Thursday 24 September 2020
Responding to the announcement that the First and Deputy First Ministers of Northern Ireland had failed to appoint a new head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, FDA National Officer Allan Sampson said:
“This is very disappointing news which leaves the Northern Ireland Civil Service in a state of uncertainty at a time of crisis. The service is crucial to the delivery of vital public services, and it is therefore deeply concerning that ministers would put themselves, civil servants and the people of Northern Ireland in this position in the middle of a pandemic.
“This process has already been very slow, with the previous head announcing his retirement last year. Ministers must now set out why they have made this decision and what their plan is to provide the Northern Ireland Civil Service with the leadership it needs at this critical time.
“It is absolutely vital that we protect the impartiality of our civil service, and politicians must ensure they do not to put partisan interests ahead of effective government and public need.”
Notes for editors
1. The FDA is the union for senior managers and professionals in public service, representing more than 18,000 members at grades HEO and above. Membership includes senior civil servants, government policy advisors, prosecutors, diplomats, tax professionals, economists, solicitors and other professionals working across the Government and the NHS.
2. The FDA (formerly the First Division Association) should be referred to simply as "The FDA" and can be described as "the senior public servants' union".
3. The FDA can be found on Twitter @FDA_union and at
. General Secretary Dave Penman tweets as @FDAGenSec.
4. For more information contact:
FDA Communications Officer Tommy Newell on 07738 729 145 or
FDA Communications Officer Scott Dobson on 07727 869 640 or
FDA Head of Communications Kay Hender on 07980 700 747 or