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Hunt for new OIC chief to resume after summer

John Mundell is to continue in his role as OIC interim chief executive until January.

John Mundell will continue his role as interim chief executive of Orkney Islands Council (OIC) until at least January 2023, it has been confirmed.

The council announced this Friday afternoon that the search for a new chief executive will begin again after the summer.

Three recruitment campaigns costing over £15,000 in total have so far failed to pin down a suitable candidate for the £129,000-a-year role.

Councillors this week agreed that a further recruitment exercise be carried out. The also decided that Mr Mundell should be asked to stay on in his acting role until January 2023 — an offer he has accepted.

Council leader James Stockan said: “Mr Mundell first took on the role in 2019.

“Since then he has increased his original commitment from three days a week to five, spends the vast majority of his time here in Orkney, and has agreed to extend his interim cover on a number of occasions.

“He has driven forward a number of key initiatives as well as leading the Council through the COVID-19 pandemic.  He is undoubtedly deeply loyal and committed to Orkney Islands Council, but it is not — and nor was it ever meant to be — a permanent arrangement.

“We understand the public disappointment and frustrations around the lack of a permanent appointment — frustrations and disappointments we share as an organisation.

“The employment market for senior level public sector executives is a small one — and competition to secure those employees is fierce.

“Members are in agreement that we should try again. We have very clear aspirations and standards for the type of person we want —and we believe that the right person is out there.”