Thursday, August 06, 2015

Another appointment from nowhere

Back in June it was reported that former National MP Eric Roy had been appointed to the board of Landcorp. This seemed like another case of cronyism, so I submitted the usual OIA for documents on the appointments process. I got the documents back yesterday, and they're interesting for what they don't show.

Roy's name doesn't appear anywhere in the list of nominations. He doesn't appear on the shortlist. He appears not to have been interviewed. Instead, the first time his name appears in the process is on April 2, a week before an appointment paper is due to go to Cabinet, when a Treasury senior advisor asks one of Todd McClay's staff for Roy's phone number. Around that time they also appear to have spoken to the chair of the Landcorp Board about him. A week later, on April 9, his name is before Cabinet for appointment. And hey presto, he's on the board and being paid $36,000 a year of your money.

In short: when other nominees fell through, McClay appears to have simply shoulder-tapped an old caucus mate for a well-paid sinecure. Its pure cronyism.

The caveat to this is that McClay has been, shall we say, "enthusiastic" with the redactions, deleting vast amounts of material as "not relevant" or on privacy grounds. Its possible that details of Roy's nomination, interview, and shortlisting are among this. They shouldn't be, but its possible. But if that's the case, and everything really is above board but McClay has redacted it, he really has no-one to blame but himself.