New Interim Social Fund Commissioner appointed

Social Development Minister, Mervyn Storey MLA, has appointed Mr Walter Rader as Interim Social Fund Commissioner for Northern Ireland.

In welcoming the appointment, Minister Storey said: “The Social Fund has an important role to play in providing support to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. I am very pleased that Walter Rader has accepted the post of Interim Social Fund Commissioner for Northern Ireland, as I believe that his wide ranging experience within community, voluntary and public sectors will be very useful in carrying out this important role.

“At this time, I also want to put on record my thanks to the outgoing Commissioner, Mr Karamjit Singh CBE, for the dedication and commitment he has shown during his time in post.”

The Social Fund was introduced in 1988 and comprises two parts, one regulated and the other discretionary. The Social Fund Commissioner is concerned solely with the discretionary part of the fund. This is a scheme of payments by grant or interest free loan to meet the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable in society.

The Commissioner has no involvement in the regulated part of the fund which allows for payments for funeral and maternity expenses, periods of cold weather and winter fuel.

As Social Fund Commissioner, Mr Rader will be responsible for appointing and training Social Fund Inspectors and monitoring the quality of the inspectors’ decisions.

Mr Rader will be taking up his new post from 1 July 2015, for an initial six month period.