Mystery reigns over whether Alderney’s top civil servant still intends to remain in office.
by Emma Pinch
Andrew Muter was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the States of Alderney in November 2017 for a five year term of office. Last February the States issued a press release announcing his intention to resign from the post in August – giving the government six months notice to find a replacement.
In March, at the outset of the coronavirus crisis, States of Alderney President William Tate announced on Quay FM that the CEO had been persuaded to retract his resignation. Since then however the mystery has thickened with even States Members in the dark as to whether the head of the island’s civil service, with the worst part of the crisis abated, intends to remain in post.
Over recent months there have been reports that the CEO is unhappy about capacity within the Island’s civil service and the strain it exerts on his office. Policy and Finance Committee chairman James Dent’s response to Alex Snowdon’s question on the matter at this month’s States Meeting failed to throw much light on the situation. Mr Snowdon had asked the chairman to detail the progress being made to source a new CEO for the States of Alderney.
Mr Dent responded by saying that in March the SoA Employment Board had sought advice from law officers and SoG Human Resources. Approaches were subsequently made to two headhunting organisations and to the States of Guernsey to see if they could assist in the interim
‘Preliminary advice was that it was not a good time to try to source a replacement’ said Mr Dent. ‘At the end of March, about the time we were beginning to lockdown, the majority view was therefore that it was best to request our current CEO to stay until the crisis had subsided – we needed continuity. In April we received more positive signals from Guernsey, regarding possible assistance, but nothing definitive.’
AY News contacted both James Dent and Mr Muter for clarification on whether he was resigning the post or staying, given reports that removals have been been carried out at the Clerk’s House.
Mr Dent responded: ‘My statement made in the States concerned the preparations being made when it was believed that the CEO would be resigning in early June. Clearly we needed to be prepared. He has not resigned. Should the situation change the public will be informed.’
In 2014 job advertisements for the post recorded Alderney’s CEO being a Guernsey civil service grade 10 post. The payscale for the post at the time was between £111,139 and £125,307.