Investment NSW to hold hearing on Barilaro’s US job

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Investment NSW to hold hearing on Barilaro’s US job

The CEO of Investment NSW will hold a public hearing on Wednesday about the recruitment process for former deputy prime minister John Barilaro's new job in the US.

Barilaro was named the state senior trade commissioner to the Americas last week, based in New York, with a salary package topping $500,000.

In August of last year, internal emails obtained through Parliament show that Investment NSW was almost ready to publicly announce the successful person, which was a result of a previous round of recruitment.

It's been said that this was a senior bureaucrat at Investment NSW, Jenny West.

On August 23, Kylie Bell, executive director of trade at Investment NSW, asked a colleague to get started this week on the media release shells for NY, Mumbai and Singapore. I think we are close to being able to announce NY and the others will probably be ready to go sometime in September. We are done when we are all done. Emails in early September indicated that a contract for the US role was being prepared.

But three weeks later, the agency's general counsel Chris Carr was investigating other methods of employment, emailing we were asked whether there was an option for ministerial appointments. As the ABC reported on Thursday, Investment NSW CEO Amy Brown wrote to the external recruiter on October 3.

I appreciate you'll keep this confidential, but we've now had confirmed instructions to begin the preparation of legislation to convert the Global Senior Trade Investment Commissioners to statutory officers, i.e ministerial appointments, she said.

This means that the recruitment process for the STIC positions in Singapore, India Middle East and China has to be stopped, and all candidates informed that we're not going any further with the process.

We will be handling the STIC New York position as an internal matter. Barilaro announced his resignation from politics the next day.

The process of recruitment and appointment will be investigated by a parliamentary inquiry.

On Wednesday, it will hold a two-hour public hearing with only one witness, Ms Brown.

The NSW Opposition Leader Chris Minns said that Barilaro, who announced the creation of the commissioners when he was the trade minister, ended up with the job.

He said that this has gone from farce to farce, the original explanations provided to the public in the first few days have proven to be wrong or wildly off the mark.

We need to understand how Mr Barilaro was appointed to this position.

This is not the gift of the NSW government, these are taxpayer funds that are going towards Mr Barilaro to take up a position in New York City. The ABC put detailed questions to Investment NSW about who made the request for the roles to be transitioned to ministerial appointments and why.

A spokesman said they could not comment due to another review conducted by the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Premier Dominic Perrottet has repeatedly defended the appointment of Mr Barilaro to the role, saying that it was a public service appointment that did not require the approval of any ministers.

He announced on Thursday that his department would conduct a review that he would make public.