Vacancy withdrawn to external candidates after appointing internal candidate: FOI release

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

Information requested

You asked for information on the appointment to the post of Head of Children and Young Person's Improvement Collaborative: 

- who decided, and what was the justification for, withdrawal of the post for external applicants? 

- what was the interview process for the internal applicant who was appointed: how many other candidates were interviewed? 

- what was the cost to the tax payer of external advertisement that was then withdrawn? 

- what evidence do you hold to show that the appointment to the post was transparent and fair?




The answers to your questions are: 

The recruitment manager decided to withdraw the vacancy to external applicants, following consultation with the Scottish Government’s HR team. The Scottish Government routinely advertises vacancies to internal and external candidates simultaneously where the role includes particular specialism and or where the likelihood of finding a suitable internal candidate is considered to be slim. It is our practice to consider internal candidates first, and if a suitable candidate is identified, the recommendation is to appoint that candidate and to withdraw the vacancy to external candidates.  

We used a competency-based interview to gather evidence of the candidate’s skills, competencies and experience relevant to the vacant post. A total of two candidates were interviewed, including the successful candidate. 

There were no costs associated with advertising this vacancy. The vacancy was only advertised on the Scottish Government’s own vacancy website, called Work for Scotland, and on the UK Governments’ vacancy website, called Civil Service Jobs. 

The Scottish Government complies with the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles, where appointments are based on merit, following an open and fair process.


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

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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