P&R pledges full co-operation with Education recruitment review while suggesting it is broadened to other senior appointments

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POLICY & RESOURCES has pledged that it and civil servants will co-operate with any review of the controversial head of curriculum and standards recruitment process.

Gavin St Pier has offered reassurances to Scrutiny that it and States staff will fully co-operate with any review of the appointment of the head of curriculum and standards. (25509005)

It now means that all the key parties have said they will be willing to help an investigation into why a local candidate who had accepted withdrew and Education's preferred pick ended up with the job instead.

Scrutiny has said it wants to have an independent review of what happened, but only if it was guaranteed full co-operation and access to things like board meeting minutes and relevant emails.

P&R discussed the matter yesterday, but sounded warnings about the publication of sensitive material a swell as suggested an investigation could be broadened into other senior officer recruitment in Education.

It said that for the avoidance of doubt, its full cooperation would include the provision of all relevant and un-redacted material; its members own knowledge and recollections of events as witness testimony; and as required written statements and supporting material from officers of the States of Guernsey.

'The committee will also make arrangements to release the material thus far collated by the examination of facts it had instigated and will now cease further work in this regard in light of your committee’s response to this matter,' said P&R president Gavin St Pier in a letter to Scrutiny chairman Chris Green.

'To facilitate its presentation, and given the personal and sensitive nature of this material and further evidence you will secure, the committee would welcome early guidance on the approach that will be adopted with regards to handling the inquiry, the material submitted to it, and the publication of its findings. As you are aware this is now a challenging area of balance to be struck by government having regard in particular to GDPR and the Access to Public Information Code of Practice.

The Policy & Resources Committee recognises that the terms of reference for any review or inquiry established by the Scrutiny Management Committee are rightly a matter for it alone, he said.

'However, the committee thought it useful to suggest that, if practicable, it may make sense for any work you undertake to dovetail or feed into the programme of governance reviews already in train; or it may be worth taking the opportunity to review more generally the senior officer recruitment processes operated for and with the Office of the Committee for Education, Sport & Culture.'


Separately to the letter, a P&R spokesman said that it was premature to draw any conclusions on the head of curriculum and standards recruitment process.

'At this stage, there is no independent account of the events surrounding the appointment and the Policy & Resources Committee would strongly urge all interested parties against drawing conclusions based only on comments and claims made through the media.

'Any judgements should be reserved until the Scrutiny-led review has reached its conclusions and made recommendations.'

Nick Mann

By Nick Mann

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