; Freedom of Information Law implementation (don’t hold your breath); the New Strategic Plan; Portelet Planning Permission and what to do about Ministers who defied their Officer’s advice (nothing) and the missing Baroness at the Jersey Development Company aka WEB; reorganisation of Government, the Deputy of St Mary’s proposals and the Ministerial response (no chance)…were also discussed.
Deputy De Sousa arrived shortly before the end of the meeting. Deputy Le Fondre did not

Next the Panel was due to hear the Minister of TTS re CSR stage 2 so yours truly was required to leave for a few minutes. The JEP had its scoop, Jim had his star, Sarah had her moan, Richardson had the top job, and Le Sueur had survived another day. Yours truly – the public – had had enough.
Such is the wonderful world of scrutiny.


  1. I dont buy the jep but is that right that the ceo job is advertised, i need to find it and apply. I will be more than happy to bugger off with five hundred grand if no one likes me but i will do my upmost to serve the majority of the people rather than a certain selection. On that note i dont think i have a hope but you know what, i will apply just to show that someone with decent moral values hasnt got a hope.

  2. The first time I have popped in, shall call back very interesting and well written.