A former permanent secretary who worked with Alex Salmond is due to give evidence about the Scottish Government’s handling of harassment allegations against the ex-first minister.
Sir Peter Housden is expected to face questions from MSPs about the culture within the Scottish Government between 2010 and 2015 – when he was Scotland’s most senior civil servant – and complaints about ministers.
Ahead of his appearance before Holyrood’s Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints, Sir Peter recalled that allegations of bullying and harassment would be “discussed with me in ad hominem terms”.
In his written evidence, Sir Peter wrote: “Informal resolution was generally considered by all parties to the most appropriate and effective solution,” although he cited confidentiality reasons for not disclosing specific examples.
He added: “There were circumstances, however, particularly in relation to egregious acts, where an attempt to resolve a matter informally would be inappropriate.”
Sir Peter’s evidence also said: “My perception on taking office in 2010 was there was considerable scope for improvement in the way that staff were listened to and supported.”
He added that while “firm and sensible line management would sometimes be interpreted as bullying and harassment”, he did not think there was a “systemic problem of under-reporting in relation to bullying and harassment”.
The committee will also hear from Barbara Allison, the Scottish Government’s communications director, during Tuesday’s evidence session.
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe