26 September 2023

NORTHERN IRELAND: Province’s PS gets acting head

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The former Chief Executive of Northern Ireland’s Utility Regulator has been picked to take charge of the Province’s Public Service on an interim basis.

Jenny Pyper (pictured) will occupy the position for eight months.

The post has been vacant since the former head of the Public Service, David Sterling, retired at the end of August.

Ms Pyper’s first task will be to spearhead a new COVID-19 task force, which is to be involved in the roll-out of vaccination and mass testing programs.

A joint statement issued by the First and Deputy First Ministers said Mr Pyper would be taking up her post at a critical time as the Executive continued to manage its response to, and recovery from, the Coronavirus pandemic and prepared for the end of the European Union exit transition period.

“This includes addressing immediate health, societal and economic challenges as well as planning for the future and putting us in the best possible place to rebuild our economy, rejuvenate our society and transform our public services,” the Ministers said.

“Work is under way to find a permanent Civil Service chief and a recruitment campaign will be launched in due course,” they said.

Ms Pyper spent seven years as Chief Executive of the Utility Regulator, before announcing her decision to step down in February.

She agreed to stay on until the autumn to allow her successor to be found.

At the time of her departure, she was praised for “transforming the organisation into a more outward-looking and collaborative regulator”.

A graduate of Queen’s University in Belfast, Ms Pyper has held many senior roles within the Public Service and previously worked with First Minister, Arlene Foster during her time in charge of the Department of Enterprise.

In her previous post at the Utility Regulator she had a staff of 80 — in her new job she will have a workforce of more than 22,000 and will be responsible for a budget in excess of £20 billion ($A36.2 billion).

Belfast, 30 November 2020

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