Back on the payroll

James McLeod
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Government hires retired AG, former Tory candidate for $140K

John Noseworthy — File photo

Former PC party candidate and retired auditor general John Noseworthy is going back to work for the provincial government.

Noseworthy was hired without competition by the Department of Advanced Education and Skills — at a salary of $140,000.

Advanced Education and Skills Minister Joan Burke said the department didn’t advertise the position, and hired Noseworthy outright because they were looking for a very specific set of skills.

“It was a certain skill level that we wanted for this job,” Burke said.

“It’s going to be a job that’s going to entail a lot of work, and despite the fact that he was a candidate, it’s the skills and the expertise that I’m really looking forward to having at that level to help us with our change.”

Noseworthy announced his retirement as auditor general nearly a year before his 10-year term was up.

Shortly after leaving the job, he jumped into politics, running for the PC party in the district of Signal Hill-Quidi Vidi in the Oct. 11 provincial election against NDP Leader Lorraine Michael.

Last week, Finance Minister Tom Marshall quietly tabled documents in the House of Assembly indicating Noseworthy would be hired to do a “Business Development Project” for the Department of Advanced Education and Skills.

“Always interesting when a failed Tory candidate gets a public service job with no competition, you know, only four months after the election,” Liberal MHA Andrew Parsons said. “How can you not question the optics of it?”

Noseworthy declined to speak to The Telegram.

Burke explained she needed someone to help her make the department run efficiently.

Advanced Education and Skills was a marriage of the old Human Resources, Labour nd Employment department, plus the post secondary education portion of the old Education Department.

The new department was created in October as part of the post-election cabinet shuffle.

“Although it’s existing divisions that came together, we’re still a new department, and what we need to do is we need to do a comprehensive transformation plan,” Burke said. “We need to make sure now that as we come together, all the policies, the programs and the services are streamlined so that they can meet the needs of the growing labour market demands.”

At first, Burke said she didn’t think she would need to hire somebody like Noseworthy, but as things went along, it was clear it would be useful to have someone to help smooth out some of the kinks.

“As I started moving though the process of change, I identified that this additional support was something that would be very helpful,” she said. “As I started moving through the change process, this was a skill that I thought would be very helpful — so it wasn’t necessarily the plan from Day 1.”

All of this comes at a time, Parsons said, when the government is looking to find three per cent budget cuts in all departments.

Parsons didn’t question the need for somebody to do the job Noseworthy was hired to do, and he didn’t question Noseworthy’s qualifications.

“No doubt they’ve got a department created that’s a bit topsy-turvey,” he said. “If they’re going to hire someone to do it, go about it with some competition like most people get hired for the public service.”

Parsons said there’s an irony in the current situation, because in his old role as auditor general, Noseworthy was responsible for calling government out for misspending.

“John Noseworthy, if he was still the auditor general and this was going on, he would be out speaking out about it,” Parsons said. Twitter: TelegramJames

Organizations: Tory, Department of Advanced Education and Skills, Human Resources

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Recent comments

  • francis
    March 13, 2012 - 10:33

    bet Mr. Noseworthy is glad that neither I nor hardly anyone else in our riding voted for him last in October's Prov. elections.. Now he gets to take home a bigger salary while under the radar.. May I suggest a new course at MUN- "milking the public trough for a lifetime of over compensation"....

  • Terry
    March 12, 2012 - 14:21

    Burke and Dunderdale think they are superior to everyone else! To bad they are so self absorbed!!

  • E. Frank Hiscock
    March 12, 2012 - 11:36

    Did Mr Noseworthy not save the privince millions by exposing the "Honerable crooks" that were in governemant. Please give this honest gentleman a beak.. Or better still. Give him a medal

  • Bill
    March 12, 2012 - 10:56

    Burke is supposed to be the one to make this Department work. Her incompetence is really showing as she did not even consider what qualities or background would be necessary. Surely there must already be top line civil servants who could offer the Minister advice. However, she wants a political hack to do the work, then she can wash her hands of it once the realities come to the forefront.

