April 25, 2022

NI Civil Service must restore trust


There’s something seriously wrong at the upper levels of the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

From the most recent case of the Department of Agriculture whistleblower vet paid £1.25 million – that’s £1.25 million of taxpayer money – we have a situation where the Head of the Civil Service seems disinclined to get directly involved.

The money was paid without any admission that the Department did anything wrong. Not unreasonably, the ordinary taxpayer might ask why then make such a mammoth payment.

I’m asking the same question, but I really don’t expect to hear anything back that makes sense.

The local Civil Service is not in a good place. It must restore trust and live up to its own oft-times quoted commitment to be open and transparent. Right now, it’s anything but open and transparent!

As a footnote, the Head of the NI Civil Service is advertising for a Chief of Staff with a pay grade of up to £84,000. Great buzzwords are used in the ad such as ‘strategic’, ‘dynamic’ ‘exceptional’. Taxpayers could be forgiven for thinking that that looks like the job specification of the Head of the Civil Service, but maybe she needs help with the workload.

© 2022, Gary Hynds