Govt's review of Barilaro job 'a farce'

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An internal government probe into former NSW deputy premier John Barilaro's appointment to a cushy posting in New York is farcical, the opposition says.

Labor leader Chris Minns said Premier Dominic Perrottet's commitment to a review is not good enough.

"This is just, I think, a farce at this point," Mr Minns said on Thursday.

The government announced last week Mr Barilaro had been appointed the state's senior trade and investment commissioner to the Americas, a role the ex-Nationals leader created.

"We're expected to believe in global search took place, not just the eight million people that live in this state, but everyone around the entire world, to represent the economic and trade interests of people in NSW," Mr Minns said.

"And the bloke they picked was the guy they sat next to for the past 12 years?

"It just happened to be the leader of the National Party?

"This is a farce."

Earlier, Mr Perrottet announced Department of Premier and Cabinet secretary Michael Coutts-Trotter would conduct a review of the process that led to Mr Barilaro's appointment.

"He will provide that report to me," the premier told reporters.

"I will review it and I will make it public."

Mr Barilaro has been temporarily blocked from taking up the role until a parliamentary inquiry into his recruitment concludes.

The upper house inquiry is due to begin within weeks.

Treasurer Matt Kean defended Mr Barilaro's appointment on Thursday, saying he was hired through an independent process, but acknowledged the premier's own review.

"The premier has made that announcement and that is what will happen."

On Wednesday, the premier and Investment Minister Stuart Ayres insisted the appointment occurred through an "independent process".

Both singled out Amy Brown, the former secretary of the premier's department and now the CEO of Investment NSW, as the ultimate decision maker.

Ms Brown reported to Mr Barilaro when he was the minister responsible for the Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade.

The premier said the initial recruitment phase, which began in March last year, was derailed when Ms Brown said no candidate had been found.

A second appointment process then began, which led to Ms Brown choosing Mr Barilaro for the role, Mr Perrottet said.

Mr Ayres said during Question Time on Wednesday the role was publicly advertised and Mr Barilaro applied as a private citizen.

He told the premier and Deputy Premier Paul Toole of the secretary's recommendation to hire Mr Barilaro on April 30.

Mr Ayres said he did not intervene in Mr Barilaro's appointment because it occurred after an "independent, open, merit-based recruitment process" that recommended a "qualified, suitable candidate".

Mr Ayres said Mr Barilaro's appointment was not a 'captain's pick' by himself or another minister.

Labor upper house leader Penny Sharpe said Mr Perrottet and Mr Ayres recommended the approval and bypassed the cabinet to avoid feedback from their cabinet colleagues.

Documents reveal four people were considered for the role during the recruitment process, and two were shortlisted.

One applicant, Jenny West, was told in August by then-premier Gladys Berejiklian she had the job, The Guardian reported.

She was later told the offer had been rescinded and was paid a substantial settlement, it said.

Mr Barilaro resigned from parliament the following month.

Mr Perrottet disputed claims Ms West was offered the role, but said he would "get that clarified".

He also denied Mr Barilaro's appointment was "a captain's pick".

"These were public service decisions through an independent process."

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