Changing rules for recruitment of new trade commissioners discussed days before John Barilaro quit politics

In the days before John Barilaro announced his plans to leave politics, emails show bureaucrats discussing changing the rules for the recruitment of new trade commissioners, then deciding the plum US role would be handled “as an internal matter”.

The former NSW deputy premier was named last week as the state’s new senior trade and investment commissioner (STIC) to the Americas, to be based in New York, a job which comes with a salary package topping $500,000. 

Documents obtained through parliament show there was a previous round of recruitment, in which two candidates were rated very highly, yet the role was readvertised in December. 

Emails in those documents reveal that in early September, Investment NSW had identified a preferred candidate and a draft contract was being prepared, with a target for them to start in October. 

But on September 21, Investment NSW’s general counsel wrote to the director of people and culture, saying an issue had been raised about the employment of several STIC roles under the government sector employment act.

Posted , updated 

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