Sutherland will combine roles and take over the board’s finance department

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Hazel Sutherland, CIS executive director of education and welfare, will assume interim responsibility for financial services following the retirement of Graham Johnston.

Ms Sutherland has been described by the board as its ‘most senior qualified accountant’, having graduated from the local authority through an internship early in her career. She will take on the responsibility in addition to her current role.

Acting CEO Alistair Buchan has committed to undertaking a review of the board’s management structure, as part of his improvement plan, so that this arrangement will be in place until the new structure is accepted and implemented.

Ms. Sutherland said, “I am delighted that I have been given the opportunity to focus on managing the finances of the Board. There are considerable challenges ahead, which have been well documented, as well as many opportunities to continue providing quality and effective services for this community.

“I hope my combined finance and frontline service delivery experience will allow me to help the board find ways to become more effective. I think it’s really important for the public to understand the finances of the board and the choices they have about how and where to spend the money. I look forward to having this discussion with the local community.

Mr Buchan said: “I am very happy that Hazel has agreed to take on this responsibility. In addition to sustaining the good progress we are making in financial management, I know Hazel will bring her own unique skills and ideas to the process. I look forward to working closely with her and her team as we continue to tackle the enormous financial challenges we face. “

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