Search begins for Scotland’s top civil servant replacement

Leslie Evans will leave her role in March.

Search begins for Scotland’s top civil servant replacement PA Media

Recruitment of a new permanent secretary to replace Leslie Evans as the Scottish Government’s top civil servant is expected to begin soon.

The Government said Evans would see out the end of her tenure as permanent secretary, which finishes in March 2022.

Evans came in for criticism over her role in the Government’s handling of harassment complaints made against former first minister Alex Salmond.

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

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

Scottish Labour called on Evans to consider her position when the report was released in March.

Nicola Sturgeon will make the final decision on who replaces Leslie Evans (left) (Andrew Milligan/PA)

On Tuesday, The Times newspaper reported that the new permanent secretary was expected to be in place before the end of the year to allow for a handover period.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will make the final decision on who gets the job, after consultation with the UK’s highest ranking civil servant, Simon Case.

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

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The permanent secretary’s planned departure is already in the public domain.

“As previously confirmed, Leslie Evans’ 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.

“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 the lead the civil service as it responds to Covid-19 and manages recovery.”