Jus­tice sec­re­tary gen­eral to re­tire a year into job

Irish Examiner - - News - Juno McEn­roe

The Gov­ern­ment has made an an­nounce­ment that the Depart­ment of Jus­tice sec­re­tary gen­eral is set to re­tire af­ter of­fi­cially serv­ing in the role for just over a year.

Noel Waters will step down as head of the depart­ment as he has com­pleted what is considered a full ser­vice as a civil ser­vant -— equiv­a­lent to 40 years.

A state­ment from the Gov­ern­ment said: “The sec­re­tary gen­eral no­ti­fied the min­is­ter for­mally yes­ter­day that, as he will have shortly served for 40 years, he in­tends to re­tire in Fe­bru­ary. This was noted as a mat­ter of rou­tine at today’s gov­ern­ment meet­ing.”

Most, if not all, civil ser­vants can re­tire af­ter 40 years. A max­i­mum pen­sion is based on that pe­riod of time.

Mr Waters had been act­ing sec­re­tary gen­eral of the depart­ment since Oc­to­ber 2014. He was ap­pointed to the po­si­tion on a per­ma­nent ba­sis in Oc­to­ber last year.

A depart­ment state­ment added: “The sec­re­tary gen­eral will con­tinue in the post in the nor­mal way un­til he re­tires. The Depart­ment will now en­gage with the Top Level Ap­point­ments Com­mit­tee (TLAC) to ar­range an open com­pe­ti­tion which will be held by the Pub­lic Ap­point­ments Ser­vice in con­junc­tion with TLAC with a view to filling the post as soon as pos­si­ble. The sec­re­tary gen­eral has suc­cess­fully led a sig­nif­i­cant trans­for­ma­tion process in the depart­ment over the past three years and it is not an­tic­i­pated that there will be any dif­fi­culty in filling the post.”

A gov­ern­ment spokesman said it was a “co­in­ci­dence” that Mr Waters was re­tir­ing at a time when there were fresh Dáil ques­tions about com­mu­ni­ca­tions be­tween the gar­daí and the depart­ment over whistle­blower Mau­rice McCabe. A depart­ment state­ment also said “it has noth­ing what­so­ever to do with any other mat­ter”.

Mean­while, the Gov­ern­ment yes­ter­day also agreed to €28m in sup­ple­men­tary spend­ing mea­sures for Agri­cul­ture, Trans­port and Enterprise as part of spend­ing for next year. A gov­ern­ment spokesman said it is on top of the al­ready agreed €60bn spend over­all across de­part­ments next year. A sep­a­rate sup­ple­men­tary es­ti­mate for this year is also be­ing agreed to pay for an 85% restora­tion of the Christ­mas bonus for wel­fare re­cip­i­ents this year.

Else­where, the Gov­ern­ment re­ceived a re­port on bound­ary changes for the next gen­eral elec­tion. It ac­cepted rec­om­men­da­tions that the num­ber of Dáil seats in­crease from 158 to 160. It was also sug­gested in the re­port that the num­ber of seats could reach 172 by 2021 with pop­u­la­tion in­creases. This will be de­cided at a later stage. Leg­is­la­tion has now been agreed to en­act the cur­rent bound­ary changes for the next gen­eral elec­tion.

Boris John­son: To meet with Ir­ish politi­cians.

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