NICS Permanent Secretary appointments announced

Date published: 10 February 2022

The Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) has today confirmed two new appointments to the role of Permanent Secretary following the recent open recruitment competition.


Neil Gibson will take up the post in the Department of Finance whilst Colum Boyle will fill the forthcoming vacancy in the Department for Communities (DfC).

Currently EY’s Chief Economist in Ireland, Neil Gibson provides strategic advice, commentary and modelling input as an economic advisor.

Senior Civil Servant Colum Boyle will return to the Department for Communities following his temporary promotion to Permanent Secretary in the Department of Finance.

Start dates for both appointments are still to be agreed but will be effective as soon as possible.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The external recruitment competition was advertised on 28 October 2021.
  2. The selection process involved an eligibility sift of applications followed by an interview with the selection panel.  Candidates successful at first interview stage undertook a psychometric assessment and attended a second stage interview (involving a presentation) with the selection panel determining the successful candidates. 
  3. The salary scale for the Permanent Secretary role is £124,282 - £141,866.

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