About the Department for the Economy

The Departmental Board is chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Noel Lavery, and manages the Department within the strategic policy and resources framework set by the Minister. It supports the Permanent Secretary by providing collective leadership and taking ownership of the Department’s performance.  

Departmental Board

The Department’s Deputy Secretaries are members of the Board and are responsible for the following groups:

  • Strategic Policy Group
  • ​Skills and Business Development
  • Infrastructure and Regulation 
  • Higher Education and Investment 

The Director of Finance and the Department’s Strategic HR Business Partner, are also members of the Board.

In addition two Independent Board Members, Mr Colm McKenna and Mrs Claire Hughes, who are not civil servants, also sit on the Departmental Board.

The Board meets on a regular basis and has established an Audit and Risk Assurance Committee which operates as a sub-committee of the Board.  This Committee is chaired by Mr Colm McKenna and meets at least four times a year. The Chairman reports to the Departmental Board following each meeting.

For more information on organisational structure and key functions, visit the DfE Organisational Structure and key functions page.

Service delivery

DfE sponsors a number of organisations which have a key role in terms of implementing and delivering the Executive’s and the Minister’s policies.

The Department also acts as co-sponsor to two organisations set up under the Belfast Agreement: 

Other bodies

In addition, the NI Executive has been the primary funder of the Northern Ireland Science Park (now Catalyst Inc) and DfE works with Catalyst Inc to develop the knowledge economy.  DfE (along with the Department of Finance and the Department for Infrastructure) also works with the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation (NIAUR) in the development and regulation of the electricity and gas industry.

Back to top