The decision to reduce the number of commissioners is understood to have been prompted by the accomplishments of the previously appointed three.
Bertha McDougall, Patricia MacBride and Brendan McAllister – who leave the £65,000 posts in May – are believed to have accomplished so much in establishing initial contact with victims that their workload can now be undertaken by one individual.
However it is also understood that Government ministers are open to hiring two commissioners if they get two outstanding applicants.
A senior Stormont source said that while there was the potential for appointing two commissioners, the preference was for one. “The intention is to appoint a single commissioner,” said the source. “But we are trying to retain some degree of flexibility.”
Don’t forget to keep minutes of any discussions in smoke-filled rooms…