COUNCILLORS will be asked to agree the process that will be taken to recruit a new chief executive for Clackmannanshire Council next week.

A report compiled by the HR service manager will come before elected members during a meeting to be held tomorrow (Thursday, March 8) and will outline the steps required to bring someone into the position.

Recommendations include that councillors approve the method of open recruitment to fill the role on a permanent basis and that they agree to establish a politically balanced Appointments Committee to assign the post.

If approved, this will receive professional advice and guidance from an independent adviser, along with the HR service manager.

The existing head of paid service, chief executive Elaine McPherson, will oversee the recruitment process and remain in position until its conclusion.

The Society of Local Authority Chief Executives in Scotland (SOLACE), the representative body for senior strategic managers in the public sector, will also undertake the recruitment assessment centre exercise.

The report outlines the post is a critical one which is “key to providing leadership and direction to all officers”.

It states: “Best practice is that the process for appointing a chief executive should demonstrate that the council appoints the best candidate.

“Given the critical importance of the post of chief executive to the good management of a council the public are more likely to have confidence that the best candidate has been appointed if the recruitment process is open to all potential candidates

“Previous practice within the council for the permanent recruitment of Chief Officers involves open recruitment via the myjobscotland website, long leeting, assessment centre, short leeting and a competency based interview with the Appointments Committee.

“Open recruitment should ensure that a wider range of experience, skills and ideas of future change are presented to the Appointments Committee supported by a robust evaluation from an assessment centre.”

As previously reported by the Advertiser, Ms McPherson will retire from the local authority in May.

The council’s most senior non-elected figure, she worked in the public sector for 31 years, spending 26 of those in Clacks in five different roles.

She has been chief executive for nearly seven years.

She said: “I have spent the majority of my local government career in Clackmannanshire.

“It has been a privilege to serve the council and local communities.

“I would like to thank everyone at the council for their commitment and hard work and for the support I have had over the piece.

“I wish the council every success going forward.”