Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Redundacy packages of £300,000 and £500,000 for two senior civil servants

Today a scrutiny panel of the States of Jersey revealed that two departing senior civil servants had received pay-offs of £300,000 and half a million pounds respectively. One of those was Mr Bill Ogley, the former Chief Officer.  Mr Ogley is believed to be leaving the island by the end of the week, in advance of the official date of termination of his contract.

At a time of Austerity, when government cuts will inevitably lead to loss of jobs, be they teachers or gardeners, one cannot but feel a sense of shock that such a large sum of money is paid as a redundancy package to senior civil servants, knowing full well that the teachers and gardeners will only receive enough to see them through a few months of mortgage and bills, before poverty looms. It is this sense of indignation that fuels so much current public disquiet about the conduct of affairs at senior levels of government. There is an immediate sense of injustice that cries out. 

The former Woolworths workers may well ponder why the Council of Ministers was so reluctant to make a one off redundancy payment to them, having failed to bring forward redundancy legislation. Perhaps this underlines the old adage that "its one rule for them and another for us". Inequalities are rife.

At a lunchtime meeting I mentioned these facts to my host. I expected an immediate gasp of incredulity. In fact, he remained totally calm and said to me “Mr Ogley; only five hundred thousand; I would have expected more!”.  It seems that at least one member of the Public is never surprised by the conduct of Jersey government.

The figures were preferred by Senator Jim Perchard whilst cross examining the Chief Minister at a corporate services scrutiny panel quarterly meeting with Senator Terry Le Sueur. That they were not immediately contradicted or challenged by the Chief Minister, suggests that the figures are accurate.

The Jersey Evening Post had sent a reporter to attend the meeting, no doubt in the expectation of some sort of revelatory tit-bit. The reporter was not disappointed - expect front page headlines of indignation.

What is less likely to catch the headlines, but is nevertheless noteworthy, was the aside by the Chief Minister that there might be a “..cessation of a need for a Housing Department.”. These cryptic, yet ominous words were a little revelation in themselves as to the way government leaders are thinking.

It has been remarked that a crisis is too good an opportunity to be missed. In fact the government elite is pursuing an ideological agenda to radically prune, if not abolish, the welfare state, through a process of privatization and increased charges to the consumer. Put simply, patients will be paying for their bandages and the fireman will not turn on his hose until he has taken a credit card. My next blog will examine this change in policy and its implication for islanders.


  1. Is there a video? It does not seem to work.

  2. So who takes over as CEO after Ogley and under what terms and conditions? Has anything changed at the Human Resources department or Employment Board - who has drawn up the job description?

    Is the job only being advertised locally in the JEP this time because Ogley's Dr Mengele-like clone aka John "Personality" Richardson already has the job now that he is officially interim CEO?

    Sounds like the States of J Police all over again - has anybody asked if we actually need a CEO at all? After all, the mistakes are still made whether we have one or not - so why not save some money and instal a coffee machine instead. At least that would be useful and actually produce some revenue rather than spending millions on one fiasco after another.

    The caffeine might stimulate Le Sueur into life too.

  3. Will you shake the tree Mr Le Cornu?
    It's all very well moaning about the failures of the established order but can you really change things and will you work with others? On your own you will need mystical powers - do you have them?

  4. I fully recognise the enormity of the task of democratising, modernising and reforming Jersey government and its relationship with islanders. Concepts such as Human Rights are virtually unknown amongst islanders and politicians (with rare exceptions). Those on the political right regard them as some form of foreign plague imported from EU-land designed to protect criminals from justice.

    The overt hostility or embarrassed silence of the majority of States Members towards the findings of the Carswell Enquiry into the role of the Crown Officers, exposed the difficulties in achieving constitutional reform. The States is ossified. Obstacles are everywhere to exclude democratic participation and leave the exercise of power in the hands of a wealthy few.

    I cannot pretend that as a Deputy I can offer anything other that stiff resistance to the more ideological plans of the political class. Real Change will only come through collective action of an organised opposition, both inside the States and, most importantly, outside. A process of educating civil society must begin and once elected would pledge to undertake that task.

    Most States Members are attracted to the job for reasons of status. This is particularly true of those on the right. In polite and respectable circles it carries some weight. To say that one is inviting one’s Deputy to one’s dinner party may carry some kudos. In spite of all the expressed hostility towards politicians, many ordinary people remain enchanted by power.

    The States is the best gentlemen’s club in Jersey and only those who are alert to this can serve the interest of working people. There are many Deputies who are seduced into conformity and “playing the game” for the sake of a comfortable life. Many have incomes well beyond their education and qualifications would command in the market and consequently they fight hard at election time to preserve their cosy corner for simple materialistic reasons. Few are driven by any broader desires to effect change since there is no mechanism for accountability. Were there political parties, the party machine would ensure candidates had what it required to perform the job. Dissatisfaction by an active membership would remove candidates who forgot those that did the hard work to get them elected.

    If the people want change then it is up to them to act. Events in the Arab world demonstrate it is possible and once the fear is gone there is no turning back. The great danger is that currently elected politicians, the ones who have done so little in the past to effect change, will be returned by virtue of low turnout and a lack of political discernment on the part of those that do vote.

    I have no mystical powers; only an intellect.


  5. To cover the £800,000.00 payoff, how many sales are required to generate that amount of GST ?

    My Maths isn't great but I reckon about £27,467,000.00 !!!!!

    Just under £300 per person in Jersey to get rid of these clowns.

    Start spending your well earned cash people !!!!

    Nice one Terry & Phil.