Civil Service chiefs on governance in absence of Executive

24 January 2018

The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee hears from the Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, David Sterling, and the Permanent Secretary for Northern Ireland Department of Finance, Hugh Widdis on the ability of the Civil Service to run vital services.


Wednesday 24 January, Committee Room 8, Palace of Westminster

At 9.15 am

  • David Sterling, Head of NI Civil Service
  • Hugh Widdis, Permanent Secretary for NI Department of Finance

The Executive

It is over a year since devolved government broke down in Northern Ireland. In that time, talks between parties have failed to restore the Executive, and the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has so far resisted imposing direct rule or calling an election. In November 2017, emergency legislation was passed authorising spending in line with the previous year’s priorities.

Purpose of the session

On the same day that the final round of talks commence, the session will explore the effect this impasse has had on the governance of Northern Ireland, in particular the ability of the Civil Service to run vital services. It will examine areas where decision making has been delayed or postponed, and the process for establishing a new budget for 2018-19. The Committee will also examine whether lessons can be learnt from the previous hiatus in devolved government between 2002 and 2007.  

Further information

Image: iStockphoto

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