Taxpayers pay for botched CTO appointment

Stuff reports:

Dumped chief technology officer candidate Derek Handley has been paid out more than $100,000 in compensation by the Government, Digital Services Minister Megan Woods has confirmed.

Woods said the Government had agreed to pay Handley compensation totalling $107,500 after deciding to put the recruitment process for the country’s first national chief technology officer on hold and “rethinking the role”. 

Woods issued the statement after Handley said the Government had reneged on a commitment to give him the job and paid him three months’ salary, and costs, as compensation.

I feel sorry for Handley. He wanted to do the job as he is passionate about NZ. It isn’t his fault the Minister didn’t define the job well, and botched everything around it.

Handley said he was “offered and accepted” the job – which had been billed as offering a salary of up to $400,000 – a month ago.

“Earlier this week I was deeply disappointed to learn that the Government will no longer follow through with their commitment and will not be making that appointment at this time.” 

So taxpayers are out $108,000 plus the costs of two recruitment rounds, which will be significant.

“What we know is that the CTO role in its current form has significant overlaps with the Research, Science and Innovation portfolio and the Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media portfolio, as well as other roles like the government chief digital officer.”

Yet Cabinet signed it off.

It is worth recalling that the Prime Minister still maintains that she wouldn’t have sacked Curran, if she hadn’t resigned. God knows what you actually have to do to get sacked.