INDEPENDENT experts will carry out a "root and branch" review of Scotland’s largest council and its various spin-offs following any change of the political guard after the local elections.

Looking for a “clean slate” if, as widely predicted, the party takes control of Glasgow next May, the city’s opposition SNP said it will immediately recruit specialists from outside the authority and party politics to launch a review of every area of the council, including its arms-length bodies.

The review would extend beyond the remit of current audits and reviews, probing how decisions have been made and how relations between officers and elected politicians are conducted.

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It comes on the back of over a dozen suspensions of senior officers from across the council "family" and members of the Labour administration in recent years amid allegations of corruption, embezzlement investigations, complaints of management practices and external business interests.

The most recent staff survey has found less than half of council employees said they always or usually believed the official information they received about what was happening within the council. It also found 45 per cent agreed that speaking up on issues where they disagreed with senior management could damage their career prospects.

One local government expert said the plan would add to the SNP’s attempts to portray itself as the change candidates next May, especially given the expected public focus should they take power.

But the council said it was routinely and regularly audited and sources have insisted several of the suspensions causing concern resulted from routine checks.

The council’s SNP leader Susan Aitken said an incoming administration would “want to take seriously and respond to any concerns about the city’s governance” and that an independent investigation would be conducted “without fear or favour and with no threat of political interference”.

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She added: “In any large organisation – particularly one where the same people have been in charge for so long – certain ways of working can simply become accepted as the way things are done, and are not always subject to questioning or challenge.

“If there are outdated or inappropriate working practices that have become embedded over the years, we want to find out about them early and address them so that we could start with a clean slate.

“We would seek someone of experience and authority to carry out this review; an individual who is able to carry the confidence of the public and of council staff.”

Last month it emerged the council’s the £120,000-a-year director of land and environmental services and his assistant were suspended and computers seized amid ongoing internal investigations into procurement irregularities.

Two members of the administration are currently suspended, one having been charged in connection with alleged offences relating to embezzlement and another who operated illegally, while the authority’s development and regeneration department and Aleos City Building and Jobs and Business Glasgow are also affected.

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Dr Neil McGarvey, a lecturer in Scottish and local politics at Strathclyde University, said: “The SNP will look to project themselves as the new clean sweeping brush that’s required to get under the perceived relationships between the council and its ALEOs and various other bodies."

“For electioneering and (assumed) post-May 2017 governance, it will do them the world of good to portray themselves as new, clean and competent.”

A council spokesman said: “The council is routinely and regularly subject to detailed audit and inspection by our own internal auditors, Audit Scotland and statutory inspectors. Elected members scrutinise the reports produced and can freely question officials at any time via the council’s committee system.

“This ensures that the council operates in an appropriate manner and abides by the high standards expected of all local authorities in Scotland.

“We have robust disciplinary and investigative systems in place to address any allegations of wrong doing or inappropriate behaviour.”