  • Concern Citizen
    March 12, 2012 - 10:52

    Nice budget saver there for DUMMY DUNDERDALE. Very nice example of cost cutting................NOT!!!!!! And another good example is hiring someone with no interview because of his EXCEPTIONAL SKILLS. I wonder how many people from this province that had EXCEPTIONAL SKILLS had to leave this place. They definately didn't get the job as easy as Noseworthy. I guess FRIENDS in LOW PLACES can get CERTAIN PEPLE any job they want.........and they can still collect their pension on top of it. The entire government is a joke to the province and we are made out to be the JOKE TO THIS COUNTRY with the idiot's that call themselves MINISTERS and hahahahahaha a premier. Now that is a joke for sure

  • Townie
    March 12, 2012 - 10:49

    Could anyone tell me why we are paying a Deputy Minister, several Asst. Deputy Ministers and countless managers to run this Department? And they say Conversatives are the business party, don't make me laugh! Which of the failed Conservative candidates are going to be hired to organize the other Departments?

  • Disgrace
    March 12, 2012 - 10:38

    I personall think it time to bring in new laws to make this a serious offence. This double dipping of tax payer dollars by corrupt politicians has to stop. They line their own pockets with our money. The John Dinns, Kathy Dunderdales and their buddies. They set themselves up for life on the backs of citizens and the poor. Then walk around like some rich folks, heads high in the air after robbing the public. It's nothing short of criminal in my view. They should be thrown out or hauled up on corruption charges, thrown in jail. When will the citizens hete take back our democracy and stop this pork barrelling that has gone on so long now, seems mainstream practice which attracks the thieves to politics. Any real politicians would stop this by bringing in a legislative bill. But then are there any left that are truly honest. We made a mistake voting Dunderdale in. She's not up to the job nor has the level of education needed. She's getting rid of women's jobs now in government while encouraging them to go into the blue collar male trades Right.

  • justine
    March 12, 2012 - 10:36

    James McLeod bragged all weekend on twitter he had this big story....140,000 is peanuts compared to what nalcor is paying its top anti-climatic.......what is the stranger is the question of why the man ran in the election? he would have gotten this position regardless.

  • Emma
    March 12, 2012 - 10:25

    Thats not a hugh salary in this day. He will know how to save much more elsewhere.

  • A pit bull in the House
    March 12, 2012 - 10:02

    A pit bull in the House and a new lap dog for the office. He must have been a gift for shutting out ordinary people who happen to be sick or poor or old or young or not to her liking in some other way.

  • Gerry
    March 12, 2012 - 09:49

    Wow--amazing that we have only one person capable of doing this job!!! What an insult to the rest of the people of Newdoundland and Labrador. This is only the beginning of this government--they are making Harper look good.

    • Terry
      March 12, 2012 - 14:10

      I AGREE..... What an insult to the rest of us looking for a $140 000 year salary! This government proclaims it wants it's people to stay here. Really, that's how they tell us. By giving a failed tory canadiate a job that lots of us were qualified for! This minister made a mess of the MUN presidential search a few years back. Why isn't she capable of doing the job herself with the deputy and asst. deputy ministers and other managers and staff she has!! Burke is arrogant, righteous, dishonest, bossy and mostly INCOMPETENT!!

  • anne
    March 12, 2012 - 09:05

    $140 thousand dollar position for an x-retiree while Dunderdale stands up proudly and talks about cutbacks; average salary of $35,000 you could hire 4 or 5 people who can actually do the job, not someone whose gonna paper-write why it can't be done!

  • Marg
    March 12, 2012 - 09:03

    This is absolutely outrageous and sickening. Where are they coming up with this huge amount of money just after announcing "necessary" cutbacks? As if that isn't bad enough, they didn't even post the position. Are they for real? Have they no conscience or shame? For heaven's sake, if you can come up with extra money, put it into the Health Care System. Lack of equpment and staff are "killing" people because of long wait lists. I am a severe diabetic and cannot afford my strips and insulin most times. I am making "a little too much" for assistance. Gosh, I'm furious. They darn well don't have to worry about their health care or retirement. This is taxpayers' money; OUR money. The common ordinary struggling citizen stolen from again, as usual. We are their Employer. Certainly wouldn't say it.

