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Department Officials

Volume 978: debated on Thursday 7 February 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the normal period of service of officials of the rank of assistant principal and above in his department; and if he will publish in the Official Report an analysis of the Department in which such officials had previously served, for the last convenient five-year period.

Ninety-three per cent. of civil servants of the rank of higher executive officer and above in the Northern Ireland Office are serving permanently in the office on a normal career to retirement age. Seven per cent. are serving on secondment from 10 other Government Departments for periods of two to three years. An analysis such as the right hon. Gentleman has asked for is being published in the Official Report.

I am obliged to the right hon. Gentleman for publishing the analysis. Does he agree that it is especially desirable that his senior advisers should have a depth of experience and knowledge of the Province, which can only be acquired by long service there?

Following are the details: