Public Sector Minister Susan Close must address a series of unanswered questions about the appointment of Erma Ranieri as the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment.
In May, the State Liberals asked Minister Close in Parliament:
“Can the Minister assure the house that when the current Commissioner for Public Employment concludes his term she will ensure the position advertised and that there is an open and merit-based appointment process for the new position?”(Hansard, 06/05/14)
Minister Close responded:
“I am yet to turn my mind to such an eventuality…” (Hansard, 06/05/14)
However, a whistleblower has informed the State Liberals that on 7 April 2014 Minister Close actually took a submission to Cabinet that she proposed in a future cabinet submission that Ms Ranieri be appointed as Commissioner for Public Sector Employment.
Yesterday in Parliament, Minister Close announced that Ms Ranieri had been appointed as the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment.
Minister Close stated that:
“…the selection of the recommended candidate was determined by the establishment of a subcommittee of the Senior Management Council, chaired by the Chief Executive of the Department of Premier and Cabinet. This subcommittee identified suitable candidates and undertook a due diligence process appropriate for a position of this nature.”
However, the State Liberals have been informed that this hurried internal selection process without public advertisement was only conducted after the State Liberals first asked questions in May.
When asked again on whether she took a submission to Cabinet on 7 April 2014 which indicated that she proposed in a future cabinet submission that Ms Erma Ranieri be appointed as Commissioner for Public Sector Employment, Minister Close simply responded:
“I will not be commenting on cabinet matters.” (Hansard, 01/07/14)
“Minister Close must now explain why one of the most senior positions in Government was not publicly advertised, and why she was indicating she was going to propose Ms Ranieri even before any selection process had been conducted,” said Shadow Minister for the Public Sector Rob Lucas.
“Minister Close must also confirm whether or not she took a submission to Cabinet on 7 April 2014 which indicated that she proposed in a future cabinet submission that Ms Erma Ranieri be appointed as Commissioner for Public Sector Employment.
“If Minister Close did take that submission to Cabinet on 7 April, then she will stand accused of having misled Parliament in her answer on 6 May.”