GiornoWatch: Pack your bags, random ministerial senior staffer, you’re going to ...

… wherever the Giornorganizer General tells you to go, that’s where.

Just a few days before the first anniversary of The Gioreformation, we get a weirdly fascinating — and 100% unnamed-sourced –Hill Times story on the Lord of Langevin Block’s latest Machiavellian machinations:

The Prime Minister’s Office is in the midst of reviewing the most senior staffers in Cabinet ministers’ offices with an eye to shuffle chiefs of staff to fill four vacant positions and to better prepare for the next Parliamentary session and federal election. […] Guy Giorno, chief of staff to the Prime Minister, deputy chief of staff Darrel Reid, principal secretary Ray Novak, senior adviser to the chief of staff Jay Dorey, and chief of staff to the Transport Minister Chris Froggatt are overseeing the shuffle of chiefs of staff. […] The Prime Minister’s Office plays a key role in Cabinet staffing and in most cases has a final say in hiring senior staffers for ministers’ offices.

Not everyone, it seems, is delighted at the prospect of having their office thrown into turmoil by a PMO-imposed changing of the guard:

The process is creating negative blowback in the top echelons of the Harper government.  Some Cabinet staffers claim the PMO will play “favourites” and say the move could create more problems than it solves.

“It’s a bit absurd to change people who are so dedicated and intimately linked to their ministers. You create more problems and you probably end up creating more holes in the future because they [chiefs of staff] may or may not be happy in their new roles and they could end up leaving. People don’t understand the logic,” said one top Conservative in an interview with Hill Climbers. […]

Sources said that some chiefs are unhappy with this shuffle because they have an effective working relationship with their current ministers.  They’re worried that if they’re moved to a new office, they may or may not get along with their new bosses and given the pressures of the minority government and constant threat of an election, could face difficulties in their new positions.  […]

Some sources told Hill Climbers that some Cabinet ministers are against the shuffle and are “pushing back” so that the PMO will change its plans but also said that seems unlikely to happen.

Well, at least they’re realistic about the chances of their respective offices remaining intact, should they find themselves in the direct path of the Giornado.

But wait! According to STILL MORE UNNAMED SOURCES — although to be fair to the Hill Times, I can see why it might be hard to get anyone to go on the record on a story like this — this isn’t the leadup to a staffer shuffle at all, but a “review”, and no one will be transferred to a new post without first being consulted:

The source said that the officials overseeing the process are planning on consulting all chiefs of staff, all director-level staffers and senior PMO staffers to evaluate all political players and their positions. The chief said the PMO is also asking whether senior staffers are happy in their current positions and if they’d like to be moved. […]

The source said it’s better that the PMO is consulting staffers before unilaterally making any changes.

“If they came and told me, ‘You’re moving tomorrow,’ and you have no say in it, I might have an issue with that. [My] minister might have an issue with that, the new minister might have an issue with that. But if they came to me and said, ‘Minister X has a real problem, we want you to go there, we see you as one of our more experienced chiefs and we want you to go there for six months or a year and help them out and set up their systems. Here’s what we’re going to do in your job and then you’ll be rotated back.’ Or, maybe I’m tired of working with my minister, maybe I want a change. Maybe I want to go and work for Minister [Stockwell] Day [as an example], this process could accomplish that,” said the Cabinet staffer.

Also, as per “A Senior Government Official”, the whole thing is “a normal process for any large organization,” and happens all the time in private companies. So don’t worry, kids — you’re not going to be exiled to the most remote reaches of the ministerial hinterland without at least a vague promise that someday, you may be allowed to return to civilization.

(Oh, and if there are any remaining  unnameable sources out there who might be willing to fill ITQ in on the whole Chris Froggatt conspiracy theory  — which we deliberately left out the above excerptifying, on the grounds that it was, if possible, too confusingly insular even for us —  feel free to drop her a line. Anonymously, even.)