The Premier of NSW has launched his own review of the process which led former Deputy Premier John Barilaro being appointed to a coveted taxpayer-funded position in New York City.
Dominic Perrottet says the results of his own review, which will be conducted alongside an upper house inquiry, will be made public.
“I have asked the Secretary to the Prime Minister and Cabinet Office (Michael Coutts-Trotter) to conduct a review,” the prime minister told reporters on Thursday.
“He will provide me with this report.
“I will review it and make it public.”
The government announced Friday that Mr. Barilaro had been named senior state trade and investment commissioner for the Americas, a role the former Nationals leader created when he was commerce minister.
Prime Minister and Investment Minister Stuart Ayres insisted on Wednesday the appointment had been made through an “independent process”.
Both have named Amy Brown, the former secretary to the Prime Minister’s Department and now CEO of Investment NSW, as the ultimate decision maker.
Mrs Brown reported to Mr. Barilaro when he was minister responsible for the Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade.
The Prime Minister said the initial recruitment phase was derailed when Ms Brown said no candidate had been found.
A second nomination process then began, which resulted in Ms. Brown choosing Mr. Barilaro for the role, Mr. Perrottet said.
Mr Ayres said during Question Time on Wednesday that the role had been announced publicly and Mr. Barilaro applied as a private citizen.
“His candidacy was not solicited by me as minister or by Investment NSW,” Mr Ayres said.
He informed the Premier and Deputy Premier Paul Toole of the Secretary’s recommendation to hire Mr. Barilaro April 30.
Mr Ayres said he had no involvement in Mr Barilaro’s appointment because it came after an “independent, open and merit-based recruitment process” which recommended a “qualified and appropriate”.
“I reject in the strongest terms that the appointment of Mr. Barilaroas quoted in some media, was a “captain’s choice” or a unilateral decision by me or any other minister. »
He said the decision was not necessary to go to Cabinet.
Penny Sharpe, leader of the Labor upper house, said Mr Perrottet and Mr Ayres had recommended approval and bypassed the cabinet to avoid comments from their cabinet colleagues.
A motion was passed by the upper house on Wednesday temporarily blocking Mr. Barilaro to take the role until a parliamentary inquiry looks into the process.
Documents reveal that four people were considered for the New York-based position during the recruitment process, and two were shortlisted.
One candidate, Jenny West, was told in August by then prime minister Gladys Berejiklian that she had the job, The Guardian reported.
She was later told the offer had been rescinded and she had received a substantial settlement, he added.
M Barilaro resigned from parliament the following month.
Mr Perrottet disputed claims that Ms West had been offered the role, but said he would ‘clarify that’.
He denied that Mr Barilaro’s appointment was “a captain’s choice”.
“These were public service decisions made through an independent process.”
The prime minister told TSWT radio on Wednesday that he would take action if there were “no good reasons” behind the decision to appoint Mr. Barilaro.