Council chiefs in Aberdeen have refused to reveal the salary of the woman tasked with leading the £150million waste incinerator project.
The authority cited “limited public interest” and “commercial sensitivities” as the rationale for their non-disclosure.
Last October, councillors caused outrage in some quarters when they backed the Tullos project, which will convert waste from homes in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray into energy.
The energy from waste (EfW) facility aims to reduce the carbon footprint of the authority, in advance of tough Scottish Government regulations to be imposed by 2021.
Lorries full of waste from around the north-east will come in and out of the facility when it is completed.
Linda Ovens, Entec Solutions Ltd, was appointed by the city council to run the project including the construction of the incinerator in March this year.
Her online CV states that Ms Ovens gained a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Paisley University and lists her as a director of Entec Solutions Ltd.
The Press and Journal asked for details of the salary Ms Ovens was being paid through a Freedom of Information request.
But the authority has refused to disclose the information, arguing it would cause “significant harm” to the council.
Their response read: “Disclosing information of this nature is likely to weaken (the council’s) position in a competitive environment by revealing market-sensitive information which is of potential usefulness to competitors.
“ACC believes that the public interest in disclosing the above information is limited and that, in this case, there is a stronger public interest in withholding the information.”
Torry Community Council secretary, David Fryer, responded: “Here we go again, the financial and health costs are to remain hidden from the people of the north-east who are expected to cough up, literally, should this toxic monster ever be built.
“Is openness and transparency too much to ask for?”
However, Torry and Ferryhill councillor Alan Donnelly, Conservative, said: “I have no problem with openness and transparency, but we are talking about a £150million contact here split between three authorities.
“We should take positives from this great project that is needed for the city’s future.
“We recognise that, in 25 to 30 years, it will be redundant as people move towards recycling more, but just now, we need it to comply with the legislation.”