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Changing rules for recruiting new trade commissioners discussed days before John Barilaro left politics

Written by Javed Iqbal

In the days before John Barilaro announced his plans to leave politics, emails showed bureaucrats discussing changing the rules for recruiting new trade commissioners, and then deciding that the U.S. plum role would be handled “as an internal matter.”

The former NSW Deputy Prime Minister was last week named the state’s new senior trade and investment commissioner (STIC) for America, based in New York, a job that comes with a salary package of $ 500,000.

Documents obtained through parliament show that there was an earlier round of recruitment where two candidates were rated very highly but the role was re-announced in December.

Emails in these documents reveal that Investment NSW had identified a preferred candidate in early September and a draft contract was being drafted with a goal that they should start in October.

But on September 21, Investment NSW’s Advocate General wrote to the Director of People and Culture, saying that a question had been raised about the employment of more STIC roles under the Public Sector Employment Act.

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Javed Iqbal

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