A bid to give Moray councillors responsibility for appointing temporary senior officials was defeated yesterday.
A motion to a full meeting of Moray Council sought to remove the chief executive’s delegated authority to appoint acting directors of the corporate management team and transfer responsibility to elected members.
However, the motion by Douglas Ross, seconded by councillor James Allan, was defeated by 17 votes to three with one abstention.
Conservative member Mr Ross said that he was disappointed as these positions carry a salary of almost £86,000 and he felt that councillors should have a say in who gets these positions both on a temporary and long term basis.
Mr Ross said: “My motion would have seen councillors, who currently sift all the applicants for the full post to form a shortleet and then the initial interview, also select the individual to take on the role on an acting basis. For me that made perfect sense rather than leaving the choice to an unelected chief executive.”
Council convener Stewart Cree said: “This is an every day duty that the chief executive has charge of. What councillor Ross was proposing would have removed the chief executive’s operational flexibility. It is just standard procedure for the chief executive to select staff.”
The majority of members felt the appointment of acting directors was an operational matter for the chief executive and that the status quo should be maintained.
The successful amendment to continue with the current arrangement was moved by councillor Gordon McDonald and seconded by Mr Cree.
Substantive appointments at corporate director level will continue to be made by the full council.
The council currently has one corporate director post filled on an acting basis until such time as a permanent appointment is made.