Evans role in the botched revised complaints procedure
Evans claimed responsibility for the unfair, unlawful and biased complaints process and the Parliamentary Committee’s report was coruscating of her actions. The Scottish Judiciary System and system of government were subject to public disrepute and enormous amounts of taxpayers’ money were wasted. That she did not resign is incredible, that she was not asked for her resignation by the First Minister is a depressing episode in Scottish politics.
The Holyrood Finance Committee Debacle
Evans absence from work was only discovered when she was invited by Holyrood’s Finance Committee to share reflections and insights into her role working for the government when, in a discourteous letter to the committee chair a representative from the Office of the Permanent Secretary wrote: “Ms Evans is enjoying an extended period of leave …. and will not be able to speak to the committee on behalf, or represent the views, of Scottish ministers”.
Comment: But Evans 90 day’s paid “gardening leave” from January until the end of her employment on 31 March 2022 was a Scottish government imposed requirement for the employee to be absent from her place of work on dates not of her own choosing and was not therefore official leave since at the end of her employment she was awarded a payment for 19.5 days of annual leave that she had not taken. The committee could have insisted she attend, but didn’t!!!!!
Instead, in a rare, excoriating letter, the committee convener Kenneth Gibson, an SNP MSP, said the committee was:
“extremely disappointed at the discourtesy shown to the Parliament. Indeed, as we indicated in our invitation, the session was due to focus on broad issues within the committee’s newly-added public administration remit, such as how government functions, the capacity and capability of the civil service, culture, and how policies are developed and implemented. We are therefore extremely disappointed at the discourtesy shown to the Parliament by your failure to engage directly with the committee at any stage regarding our invitation, despite our best efforts. When we finally received a response, it was not from you, but from the Office of the Permanent Secretary, stating that, as you are now on a period of leave … you are not able to speak on behalf, or represent the views, of Scottish ministers. At no point have we asked you to do so. We have been absolutely clear at all times that our interest lay in your own reflections, not those of ministers, to support the committee in developing a clearer understanding of the workings of government in our new public administration role. Very few people have the opportunity to gain your level of experience in government, which we considered would have been beneficial in informing our future scrutiny. We are firmly of the view that it is in the public interest for the committee to hear from civil servants as part of our public administration remit. You remain in the employment of the Scottish Government and we do not accept that your period of leave exempts you from giving evidence to a parliamentary committee, in the way suggested in the response we received. But the committee does not “intend to waste any more time pursuing this matter”.