Extra steps are being taken by the Cook Islands Public Service Commission to ensure they have a stringent recruitment process is in place as they evaluate candidates for the top job of financial secretary.
A New Zealand recruitment agency has been engaged to scrutinise all international applicants and provide the local selection committee with expert advice on ranked candidates.
Florence Syme Buchanan reports from Rarotonga.
"Public service commissioner Navy Epati says the NZ government has been supportive of the PSC's desire to employ the best available person as financial secretary and is providing financial assistance with the recruitment process. Mr Epati says he's aware that speculation is rife over who might be appointed financial secretary. The selection committee will recommend three names to cabinet and rank them in order of preference. The final selection cabinet will make will be from those three names. Former cabinets have been known not to endorse the selection committee's first ranked candidate for top positions in the Cook Islands public service."