Thoughts on the Civil Service Vet scandal…

ireland, sheep, lambs

The NICS Code of Ethics outlines the core values of the Civil Service: Integrity; Honesty; Objectivity; Impartiality. It describes the standards of behaviour expected of existing civil servants against each of these four values. As a retired Civil Servant I know that this is a Code that applies to everyone, however it applies more to the senior ranks than it does to others, they are the ones regularly in the spotlight, the ones responsible for leadership and those who are the …

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The public sector is vital to N Ireland, but it needs new blood and added vibrancy…

I have a strange feeling as I come to the end of 40 years working in the public sector and the uncertainty that a pension and life without institutionalised working will bring. Although being in the public sector, my pension could be much worse and will it be index-linked. This will also prove my dear mother right 40 years ago in telling me that getting a job in the Civil Service will set me up for a great pension. As …

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Former Newry Publican takes up role as Permanent Secretary at the Department of Finance…

Sue Gray, Director General, Propriety and Ethics Team in Cabinet Office will take up a new role as the as Permanent Secretary at the Department of Finance. Described by some as The most powerful person you’ve never heard and going by the nickname ‘Deputy God‘ many as seeing this as the government gearing up for direct rule. She has family connections in Northern Ireland so maybe she just fancied a break from London, who knows. You can live a great lifestyle in …

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Public sector pay: behind the headlines

The Belfast Telegraph has been looking at Civil Service pay again. Behind the headline of a 3% increase in average Civil Service pay between 2013 and 2014 lie a few more facts. The first one is that almost uniquely in the public sector, the Northern Ireland Civil Service treats the annual increment paid to all staff who have not reached the top of their payscale as part of the payrise.  In the police, for example, you would move up the …

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Two named (and two unnamed) staff members of NI Water under investigation.

As reported on Slugger yesterday, two of the MLAs who came under direct attack from Peter Dixon for their role in the Public Accounts Committee’s masterclass interrogation of the Permanent Secretary of DRD and the Chief Executive (and Sub Accounting Officer) of NI Water have written both to the board of Phoenix Gas and their owners, the private equity firm Terra Firma, as to whether or not they support Mr Dixon’s attack on Stormont’s PAC written on Phoenix headed notepaper …

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Does ‘FOI’ privilege the contingency of ‘now’ over a ‘complete record’ in the future?

There is a fascinating exchange (transcript below) on the BBC Radio 4 PM programme last night between the historian Anthony Beevor, and Open Democracy’s Anthony Barnett. It arose out Beevor’s rather feisty remarks at the Hay Festival in which he noted: …with journalists wanting to write history on the hoof there is a tremendous pressure on people wanting to protect themselves and their reputations for the future; and they are weeding out information before it gets to the archive, or …

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