Doubts surrounding new job appointment
A public servant at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been appointed as the head of the new development department at Visit Faroe Islands. It has now emerged that the formation of this department was recommended by this very same public servant.
In January 2016, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade set up a task group to formulate an action plan to boost the Faroese tourism industry. This group was tasked with making recommendations on how to organise the tourism industry.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade appointed Jóhan Pauli Helgason from the Ministry of Trade, and Gunnvør Balle from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, along with four other people, to the task group.
Almost 18 months later, the group presented its overall plan.
One of the recommendations was the formation of a new development department. On 19 January 2018, Visit Faroe Islands posted a job advert looking for two people to work at the new department.
Visit Faroe Islands received almost 100 job applications, and Jóhan Pauli Helgason ended up in one of the two positions.
In other words, Helgason was hired for a post which he himself, as a public servant, was actively involved in creating.
However, no rules or regulations have been breached, insists Herálvur Joensen, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, which is responsible for Visit Faroe Islands.
“It is, however, understandable that some people are concerned about this,” he adds.