The issue of the Independent Person/s who take part in the process of complaints against Council members has been discussed on this blog (See LINK including comments) and new appointments were due to be made this week.
However Mildred Phillips, current Director of Human Resources, has made a recommendation to the General Purposes Committee for a change in the interview procedure:
On 16 December 2015, the Committee, amongst other things, approved the recruitment process for the appointment of new Independent Persons. It was proposed that the role be advertised and thereafter the Director Human Resources, the Leader and the lead Member for HR matters (i.e. the Deputy Leader) short-list applicants, conduct interviews and to recommend appointments to Full Council for approval.
Subsequently, on 19 February 2016, the vacancies were advertised and the closing date for applications was 13 March 2016. The next stage therefore is to short-list and interview suitable candidates.
On reflection, having regard to the dual role of the Independent Person (i.e. to give views in the context of Member code of conduct complaints and the dismissal of certain statutory officers) as well as the fact that the appointments have to be approved by Full Council, it is proposed that the shortlisting and interviews be conducted by officers only. Namely, the Director Human Resources, together with two Strategic Directors.
As this report does not go to the General Purposes Committee until March 31st the appointment will be delayed. Councillors Butt and Pavey are members of the General Purposes Committeee along with some other members of the Cabinet and Cllr Kasangra (Conservative).
Meanwhile this afternoon interviews are being held for the post of Director of Human Resources. The Panel consists of Cllrs Butt, Pavey, Hirani, Mashari from the Cabinet and Cllr Kasangra (Conservative).