It’s a prudent question, given that the States of Guernsey told the public to expect six months of an interim States CEO after the sudden dismissal of Paul Whitfield.
That six-month timeframe expired today. On 9 September 2021 the Policy and Resources Committee said Mark de Garis would “continue to act in an Interim Chief Executive role” and he would do so for six months.
The Committee said it would then advertise for the position. This six-month period was chosen to allow P&R to “determine the detail of what is required from the role having regard to the current challenges faced in the public sector and the island”.
We’ve now been told an update will be coming in the “forthcoming days”.
Mr De Garis stepped up to the role after Mr Whitfield was suddenly dismissed in August last year. The reason for Mr Whitfield’s departure has been elusive, as has the cost of removing and replacing him.
"The Committee recognised the need for a change in senior leadership and have taken action to bring this about," said the president of P&R, Deputy Peter Ferbrache, at the time.
Pictured: It’s not known how much longer Mr De Garis will remain the States’ CEO.
The States refused to answer questions following dismissal, including the reasons behind his removal, the costs of recruiting a replacement and the pay-off to Guernsey's highest paid public servant, who was on a £180,000 salary.
Furthermore, Express received no answer when questioning if Mr De Garis would have his own £150k+ salary topped up to Mr Whitfield’s.
Six months down the line and Express has asked P&R what is happening next: When will the States of Guernsey be advertising for a permanent CEO? Will Mark de Garis remain as interim throughout the recruitment process? How long will the recruitment process take/ when can we expect a new CEO to be installed?
In reply, P&R said: “Thank you for your enquiry regarding the recruitment of a Chief Executive. The Policy & Resources Committee will be providing an update on this matter in the forthcoming days, firstly to the organisation and fellow members of the Assembly, then to the wider community and other stakeholders.”
Pictured: Mr Whitfield led Guernsey’s public service through the first 18 months of the pandemic.
In a recent update from Deputy Ferbrache - during an interview with Express – he said Mr De Garis could put himself forward for any role advertised by the States of Guernsey.
“In a few months time – March/April time – we will be advertising for a permanent CEO,” said Deputy Ferbrache during an Express podcast on 14 January.
“Mark may well apply – we will extend our net far and wide and we will appoint the relevant person for that job,” he said.
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