I refer, of course, to the Western Isles Health Board where the current/past/suspended Chief Executive has been replaced pending investigations into his CV.
Of course, it is never as simple as that, but with the NHS still paying Laurence Irvine £5,000 per month pending conclusion of the investigation, one could reasonably expect that the investigation would proceed apace. This exchange in the Audit Committee is enlightening.....
George Foulkes:You did not succeed in getting a permanent chief executive, though, did you?
Malcolm Wright: A permanent chief executive [Laurence Irvine] was appointed and we handed over—
George Foulkes: But he is suspended, is he not?
Malcolm Wright: I understand so.
George Foulkes: Whose fault was that?
Ronnie Cleland: This is a difficult area, convener. It is difficult to discuss the allocation of blame, given the situation with the chief executive.
The Temporary Convener: Okay.
Ronnie Cleland: I am not trying to avoid the question.
George Foulkes: No—it is a difficult situation legally.Clear as mud.
The allegations - as I understand them - would seem to be reasonably easy to resolve. So why the delay?
It is my understanding that there is not enough to remove Mr Irvine from post, but perhaps enough to undermine his position, and to avoid an Industrial Tribunal the lawyers are negotiating an early retirement package that can be justified to Parliament.
Meantime, Mr Irvine is still nominally in charge of the Health Board - although, practically, he has no remit - and the ship sails on, holed underwater.
This may become a theme, but can someone - please, please - take a decision and allow us to move forward?