AQW 10138/11-15

Mr Danny Kinahan
Ulster Unionist Party
South Antrim

Tabled Date: 27/03/2012
Answered On Date: 14/05/2012
Priority Written: No

To ask the First Minister and deputy First Minister to detail (i) the process for appointing the Barroso desk officers; (ii) the grade of each officer; (iii) the aims and objectives the officers have been set; and (iv) how they will measure the overall success of the appointments.

(i)The Barroso Taskforce Working Group (BTWG) Desk Officers were appointed on secondment following a selection process which was managed in line with NICS Policy. The secondment notice was advertised to civil servants through the HRConnect portal. All secondment opportunities are advertised in this way. The secondment notice sought applications from staff at Deputy Principal level and provided details of the job description, location of posts and other eligibility criteria. A selection panel comprising 3 staff at Senior Civil Service level – Grade 3 (chairperson) and 2 Grade 5 (panel members) – carried out interviews and listed successful candidates in merit order, in line with NICS selection processes.
(ii)Four Desk Officers were appointed at Deputy Principal level, one for each of the four priority thematic areas for NI – competitiveness and employment, social cohesion, innovation and technology and climate change and energy.
(iii)The aims and objectives for the posts were set out in the Job Description, a copy of which has been placed in the Assembly Library.
(iv)The overall success of the appointments will be gauged principally in terms of the recognition by departments of the value added by Desk Officers to the process of European engagement. This in turn will be measured against the success of all departments in meeting their European objectives as outlined in the Executive Priorities for 2012/13 and the current Programme for Government commitment to increase drawdown of European elective funding by 20%.