26 September 2023

SCOTLAND: Controversial PS head to step down

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Scotland’s most senior Public Servant, Permanent Secretary, Leslie Evans (pictured) will not seek reappointment when her term ends in March next year.

The Government said recruitment had begun for Ms Evans’ successor with the aim of having a replacement named by the end of the year to allow for a handover period.

Ms Evans came in for criticism over her role in the Government’s handling of harassment complaints made against former First Minister, Alex Salmond.

Mr Salmond won a pay-out of more than £500,000 ($A921,000) in 2019 following a court battle with the Government.

Earlier this year, a committee of Scottish MPs released a report which said the Government’s handling of two women’s complaints against Mr Salmond had been “seriously flawed”.

At that point, the Opposition Labour Party called on Ms Evans to consider her position.

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon is to make the final decision on who gets the job, after consultation with the highest-ranking Public Servant in the United Kingdom, Simon Case.

The post is to be advertised internally and externally and recruitment will be regulated by the Civil Service Commission.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said Ms Evans’ tenure would conclude in March 2022 and she would leave the Public Service at that point.

In the meantime, “the Permanent Secretary, along with her executive team, is firmly focused on supporting the Government’s ambitious plans for its first 100 days and manifesto commitments, continuing to lead the Civil Service as it responds to COVID-19 and manages recovery”, the spokesperson said.

Edinburgh, 2 July 2021

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