Choosing chiefs: outsourcing big hires keeps the process clean


Police Commissioner Holds Press Conference Over Man Killed After Altercation With Counter Terrorism Officers In Melbourne

Head-hunting firms ensure politically sensitive appointments like a new Victoria Police commissioner appear clean. In other cases, though, succession planning eliminates the need.

Former Victoria Police chief commissioner Ken Lay’s successor will be appointed following an international executive search process, much like the one that preceded his own permanent promotion to the job in 2011.

The simple and by all reports highly successful choice to make Lay’s tenure permanent is unlikely to be repeated this time; acting chief Tim Cartwright has already said he won’t be throwing his hat in the ring. Another local contender named as a front-runner earlier this month, deputy commissioner Lucinda Nolan, has since said she may or may not apply.

The search is being managed by the Department of Premier and Cabinet, which expects to engage an executive search firm by mid February, following the completion of a “targeted competitive process” in which several firms have been invited to submit quotes. A spokesperson from the department told The Mandarin:

“The position will be advertised. The search firm will support the recruitment process by conducting a local, national and international search and making recommendations to an interview panel chaired by the DPC Secretary.

FREE membership to The Mandarin

Receive unlimited access, get all the latest public sector news and features, plus The Juice, our daily news update sent direct to your inbox.

The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.