Recruitment starts for new Scottish Government perm sec

Leslie Evans contract to expire in March
Current Scottish Government permanent secretary Leslie Evans. Photo: David Anderson/Holyrood

By Richard Johnstone

30 Jun 2021

The recruitment process has begun to find the next permanent secretary of the Scottish Government, in a bid to appoint the next top official for the devolved administration by the end of this year.

The Scottish Government has confirmed that the process to replace current perm sec Leslie Evans is now underway, after an internal blog said the search for her replacement had begun.

Evans was appointed in July 2015, and was the first woman to hold this role in Scotland.

Her contract was initially due to expire last year, but was extended last January to ensure continuous leadership throughout Brexit.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The permanent secretary’s planned departure is already in the public domain. As previously confirmed, Leslie Evans’s tenure concludes in March 2022 and she will leave the civil service at that point.

“In line with normal timescales, recruitment to appoint the new permanent secretary to the Scottish Government will commence shortly, with interviews expected to take place in early autumn and a successful candidate announced in due course.”

It is believed her replacement will be in place before the end of the year to allow for a handover period.

Evans has faced criticism during the inquiry into how the Scottish Government handled allegations of misconduct against former first minister Alex Salmond.

The Scottish Government had to pay around £512,000 in costs after its investigation of complaints was found to be unlawful at a judicial review brought by Salmond. A Scottish parliamentary inquiry into the process criticised Evans because she knew of the prior contact between the officer investigating the claims and the women who made them.

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