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.
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 Directors of Finance Division and Central Services Division, as well as the Department’s Strategic HR Business Partner, are also members of the Board.
In addition an Independent Board Member, Mr Colm McKenna, who is not a civil servant, also sits 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. It meets at least four times a year and the Chair 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.
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.
- Invest Northern Ireland
- Tourism Northern Ireland
- Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland
- Consumer Council for Northern Ireland
- Northern Ireland Screen
- Colleges of Further Education
- Labour Relations Agency
- Construction Industry Training Board
- The Industrial Court
- Office of the Industrial Tribunals and the Fair Employment Tribunals
- Ulster University
- Queen’s University
- Open University in Northern Ireland
- Stranmillis University College
- St Mary’s University College
The Department also acts as co-sponsor to two organisations set up under the Belfast Agreement:
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.