New Permanent Secretary Team Announced

Matthew Morrison Blog, Public Affairs

A new Permanent Secretary team has been announced today. In the absence of Executive Ministers these people are of increased significance and are responsible for effective management of their department’s operations.

A full list of Permanent Secretaries can be found below.

  • Head of Northern Ireland Civil Service – David Sterling
  • Director General of International Relations – Andrew McCormick
  • Department for the Economy – NEW – Noel Lavery – presently Permanent Secretary at DAERA and a former Deputy Secretary in DETI (the predecessor department of Department for the Economy) and OFMDFM, Noel is highly regarded by his colleagues and the Ministers he has worked for. Had he chosen to apply for the post he would have been a strong contender as Head of the Civil Service.
  • Department of Finance – NEW – Sue Gray – this is potentially the most transformative appointment to the Northern Ireland Civil Service in recent years. Sue Gray is presently the Director General of the Propriety and Ethics Team in the Cabinet Office. Once described as “the most powerful woman in Britain,” this appointment will have significance far beyond the Department of Finance as the NICS comes to terms with the outcome of the RHI Inquiry and the absence of Ministers.
  • Department of Education – Derek Baker
  • Department for Infrastructure – Peter May
  • Department for Communities – Leo O’Reilly
  • Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – NEW – Denis McMahon – a former Principal Private Secretary to Dr Paisley as First Minister, Denis previously acted as Permanent Secretary in the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure among a range of other senior appointments. This appointment will be welcomed by those who wish to see the civil service place a greater priority on delivery.
  • Department of Health – Richard Pengelly
  • Department of Justice – Nick Perry

It is expected that at least two serving Permanent Secretaries will retire in the coming period resulting in further changes however they are likely to be in departments not affected by the current reshuffle.

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