Appointment of Civil Service Commissioner for Northern Ireland.


The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Right Honourable Brandon Lewis MP has announced the reappointment of Sinead Burns as a Civil Service Commissioner for Northern Ireland.

The appointment has been renewed for a period of five years until 7 March 2026.

Sinead Burns is an Occupational Psychologist and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development with over 20 years’ experience in Human Resource Management gained within the public, private and charitable sectors. She served as Commissioner for Judicial Appointments in Northern Ireland from 2005 until 2013.

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She is currently a Lay Magistrate and a Member of Council for the General Optical Council, which regulates optical professionals and businesses throughout the UK. She is also a Fitness to Practice Panel Member with the Health & Care Professions Council.


The Civil Service Commissioners for Northern Ireland

The Civil Service Commissioners for Northern Ireland are independent of Government and the Northern Ireland Civil Service, and have a statutory responsibility to uphold selection on merit for appointments to the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS). The Commissioners also hear appeals under the NICS Code of Ethics. Commissioners work in partnership with the NICS and other stakeholders to uphold the merit principle and promote public confidence in recruitment.

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Terms of appointment

The position attracts a remuneration of £300 per day and is not pensionable.

Political Activity

All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity in defined categories within the last five years to be made public.

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The appointee has declared no such political activity in the past five years.


This appointment is not regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments.


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