Interim Head of Civil Service appointed

Date published: 14 June 2017

David Sterling has been appointed interim Head of the NI Civil Service (HOCS).


Currently the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Finance, the temporary promotion of Mr Sterling will take effect from today, Wednesday. He will continue to fulfil his responsibilities in the Department of Finance until the end of June.

Sir Malcolm McKibbin, who will stand down as HOCS at the end of this month, has confirmed the appointment to staff. He has also informed the Civil Service Commissioners.

He said: “These are unique times for the Northern Ireland Civil Service as we continue to offer support to the parties and the two Governments in the talks to restore the Executive.

“In the face of these unusual circumstances, making this temporary appointment allows me to concentrate fully on my role in the talks and for David to discharge the significant responsibilities of the post.  It is critical for the NICS to have an experienced and qualified person in charge of such a large and diverse organisation at this time.

“It will be for Ministers in an incoming administration to fill the post on a permanent basis.”

David Sterling said: “There are many challenges for the Civil Service and I look forward to working closely with colleagues across all the Departments to continue to deliver essential services for the people of Northern Ireland. I will obviously be working very closely with Sir Malcolm over the next few weeks.”

Notes to editors: 

1. David Sterling has been temporarily appointed to the post by Sir Malcolm McKibbin.

2. A competition to appoint a Head of the NI Civil Service was advertised in October 2016. The competition remains live and it will be for Ministers in an incoming administration to fill the post on a permanent basis.

3. The post attracts a salary ranging from £148,652 to £178,709.

4. David Sterling joined the Civil Service in 1978 as an Administrative Officer. He has worked at every grade in the Civil Service and was previously Permanent Secretary of DETI from October 2009 to July 2014.

5. Media enquiries to TEO Press Office on 028 9037 8283. Out of office hours contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number on 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.

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