CEO of Investment NSW to front hearing into John Barilaro’s US trade job

The CEO of Investment NSW will front a public hearing on Wednesday about the recruitment process for former deputy premier John Barilaro’s new job in the US.

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

A previous round of recruitment identified two highly-rated candidates, and in August last year, internal emails, obtained through parliament, show Investment NSW was almost ready to publicly announce the successful person.

It’s understood this was a senior bureaucrat within Investment NSW, Jenny West.

On August 23, Kylie Bell, the executive director of trade at Investment NSW, asked a colleague “could we get started as well this week on the media release shells for NY, Mumbai and Singapore”.

“I think we are close to be able to announce NY and the others will probably be ready to go sometime in September. Then we are all done.”

A woman looking at the camera
Investment NSW CEO Amy Brown will appear at a hearing next week.(Supplied: Investment NSW )

Emails in early September stated 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 have been asked whether there is an option for ministerial appointments”.

As the ABC reported on Thursday, Investment NSW CEO Amy Brown then wrote to the external recruiter on October 3.

“I appreciate that you’ll keep this confidential, but we’ve now had confirmed instructions to commence the preparation of legislation to convert the global Senior Trade & Investment Commissioners to statutory officers (ie Ministerial appointments),” she said.

“This means that the recruitment process for the STIC positions in Singapore, India/Middle East and China will need to be ceased, 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.”

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