Justice secretary general to retire a year into job
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.
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