THE Chief Minister this morning told Tynwald that it wasn’t ‘relevant’ whether he was in favour of a top island civil servant being seconded to Sark.
Allan Bell was asked by Middle MHK Howard Quayle about the secondment of the chief executive of the Department of Economic Development, Colin Kniveton, to the tiny Channel Island.
Mr Quayle wanted to know whether Mr Bell was aware of it and whether he supported the move ‘in these difficult economic times’.
Mr Bell said he was aware the post had been advertised but he didn’t know that Mr Kniveton had applied for the position until the recruitment and selection process had been completed.
He told members: ‘A decision as to whether to apply for any job, whether permanent or short term, is a matter for the applicant.
‘Civil service regulations allow for short-term absences, such as career breaks, studying, secondment and development opportunities and where such a position has been secured through a personal job application and recruitment process, as in this case.’
He added: ‘Whether or not I am in favour of any chief executive being seconded to any other position is not relevant, if that is the wish of the individual concerned.’
The government’s commitment to economic growth had not been diminished or downgraded because of the secondment, he added.
More on this story in Thursday’s Manx Independent.