First Legal Services Oversight Commissioner appointed

Mrs Marian Cree has been appointed to the positions of Legal Services Oversight Commissioner and Lay Observer. This appointment was made by the Finance Minister, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir MLA, following consultation with the Lord Chief Justice.

Mrs Cree has been appointed to serve as Legal Services Oversight Commissioner for a period of three years with effect from 3 April 2017.  She will also undertake the role of Lay Observer until the new structures for handling complaints against the legal profession are fully in place. She will receive annual remuneration of £35,000.

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Appointments and re-appointments to Further Education Colleges

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton MLA, has announced the appointment of a new governing body member for Southern Regional College and six re-appointments to the Governing Bodies of four Further Education Colleges.

The governing body of a further education college is responsible for securing the efficient and effective management of the college, the provision or securing of suitable further education to its students and determining the college’s strategic direction. This takes into account the educational needs of industry and commerce, and the local community.

The Economy Minister has appointed Dr Eileen Stewart and reappointed Nicola Wilson to Southern Regional College and reappointed Isobel Allison and Gillian McConnell to Northern Regional College; Catherine McFarland and Martin O’Kane to North West Regional College; and Peter Archdale to South West College.  Continue reading

Extensions to Charity Commissioners appointments

Minister Givan announces Charity Commission for Northern Ireland extension to Commissioner appointments

Minister for Communities Paul Givan MLA has announced the extension of the appointments of Geraldine Donaghy and Brenda Maitland to the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (CCNI) Board.

The appointments of Ms Donaghy and Ms Maitland, who have each served three-year terms as Commissioners of the CCNI Board, have been extended to 31 December 2016.

The CCNI was established as the regulator of charities operating in Northern Ireland following the enactment of the Charities (Northern Ireland) Act 2008.

Minister Givan paying tribute to Ms Donaghy and Ms Maitland, said: “I understand that both Commissioners have made a very valuable contribution to the work of the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. Their expertise and accumulated knowledge will be invaluable to the Commission going forward. I would like to thank Ms Donaghy and Ms Maitland for their service and dedication to date and wish them both well for their future period as Commissioners.”   Continue reading

Appointments and re-appointments to Governing Bodies announced

Economy Minister Simon Hamilton MLA, has announced the appointment of a new governing body member for Southern Regional College and six re-appointments to the Governing Bodies of four Further Education Colleges.

The governing body of a further education college is responsible for securing the efficient and effective management of the college, the provision or securing of suitable further education to its students and determining the college’s strategic direction. This takes into account the educational needs of industry and commerce, and the local community.

The Economy Minister has appointed Dr Eileen Stewart and reappointed Nicola Wilson to Southern Regional College and reappointed Isobel Allison and Gillian McConnell to Northern Regional College; Catherine McFarland and Martin O’Kane to North West Regional College; and Peter Archdale to South West College.   Continue reading

Non Executive Finance Director appointed to Belfast Trust

Health Minister Michelle O’Neill today announced the appointment of a Non-Executive Finance Director to Belfast Health and Social Care Trust (BHSCT). Mr. Gordon Smyth was appointed as Non-Executive Lay Director, with effect from 5 April 2016 for a period of four years.

This appointment carries a time commitment of one day per week and may involve commitment both inside and outside normal working hours. The Non-Executive Director role within the Belfast Trust attracts an annual remuneration of £7,960.  Continue reading

Commission on Flags, Identify, Culture and Tradition making the headlines before it starts work

Commissioner for Public Appointments very disappointed with lack of women members on the Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition.

The Commissioner for Public Appointments has expressed her disappointment at the appointment of only 1 woman to the 13 large Commission on Flags, Identity, Culture and Tradition.  She said that such an outcome ‘ is at total odds with the gender equality targets for public appointments agreed by the NI Executive in March of this year’. The Commissioner has written to First Minister and deputy First Minister expressing her concern and disappointment.

“I know that the Commission is not a regulated body under the public appointments legislation and strictly speaking the targets do not apply to appointments made to it, nevertheless it is a body of people appointed by Ministers to carry out a public role. The difference between the two types of bodies does not justify ignoring the principle of diversity and female representation set out in the Executive targets.”

The appointments to the Commission do not just reflect a lost opportunity by Ministers to implement a publicly stated commitment through action but appear to completely contradict that commitment.

The subject matter for the Commission is politically sensitive and the composition of the Commission suggests that decision making and advice in this area is best done mainly by men.  This is plainly wrong but it also presents a backward image of Northern Ireland.

I am sure that the individual members of the Commission are very able and I want to stress that I am not in any way questioning the ability of any individual appointee.  The responsibility for appointments rests with Ministers and they have set up a body that in its overall composition presents an extremely old fashioned image of a public body that runs counter to participative democracy. It is not a good image for Northern Ireland.

Notes to editors:

  1. Judena Leslie was appointed Commissioner for Public Appointments (CPA NI) on 1 September 2015. The Commissioner’s role was created in 1995, in response to the first report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life. Its remit was to provide guidance for departments on procedures for making public appointments; to audit those procedures and report on them annually, and to investigate complaints about the appointment process.
  2. For media enquiries please contact the CPA NI Office on 028 9052 4820 or e-mail info@publicappointmentsni.org.

Chief Parole Commissioner reappointed

Justice Minister Claire Sugden today announced the reappointment of Christine Glenn as Chief Commissioner of the Parole Commissioners for Northern Ireland.

As an independent body, the Commissioners role is to make decisions on the release or otherwise of those serving extended or indeterminate sentences and in relation to the revocation of licences. They may also recall to prison in cases where an offender is subject to post custody supervision.

Claire Sugden said: “I am grateful to Christine Glenn for her willingness to continue in the role as Chief Commissioner. The Parole Commissioners provide a critical and important contribution to the protection of the public.  I am confident that under Christine’s direction the public will continue to have confidence in the competence and independence of the Parole Commissioners.”

Notes to editors:

  1. The Criminal Justice (Northern Ireland) Order 2008 renamed the Life Sentence Review Commissioners (LSRC) as Parole Commissioners and introduced new public protection sentences.
  2. The Commissioners role as an independent body of Commissioners is to make decisions on the release or otherwise of those serving extended or indeterminate sentences and in relation to the revocation of licences and recall to prison in cases where an offender is subject to post custody supervision.
  3. Commissioners are appointed by the Minister of Justice under Schedule 4 of the 2008 Order. They serve in a part-time capacity and in accordance with the legislative requirements individual Commissioners have professional qualifications or experience in the legal, medical, criminological and rehabilitative fields.
  4. The appointment process reflected the principles and practices of the Commissioner for Public Appointments Northern Ireland Code of Practice. Appointments were made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process.
  5. Pen pictures of the Chief Commissioner and all existing Parole Commissioners are available on the Parole Commissioners website