The council has changed its mind on how to go about recruiting a new chief executive to replace Morgan Goodlad, as it strives to avoid the “widespread dissatisfaction” caused by the problematic process of making the last senior SIC appointment.
Having initially created an appointment sub-committee drawn from councillors, it has now been decided that the two-day interview process will be carried out by all 22 councillors after all.
The panel – made up of chairmen and vice-chairmen – will still be responsible for drawing up a shortlist of candidates. It will cost £20,000 to advertise the £97,000 a year post in the national media.
Councillor Gussie Angus said that, while he could not go into details in public, everyone had expressed dissatisfaction at the way the recruitment process for the last senior SIC appointment – that of Gordon Greenhill as director of infrastructure in October – had been handled and it was important to get the appointment of a new chief executive right.
Councillor Andrew Hughson agreed and said it was right that all councillors should have a say in a “huge appointment” which would “affect everyone in the SIC”, adding that if the interviews were carried out by a panel it could cause problems with public perception.
North Isles member Laura Baisley said that having the full council interviewing candidates was “appalling”, “nonsense” and “absolute rubbish” but she was unable to find a seconder.
Mr Goodlad has been in the post for a decade and, having announced his resignation in February, he will leave at the end of May.
A controversial tenure saw Mr Goodlad censured in 2007 when the public services ombudsman found him guilty of maladministration after he failed to declare an interest when advising Shetland Development Trust on investing in local salmon farming consortium SSG Seafoods. The business, which was part-owned by his brother Alistair, later collapsed at a cost of £7 million to community funds.