They are the team of senior officials who govern Northern Ireland, but their names are not as well known as the former ministers who were a common sight on TV screens and newspaper pages.
There has been no executive since the general election, and the acting ministers resigned last month. This means that Stormont is now run by permanent department secretaries.
Department of Economics (DfE)
The Permanent Secretary of the DfE is Mike Brennan, who has held the position since December 2020. Previously, he was Deputy Secretary of the Department’s EU Exit Policy Group and Senior Principal Economist in the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister.
In 2020/21 he was paid a base salary of between £125,000 and £130,000.
Mr. Brennan is Chair of the Departmental Board of DfE, which manages a policy and resource framework established by a former Minister.
Without a minister, it is up to the permanent secretary to steer the ship.
DfE’s indicative revised budget allocation for this financial year is £861m
Department of Justice (DoJ)
The Permanent Secretary of the Department of Justice is Richard Pengelly, formerly of the Department of Health. He oversees four directorates: Access to Justice, Safer Communities, the Administration of Justice and Crime Reduction. Each of them has a director.
In the 2021/22 financial year, the permanent secretary was paid a salary of between £135,000 and £140,000.
The Department’s indicative budget allocation for 2022/23 is £1.1bn
Department of Health (DoH)
Peter May is the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health. In the same function he worked in the department for infrastructure and the department for culture, art and leisure.
The career officer was also the director for safer communities within the Department of Justice and the principal private secretary to the Deputy First Minister.
The DoH, which is also responsible for the fire and rescue service, carries out its duties directly through the Department and through its 17 independent bodies, including the five health foundations, the Office of Public Health and the Patients’ Council.
In FY2021/22 the post had a base salary of between £140,000 and £145,000.
DoH’s indicative budget allocation for this financial year is £6.8 billion
Department for Municipalities (DfC)
Colum Boyle has been permanent secretary of the DfC since April this year. He was previously interim permanent secretary at the Treasury Department and deputy secretary of the DfC’s Labor and Health Group.
He manages the department’s operations and is also its chief accountant. The full year equivalent base salary for the position in 2021/22 ranged from £130,000 to £135,000.
DfC’s budget for this financial year is £819m
Department of Treasury (DoF)
The DoF manages the cash registers of all other departments and is also responsible for the staff of the public service.
It consists of the Public Spending Directorate, Constructions and Procurement Delivery, Land and Property Services, Enterprise Shared Services, Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, Strategic Policy and Reform Directorate, Departmental Solicitor’s Office, Public Service Human Resources and Communications and engagement department.
The Permanent Secretary of the Department of Defense is Neil Gibson, who assumed the role in February this year.
The full year equivalent base salary for the position ranged from £130,000 to £135,000 in 2021/22.
DoF’s indicative budget allocation for 2022/23 is £179m
Department of Infrastructure (DfI)
The Permanent Secretary of the DfI is Julie Harrison, who also serves as Accountant. As in other departments, the permanent secretary leads the DfI board, reporting to three assistant secretaries, a director of corporate policy and planning, and a director of finance.
Ms Harrison was previously Chair of the National Lottery Community Fund for Northern Ireland, Director of the Building Change Trust and Co-opted of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust before entering public service in 2020 as Assistant Secretary at the DoJ.
In 2021/22, the permanent secretary of the DfI was paid a base salary of between £130,000 and £135,000.
The DfI’s indicative budget allocation for 2022/23 is £447m
Department of Education (DoE)
The Ministry of Education works with independent bodies, including the Board of Education, the General Board of Education and the Council for Catholic Schools.
Mark Browne has been permanent secretary since February 2021. He has 36 years of public service experience and has served as Assistant Secretary in the Executive Office since 2013. Before that he was Deputy Secretary at the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.
In 2021/22 the position had a base salary of between £120,000 and £125,000.
The DoE’s indicative budget allocation for this financial year is £2.4 billion
Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (Daera)
Daera is responsible for food, agriculture, environment, fisheries, forestry and the rural sector. It has two executive agencies, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and the Forest Service.
Permanent Secretary is Katrina Godfrey, who took office in April. Previously, she worked as permanent secretary at DfI and in senior positions in the Executive Office.
Daera’s indicative budget allocation for 2022/23 is £571m
The Executive Office (TEO)
The task of the TEO is to contribute to the coordination of executive policies and to oversee them. When present, the First and Deputy First Ministers have political responsibility for the TEO.
It is now headed by Permanent Secretary Denis McMahon, who is also the department’s accounting officer. While she remains head of public service, Jayne Brady also has a role to play.
McMahon was previously Daera’s permanent secretary, while Ms Brady held a senior position on Belfast City Council.
The position had a full-time equivalent base salary of between £130,000 and £135,000 in 2021/22.
TEO’s indicative budget allocation for this financial year is £212m
https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/no-northern-ireland-executive-and-no-assembly-so-whos-running-stormont-42136054.html No Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly… so who runs Stormont?