- A parliamentary inquiry found that the appointment of NSW Deputy Prime Minister John Barillaro to the US trade post was “a job for boys.”
- The chairman of the committee said the hiring process was flawed and not being implemented at a distance from executives.
- Barillaro’s appointment became an ongoing scandal for the government, and he abandoned the job before taking the post.
Former New South Wales Deputy Prime Minister John Barillaro’s appointment to a US trade-related job has been described as a ‘disappointing story’ with all the hallmarks of ‘work for boys’. revealed in a congressional inquiry.
Kate Furman, Rep. Greens and chairman of the committee, wrote, “The appointment of Mr. Barillaro to (the Senior Trade and Investment Committee) in the Americas is all the trademark of Work for Boys.” rice field.
“All this sorry talk has shaken the public’s trust in the integrity of civil service recruitment,” she said.
After months of investigation and more than a dozen public hearings, the Labor- and Greens-led committee found the hiring process to be flawed, distancing and poorly enforced.
“Despite senior civil servants and ministers ensuring that the appointment process was conducted by the public service under a merit-based process, the process was flawed and officials failed to distance themselves from the process. It is clear.”
Former trade secretary Stuart Ayers did not keep his distance during the recruitment and misled the public when he appeared at the inquiry, she said.
Furman said it will be up to the legislative assembly to determine whether Ayers has deceived Congress.
The decision to change the hiring process from departmental decisions to ministerial appointments was also made hastily, causing confusion within the department.
That decision, made by Mr. Barillaro, created a vacancy for a position in New York City, which he later applied for.
Prime Minister Dominic Perrotet said the report was politically motivated and an independent investigation led by Bruce McClintock, a former inspector to the Independent Commission Against Corruption, found Ayers out of legal misconduct. He said he was released.
“We will hear from independent ex-inspectors of the ICAC, not Labor or the Greens,” he told reporters.
Barillaro’s appointment became an ongoing scandal for the government, and he abandoned the job before taking the post.
He denied wrongdoing and said an investigation last year confirmed it with evidence from other witnesses.
“There is no evidence at this hearing that I sought, sought or pressured any public official in any way. Nothing. Zero,” he said.
“You’ve heard from apolitical officials who said I was a competent and credible candidate and that I would do the job well.”
A separate government-led inquiry into the appointment led to Ayers resigning as trade minister and Liberal Party deputy leader over concerns that he had violated the minister’s code of conduct.
He was later cleared of legal wrongdoing.
Jenny West, one of the candidates for the New York office, said her job offer was canceled after she received a briefing note signed by former prime minister Gladys Berejiklian guaranteeing her position.
Amy Brown, chief executive of Investment NSW, told her the job would be “a gift for someone”.
Brown countered the allegations, saying the offer was withdrawn after West lost contact with the government.
Among dissent, government Rep. Wes Fang, Scott Farlow, and Peter Poulos called the report partisan and a “politically motivated hit job heading into the election.”
They cited evidence from hiring committee members who claimed the selection process was competitive.
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/a-job-for-the-boys-john-barilaros-us-trade-job-has-shaken-public-confidence-inquiry-says/a1voswbsg John Barillaro’s U.S. trade job shook public confidence, study says