Board of Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

Six questions relating to the Board of Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited:

  1. Which office of which organisation is responsible for the choice of a board member position?
  2. What criteria are used in making the choice?
  3. Are the positions advertised, and if so, where, and when?
  4. If they are not advertised, what is the process used to identify candidates?
  5. What is the duration of any board position held?
  6. Who decides whether the board is full or part time?




1. Scottish Ministers are responsible for making fair and open appointment decisions based on the merit of the people who apply for a public appointment. Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited is a regulated public body; the Ethical Standards Commissioner and the Scottish Government’s Public Appointments team will oversee the entire recruitment process. This includes a selection panel (approved by the appointing Minister) of which an advisor will be appointed on behalf of the Ethical Standards Commissioner to ensure that the appointment process is fair and open, and that those selected are appointed on merit. The process involves the recruitment selection panel making recommendations to the appointing Minister on all aspects of the recruitment exercise.

2. The recruitment selection panel consider the skills, knowledge and experience required for each board position. These are based upon the skills requirement of the board at that specific time and agreed in consultation with the Chair, members of the Board and the appointing Minister.

The key criteria are based on the requirements of each specific position, and any particular requirements of the board itself. All board members appointed on the basis of any particular skill, experience or background must be able to represent the interests of Scottish Ministers. In addition, Board members must also have regard to any fiduciary duties and responsibilities it has to the organisation or company itself under the Companies Act 2006.

The recruitment selection panel measure the evidence required as part of the application and interview process. Knowledge and/or direct experience of the key criterion are fully explored and assessed throughout the recruitment process.

3. As your enquiry relates to the Board of CMAL, I can confirm we advertised the recent board recruitment positions widely, on 24 May 2022. A letter from the Director of Aviation, Maritime, Freight & Canals at Transport Scotland was sent to a wide range of organisations across Scotland and the UK. In particular, it was sent to the Chief Executives of Shetland Islands Council; Orkney Islands Council; Comhairle nan Eilean Siar; the Highland Council; North Ayrshire Council; Argyll and Bute Council; the Ferries Community Board; the Scottish Islands Federation; Highlands and Islands Enterprise; European Marine Energy Centre (Orkney); Scottish Maritime Cluster; and to the SCVO, asking them to share with relevant interest groups.

In the letter to the six island local authorities, there was a specific request that they share details of the appointments with local planning boards and other relevant community groups.

In relation to the recent CMAL board vacancies, a copy of the advert was published on the Scottish Government public appointments website, Details of the appointments were shared on social media platforms, including Transport Scotland and Scottish Government public appointments websites Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for CMAL.

Members of the CMAL Board were asked to circulate the advert to their contacts. The advert was also placed on CalMac vessels travelling to and from our island communities.

The advert was also forwarded to a number of organisations which support and promote women within the workplace including the 2% club; Women on Boards; and Scottish Changing the Chemistry who were asked to promote the appointments to their members.

Scottish Ministers are keen to do all that they can to promote the opportunities available to island communities, people from protected groups, including women, disabled people, those from minority ethnic communities and people aged under 50, to contribute to the work of our Boards.

4. Covered in our response to Question 3.

5. Terms of appointment may vary from role to role. The total period of appointment in one role on one board may not exceed eight years. Normal practice is to appoint Board members for an initial three-year period.

6. Scottish Ministers.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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