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Report of the DPC Inquiry: Appointment of Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner to the Americas

Government accountability Government integrity Political appointments Public service Public servants State governments New South Wales

On 17 June 2022, the appointment of John Barilaro to the role of Senior Trade and Investment Commissioner to the Americas (STIC Americas) was announced by Stuart Ayres, NSW Minister for Enterprise Investment & Trade, Minister for Tourism & Sport, and Minister for Western Sydney.

John Barilaro is a former NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade, portfolios he held at the time he sponsored a Cabinet Submission to change the appointment process for STICs. John Barilaro resigned his portfolios in early October 2021, soon after the decision was made to change the appointment process. He later resigned from NSW Parliament and, as a private citizen, applied for the STIC Americas role. He was successful in the selection process and was offered appointment to the role.

The announcement of John Barilaro’s appointment attracted swift and intense interest in the media. On 23 June 2022, the Parliamentary Accountability Committee of the NSW Legislative Council resolved to establish an inquiry (Public Accountability Committee Inquiry) into the appointment.

On 23 June 2022, the NSW Premier, Dominic Perrottet, announced that there would also be an inquiry conducted into the appointment by the Secretary of the Department of Premier & Cabinet, Michael Coutts-Trotter. This report is the result of that inquiry. Michael Coutts-Trotter determined to appoint, Graeme Head (through EY Port Jackson Partners), to act on his behalf under the arrangements set out above. His decision was to ensure independence, taking account of the fact that DPC may have had some involvement with some aspects of the processes to be examined in an inquiry.

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