    • jim
      March 12, 2012 - 10:17

      Welcome back John. Have you stopped your pension or are you collecting another 80,000 on top of your new contract. There is no reason to hide from the media, there was a time when you loved the microphone.

  • Harvey
    March 12, 2012 - 08:52

    This is absurd!!! Premier D talking about cutting costs one day, then giving an unnecessary position for $140,000 the next. That's so typical of over-bearing majority governments. And Burke says she did not advertise for the position because of John's superior skills...HA HA HA HA!! No one else in NL like dear John!!! HO HO HO HO!!!

  • Eli
    March 12, 2012 - 08:46

    Any damn fool had to know Noseworthy was enticed into the election by Dunderhead to get clear of Lorraine Michael. This pork barrel plum was arranged back then just in case "the piece" didn't work out. Just when you think a person has some class along comes something like this. Shame.

  • Too Funny
    March 12, 2012 - 08:42

    It wasn't that long ago he would sit for the cameras and, with his look of arrogance, criticize the government for all it's wrong doings. Now, here he is, happily participating in doing the same wrong stuff he use to proudly criticize.

  • Paying for Nova Scotia
    March 12, 2012 - 08:39

    I guess Mr. Noseworthy is not affected by Kathy's 3 percent cut backs. I would also appreciate a job with no competition. Why thank you Mrs. Dunderdale. Not!!!!

  • David Wilson
    March 12, 2012 - 08:37

    $140,000 is a cheap price to pay to streamline two combined government departments. If anybody can find the redundancies John Noseworthy will do it in spades. He will save the government ten times his salary in recommendations to combine job duties and cut back on some civil servants. This new department will have no trouble finding a 3 to 6% savings in their operating budget.

    • Eli
      March 12, 2012 - 09:06

      I question what planet the writer is on. I also question the need for another "Ministry". First is was Danny, now Dunderdale, shuffling Burke around from one incompency to another.

  • james barrett
    March 12, 2012 - 08:23

    Here we go again, the buddy buddy system @ work all over again shame on u,.,.,.

  • Hardworkingsinglemom
    March 12, 2012 - 08:08

    This makes me sick. Is this Dunderdale's way of cutting back? Seriously, I work with government and I have to work 2 jobs just to keep up and they are hiring this guy for $140,000???? What a smack in the face!!

  • james
    March 12, 2012 - 08:05

    can't wait to hear from mp simms. OOPS i forgot he may be on board that helicopter at our expense. ITS HARPERS FAULT !

  • Absolute
    March 12, 2012 - 07:58

    John Noseworthy has served this province well, in a couple of instances. But, this 'out of hand' competitive search is an abomination on fairness and competative hiring....a 'buddy thing'. This leaves Dunderdale is hiring to fill incompetency holes in her team of 'insecurity'. It's all the electorate's problem/fault of course...during election the eyes glaze over with songs and promises from candidates, instead of having hard, well researched expertise...or, at least some global scan of who, reaslly, these people are whom we elect. John, are you worth a $140, 000/year, perhaps you are, from some Mega company....from government, I'm not sure; already, supposedly full of credentialled to speak. WHO DOES THE HIRING IN THERE THESE DAYS! Hiring like this must have a demoralizing effect on the the government's already hired Top Guns...who must be feeling just like 'toy pistols' today! Why were they hired...t fill out paychecks? And, Dundale is behaving as if we are in a recession...NO SIGNS OF A RECESSION FROM THE TOP IN THIS PROVINCE. Oooops! We elected Dunderdale...I apologize, and promise to do better the next time. JOHN NOSEWORTHY FOR PREMIER...HIP, HIP, HIP ???.

