The former Scottish National Investment Bank boss has been paid £177,500 after quitting immediately rather than working her notice period, it has been learned.
Eilidh Mactaggart resigned in February after nearly two years in the post, citing “personal reasons”.
She chose to leave with immediate effect and it has now been revealed that she was paid half her annual salary of £235,000 when she left.
The money was sent to Mactaggart so she wouldn’t have to work during the six-month notice period of her contract.
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The bank said the former boss had received “six months’ notice which was due under her employment contract”, adding that no other financial settlement had been made.
Scottish Government documents reported by the herald reportedly showed detailed planning by officials to announce his resignation.
This included answers for Scottish ministers on likely questions posed to them by reporters.
A redacted document allegedly said if ministers were asked to say they were told Mactaggart was leaving on February 18, then, if pushed further, to say officials were made aware at the end of January.
The documents would also say that Mactaggart should not work his notice period to allow the investment bank and its staff to quickly move on.
Scottish LibDem MP Willie Rennie said the documents suggested ‘there is undoubtedly more to this situation than ministers were prepared to let on’.
He said: “If Eilidh Mactaggart is resigning for personal reasons or leaving for another role, it is far from clear why she would receive six months’ salary as a reward.
“The Finance Secretary needs to explain why this payment was appropriate and why officials were so concerned about media management.”
The bank was set up in 2020 to provide long-term investment to Scottish businesses and has since made 13 investments totaling just under £200million.
The Scottish government has pledged £2billion in additional funding for the bank over the next decade.
In March, opposition parties claimed the timing of Mactaggart’s resignation was “suspicious”, with Nicola Sturgeon denying it was linked to any new economic strategy.
The prime minister declined to address the reasons for Mactaggart’s resignation at the time, citing his right to privacy.
“Everyone across the chamber will understand that I’m not going to go into the confidential details of anyone’s employment status here in the chamber,” she said.
“This is not the business of ministers in the Scottish Government, it is the business of the board of directors of the Scottish National Investment Bank – ministers have not contributed to this, although we told us earlier in February that the managing director would be leaving the bank imminently.”
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A Scottish government spokesman reiterated Sturgeon, saying ministers had no influence over Mactaggart’s resignation.
They added that the bank’s chairman, Willie Watt, informed Scottish government officials on January 31 that the chief executive had offered him his resignation.
The spokesperson added: “The Scottish Government and the bank have been discussing the possible terms of this resignation and potential successor arrangements over the following weeks – with ministers updated accordingly.
“On February 18, the resignation was formally confirmed to ministers.”