Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Welsh Assembly Government: Money for old rope

Couldn't help but post on news that has proved me, and many others right when posting back in October 2008.

The new civil service layer of Director General civil servants have now been appointed in the Welsh Assembly Government. As previously mentioned, this is part of the new Permanent Secretary's [Gillian Morgan] managment structure, which does have some merits and has seen some backing of those higher up and lower down in the Cathays Park food chain.

But of these new posts that bring an ample award of around £130,000 a year, three have rather strangely (hint of sarcasm identified) gone to internal candidates, some of who it has to be said are not exactly showered in management praise and glory. For some unknown reason a £55,000 + recruitment exercise has ended up employing three people already employed internally at the next grade down in the senior civil service [Head of Department].

One appointment does disturb me slightly.

Civil Servants are not perfect, but to appoint a man who has masterminded and single-handedly steered the staff of the Welsh Assembly Government towards a largely disappointing performance management system; the ASPB merger which led to unequal status among civil servants of the same grade; not to mention equal opportunities and other fiascos (take your pick), is largely a disgraceful act.

It is generally agreed among staff that Human Resources policy has been a disaster and particularly since 2006 - in short, a disaster since appointment. If this was a newspaper headline it would read, "Overall Head of Recruitment Gets Recruited". Surprise!

If it wasn't for my planned family holiday, this unwelcome news of neo-nepotism would have me sick to my Welsh core.

The Welsh Assembly Government has announced the appointment of new Director Generals and a Non Executive Director to its new senior management board - known as the Strategic Delivery and Performance Board.

Clive Bates (aged 47) is currently Head of the United Nations Environment Programme in Sudan and has been appointed Director General for Sustainable Futures.

Christine Daws is being promoted from her current post as Director of Finance to the Welsh Assembly Government to the new Finance Director General position.

Emyr Roberts will take up the post of Director General for Public Services and Local Government Delivery. He is currently Director of the Department for Social Justice and Local Government and has extensive experience which includes a period as Chief Executive of the Welsh European Funding Office.

Bernard Galton has been appointed as Director General for People, Places and Corporate Services following five years as Director of HR at the Welsh Assembly Government and a long career as an HR professional, primarily within the Ministry of Defence.

James Turner will replace Sir Adrian Webb as a Non Executive Director. Mr Turner has had an international business career and joined the Welsh Development Agency in the mid 1990’s as International Managing Director. Ten years ago, he established his own consultancy business undertaking board-level interim assignments and in this capacity was interim Chief Executive at the Arts Council of Wales during 2007. An experienced Non Executive Director, James Turner has served on the boards of a number of private companies and public sector organisations.

The appointments follow a tough recruitment process involving external assessors and complete the new, smaller and more focused Strategic Delivery and Performance Board which Permanent Secretary Dame Gillian Morgan announced in October 2008.

Gill Morgan said:
I’m really pleased to have completed recruitment to this new, smaller Board with the appointment of very high calibre people. I believe a smaller senior team will help us reduce complexity in the organisation and make it easier for us to join up across portfolios. Now more than ever we need to be able to support Ministers in tackling the things that make the most difference to the people of Wales.

First Minister Rhodri Morgan said:
My warmest congratulations to Emyr and Bernard. Their appointments complete a line-up of strong management serving the Welsh Assembly Government through the challenging times we face.

The new Board will be in place by the beginning of April. Chaired by the Permanent Secretary, the Board will include six Director Generals (DGs), together with the Chief Executive of the NHS.

The changes will be accomplished within existing resources and there will be no additional cost to the organisation's running cost budget.


OFM 11 February 2009 at 14:00  

Convenient promtion has been like a disease in the Assembly since inception.

The Office of the First Minister was turned into the Department of the First Minister a while ago and its head promoted. Wait for it... doing the same job, same responsibilities, same role.

Anonymous 11 February 2009 at 14:00  

Stop being so negative Miss Wagstaff

Rachel 11 February 2009 at 14:01  

Travelling expenses are also running high. No wonder when some Wales based civil servants live in England.

Richard Evans 11 February 2009 at 14:09  

Seems that I was also correct when I uttered the words:

We are told that this is going to be cost neutral.

Does this mean that those that are already working there will fit into these roles? Perhaps those due to retirement and taking a huge incremented salary while in post will be asked to retire early to compensate for the difference in taking on new senior staff i.e. a senior civil servant for years will be on the highest pay level, a newly promoted one will be at the bottom of the scale. Therefore a few lifers will be retiring in order to make way for the chosen to be promoted internally to the next grade.

Sounds like a number of people will be getting promotion for Christmas.

Anonymous 11 February 2009 at 18:26  

The fundamental idea behind the easy promotions was to retain certain senior staff that would've moved on as there was nowhere for them to move on up to in the Assembly. Gillian Morgan taking the Permanent Secretary's role confirmed this as she was an outsider and a woman. Those internal members of staff had to accept that they weren't going to get the top job in the next several years and would end up looking further afield if this opportunity hadn't arisen. One of the chosen had looked into moving to the new MOD Academy in the Vale in due course.

Suze 12 February 2009 at 08:25  

Good to see you back to your old self Pippa. Try and post once a week while you're on a break.

Anonymous 12 February 2009 at 08:40  

WAG appointments have become a joke in recent years. The man who ran the disaster that is WEFO has also been promoted. You've only got to read newspaper articles on WEFO and European funding to come to this safe conclusion.

Anonymous 12 February 2009 at 08:44  

Is it true that the HR bod Bernard Galton lives in Bath? Bet he works from home when it suits ;)

Welsh correspondent from 'DC' 15 February 2009 at 22:44  

Call me puzzled correspondent from 'DC' (since I live across the Potomac from DC), but if Wales has such a "line-up of strong management" - then how come the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) remains clueless about solving the below average GVA economy that swirls inside Wales? Why is the WAG unable to harness the world-class IP coming out of Cardiff and Swansea universities? MIT in Boston has fewer postgrads than Swansea and Cardiff combined, yet: “MIT students, alumni and faculty have founded more than 5,000 companies, and about 150 new MIT-related companies are founded each year. These companies account for employment of more than 1.1 million people and annual sales of more than £200bn.” (Professor Dylan Jones-Evans, Jan 31, Western Mail).

MIT manages to publish in academic journals AND get over 3,000 US issued patents. Meanwhile Cardiff and Swansea have how many issued US patents? Answer: a LOT less/fewer than a university in the former third world state of Singapore.

Wales is bleeding job creation c/o mismanagement at the WAG. The damage to the economic fabric of Wales is MEGA-HUGE and ON-GOING.

JC 10 November 2009 at 20:06  

I worked for Bernard Galton in the MoD & he is a typical careerist civil servant....nuff said?

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