SIC councillors will meet next week to discuss how to go about recruiting a new chief executive, after Orkney Islands Council confirmed that Alistair Buchan would be returning to his job there this autumn.
Mr Buchan was seconded to Shetland for just over two years in August 2010 to shore up the crisis-hit SIC after the Accounts Commission identified major shortcomings in the organisation.
The deal between the two island authorities did include an option to extend Mr Buchan’s stay in Shetland by six months, taking in the first year of the newly-elected council.
But the OIC statement confirmed that he would be returning to Orkney on 4th October. Mr Buchan said that, with the new OIC now getting up and running, it wouldn’t have made sense to delay his departure until next spring.
“I think, as everyone knows, it’s been a tough job but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone here,” he said. “It’s still four months before I go, and that’ll be four busy months, and for the remainder of my time here I’ll be wholly focused on continuing the process of change and improvement.”
Elected members will meet privately in Lerwick Town Hall on Thursday afternoon to discuss how the search for a replacement will be carried out.
SIC convener Malcolm Bell said on Friday: “It’s a vital position and it’s important that members have an early opportunity to discuss the options.”