  • jim
    March 12, 2012 - 07:57

    There is no such thing as the word HONESTY in government. Maybe PATRONAGE is more appropriate. Guess where they are going to find the money to pay this blood sucker? I am guessing the most vulnerable people, the poor. I guess you can call him a greedy robbing hood. (The reversal of robin hood who robbed the rich to help the poor.) Watch out public servants. A few of your jobs will be gone for to pay this double-dipper.

  • Blaine
    March 12, 2012 - 07:52

    Again, no opposition party, we have no one to blame but ourselves for giving the PC government a majority! It is obvious that when governments are a majority, the tax-payers purse strings are opened to loyal party members. This does not surprise me one bit.

  • Really??
    March 12, 2012 - 07:51

    Wow. $140 k....That's 2 nurses lost through attrition.Noseworthy has made enough already. Can he save your life?? Shameful!!

  • DON
    March 12, 2012 - 07:31

    OINK OINK Feeding at the public trough. Our trough. Fools we all are . Throw them out next time fools.

  • sammyh
    March 12, 2012 - 07:29

    more of the same old pork barrelling that is common in political circles.least they could have done was post the end of the day i am sure nothing would have changed however it would not have looked so bad.that coupled with the Friday afternoon press release makes it so blatently bold. In my opinion when Noseworthy got pounded in the fall election the PC party was done a favour and he should have been left to fade into the sunset. UNLESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Brian
    March 12, 2012 - 07:01

    What a joke!!!! With all the money wasted trying to create jobs 20 million, see CBC web site, trying to find 3% saving?? who is in charge, i guess no one!!!!!!!!!!

    • wayne badcock
      March 12, 2012 - 09:51

      What is wrong with you people - do you really expect any better from the present government under kathy dunderdale - you will just have to wait it out until she finishes the job as chretien did - exactly the same way - be patient.....

  • HarbourMaster
    March 12, 2012 - 06:56

    Well it looks like Ms. Dunderdale and Ms. Burke have once again demonstrated their inability to run this province. All last week Dunderdale was in the House of Asssembly talking about how we have fallen upon hard times and will have to reduce our budget by 3%. Meaning we will have to lay off contract employees. Well ladies by hiring Noseworth for $140,000 you will have to lay off three more hard working people who need their salaries to help support their families. But as Ms. Burke says we need his skills. Well what are these skills? He knows nothing about education or the work force and where we are lacking in skills. We have hundreds of people already in her department that are more than capable of filling this role. Although we do have an accountant who is getting over $100,000 pension who is used to adding up expenses that cover off meals, flights and per diems. We also have yet another double dipper sucking from the provincial budget (I thought they introduced a law against this). And we have a pork barreller who ran and lost for the PCs in the last election! Both of you should do the province and immense favour first fire this man before he starts and second both of you should resign so we can get this province back on a solid footing.

  • Randy
    March 12, 2012 - 06:42

    $140,000? How many people will Dunderdale lay off to pay for this fella's turn at the public trough?

  • HarbourMaster
    March 12, 2012 - 06:33

    Once again Ms. Dunderdale and Joan Burke show they have no idea how to run a province or a department. This appointment is pure pork barrelling. Noseworthy ran and lost to LoraineeMichael in the last election . His pesnion is over $100,000 now add $140,000 to this bringing his pickens from the provincial coffers to $250,000. Why wouldn't he retire if he new he was going to get a raise. I thought there was a law against double dipping. According to Ms. Dunderdale we are in dire shape and have too many contract employees yet she finds another $140,000. To compensate she will have to lay off three contract employees who need the money to pay for food, heat and lodging ... three families will suffer. This man is an accountant not an educator he knows nothing about the education department and how to identify what skills are required in what particular jobe areas. Once again Denderdale / Burke you demonstrate that you and your government do not know how to run a province. Why don't both of you do this province an emense service and resign so we can get this province back on a solid footing.

    • Terry
      March 12, 2012 - 14:13

      Amen to that.....