Lesley du Toit could be the deputy minister of children and family development a year longer than the government initially intended, Public Eye has learned. When she was first named to that post, her April 16, 2006 letter of appointment stated the South African would serve as the ministry's top bureaucrat "for a period not to exceed four years." But, in a letter dated December 1, 2008, the premier's deputy minister Jessica McDonald wrote, "I am very pleased to confirm your continued appointment as Deputy Minister, Children and Family Development, pursuant to the recent extension of your work permit. The term of this appointment cannot exceed the November, 2011 expiry date of this most recent work permit."
Ms. du Toit's leadership of the ministry hasn't been without controversy. During a December 7, 2008 news conference, for example, British Columbia's independent child protection watchdog Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond stated, "There is still no coordinated effort" within the ministry to implement the Hughes Review's recommendations, which were released 32 months ago. "This is a little hard for me to understand. The Throne Speech was clear. The minister was clear. Senior leadership in the ministry was clear when they spoke to you in November 2007 and committed to have 90 percent of these recommendations implemented within one year."
And, speaking specifically about what she said is the ministry's failure to measure the real and long-term impacts of its programs and services, Ms. Turpel-Lafond added, "Perhaps it is the culture? Perhaps it is the leadership? But the basic message - the need to manage for improvement results and outcomes - is still not given the corporate priority it requires by ministry management. And, again, I don't quite understand why 32 months after Mr. Hughes provided a strong push in that direction - and it was embraced by all - it hasn't been taken up."
Ms. Turpel-Lafond's five-year appointment is also set to expire in November 2011. The following are edited copies of the aforementioned letters.
PERSONAL AND CONFIDENTIAL
April 19, 2006
Lesley Sharon du Toit
This is to confirm the terms of your appointment as Deputy Minister, Ministry of Children and Family Development, Province of British Columbia, Canada, for a period not to exceed four years. This position is located in Victoria, British Columbia. The term of this appointment continues to be subject to an extension of your current work permit which expires on your current passport date in October, 2008. The Province has declared its intention to apply for an extension of this work permit, once your new passport is issued.
Your salary on appointment will be $180,000 CAD per annum plus up to 10% annual re-earnable bonus. You will also be entitled to receive a housing allowance of up to $2000 CAD per month.
The other terms and conditions of your appointment are those for Category A Order in Council employees. These include disability, medical insurance, and dental and extended health coverage, pension and 25 days vacation per year. Attached is a copy of a document summarizing the Compensation and Benefits for Deputy Ministers. The various waiting periods for benefits will be waived.
As a public service employee you must conduct yourself in a manner that maintains and enhances the public's trust and confidence in the public service. You are to familiarize yourself with the Standards of Conduct for Public Service Employees.
As an Order in Council appointee, your Order may be rescinded at any time resulting in the termination of your appointment. Should your appointment be rescinded, termination would be in accordance with the Employment Termination Standards. A copy of the Employment Termination Standards and Post-Employment Restrictions are attached.
Please confirm your acceptance of these terms by signing and returning the original letter to Mark McLeod, Director, Executive Recruitment, BC Leadership Centre.
Welcome to the British Columbia public service. I look forward to working with you.
Deputy Minister to the Premier and Cabinet Secretary
pc: James Gorman, Deputy Minister, BC Public Service Agency
I have read and accept the terms and conditions of this appointment, subject to a continued extension of my Work Permit by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Lesley Sharon du Toit
December 1, 2008
Lesley du Toit
I am very pleased to confirm your continued appointment as Deputy Minister, Ministry of Children and Family Development, pursuant to the recent extension of your work permit. The term of this appointment cannot exceed the November, 2011 expiry date of this most recent work permit. Your salary, holdback, and terms and conditions of employment remain unchanged.
As you know, as an Order in Council appointee, your Order may be rescinded at any time resulting in the termination of your appointment. Should your appointment be rescinded, termination would be in accordance with the Employment Termination Standards.
I want to thank you for your commitment to the Ministry and for your contribution to the BC Public Service. I look forward to continuing to work with you.
Deputy Minister to the Premier
and Cabinet Secretary
pc: David Byng, Associate Deputy Minister, BC Public Service Agency
Donna Carlson, A/Regional Director, Client Services, BC Public Service Agency