It seems that rumours about Broadland District Council's Chief Executive post may have some foundation after all - since Colin Bland's resignation things have been remarkably quiet. However, a member of the public has told us that they put in a Freedom of Information request to the council to find out when the post was to be advertised. The response they received is printed below:
"thank you for your enquiry. The elected members of the Council have decided that their preference is to appoint the new Chief Executive from the current members of staff. As a result there are no plans to externally advertise the post."
So - no recruitment process. This might seem strange to those of you who have worked in the public sector and have had to advertise posts externally in the interests of transparency and fairness. Those of you who have gone through the lengthy application procedures, selection tests and interviews for such posts will also be surprised that for such a prominent position all this has been apparently by-passed .
A quick look at the SOLACE (society of local authority chief executives) website about recruitment elicited the following from their Blog:
" Apparently recruitment and selection firms are reporting that it is becoming harder and harder to get good shortlists for chief executive posts. Indeed one Council failed completely to get any sort of shortlist and is having to try again. Now there are many reasons why this might be happening but one issue comes up time after time. Possible recruits from the next tier in local government are looking at the top job and deciding it is not for them. With the chief executive role now such a political football they have made a decision that it is simply not worth the grief, and are deciding not to step up. This is bad news. When many able people are not prepared to consider a role that they ought to relish, then we are all missing out on potential public sector leaders, at a time when they are most needed."
This might well still be the case but to not even bother to seek potential external candidates for this position (a political football indeed!) could be seen as a dereliction of duty to the Broadland community if indeed the community's best interests have ever been considered. Moreover, if BDC are not advertising this post there are only two senior managers in BDC and one has already been introduced to new councillors as the next Chief Executive so we await the announcement with scarcely bated breath!