Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Andrea Hill: A catalyst for a change in the law?

Why pay her another £163,944 – the equivalent of nine months’ pay – when the council was not contractually obliged to. The reason is in the next paragraph: “The Local Authorities (Standing Orders) England Regulations 2001 grant special employment rights to certain officers in local government (the Chief Executive, Monitoring Officer and Chief Financial Officer).

“Following a preliminary investigation, those rules require the appointment of an independent external assessor and a detailed examination of any allegations or proposed disciplinary action.

“The county council may only act in line with a recommendation made by an external assessor. Suffolk County Council estimated that the external procedure in this case could cost well in excess of £250,000.

But it surely raises questions about why council chief executives and other senior executives are so protected in law that it is prohibitively expensive to go through the formal process to examine allegations and if necessary take disciplinary action against them.

If Eric Pickles, the Local Government Secretary, was not looking at repealing this outdated legislation, he should be now. 

My comment: Well spotted by the author of the article. Now we know why councils shy away from sacking CEOs, Monitoring Officers (usually head of legal) and Chief Financial Officers. They are hamstrung by a stupid law in favour of poor performing senior officers. 

Another example of this here  

Read the full story from the source The Telegraph

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