Monday, May 27, 2024

Minister O’Dowd announces appointments of a Chair and Non-Executive Member for the Board of Northern Ireland Water

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Infrastructure Minister, John O’Dowd has appointed Josephine Aston as Chair to the Board of Northern Ireland Water (NIW) . He has also appointed Daniel McSorley to serve as a Non-Executive Director.


Minister O’Dowd said: “I am pleased to announce the appointments of Josephine and Daniel to these important posts.  I am confident that with their knowledge of the opportunities and challenges facing NI Water, they will make valuable contributions to the work of the Board in their roles going forward.”

The Minister also acknowledged the significant work of the outgoing Chair, Dr Len O’Hagan, and the outgoing Non-Executive Member, Mr Peter McNaney, during their tenure on the Board since 2015 in both instances.

NIW is responsible for the delivery of water and sewerage services across Northern Ireland. The NIW Board provides independent judgement on issues of strategy, performance, governance, and executive appointments.

The appointments are effective from 1 April 2024 and will be for a period of up to four years.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The appointments have been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland Code of Practice.
  1. NI Water is established as a Non-Departmental Public Body and a government owned company with DfI as the sole shareholder. It also operates under the Companies Act.
  1. The Board currently has a membership of a Chair, five Non-Executive Members and four Executive Members. The Chair currently receives remuneration of £40,000 per annum and a Non-Executive Member receives remuneration of £18,000 per annum.
  1. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published. Josephine Aston and Daniel McSorley has declared that they have not undertaken any political activity.
  1. Biographies: Josephine Aston is a Chartered Civil Engineer who has worked in both the private and public sectors with experience in all aspects of the utility business.  While employed by the Economic Utility Regulator for Northern Ireland, she led the reform of both Water and Energy Sectors.  She brings her experience in roles such as Director of Water Regulation, Director of Wholesale Energy Markets, Managing Director of the Electricity System Operator for Northern Ireland. Mrs Aston is currently a Non-Executive Board Member and Chair the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee for The Department of The Executive Office, a position for which she receives remuneration of £500 per day (pro-rated).
  1. Daniel (Danny) McSorley is a Chartered Civil Engineer and brings to the Board over twenty years strategic leadership experience in Central and Local Government. He is a former Chief Executive of Rivers Agency and Strabane and Omagh District Councils. He has more recently served as Independent Chair of the Safety Technical Group which advised the Department for Communities on the spectator safety aspects of the Stadia Programme.  Mr McSorley is currently a Non-Executive Director of the Strategic Investment Board for Northern Ireland, a position for which he receives remuneration of £11,000 per year.
  2. The Department for Infrastructure does not reappoint board members automatically to a second term. All appointments are made through open competition. An outgoing Chair or Member who has served one term is eligible to apply through the open competition for a second term.
  3. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at: press.office@infrastructure-ni.gov.uk
  4. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
  5. Follow the Department on X/Twitter @deptinfra on Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure and on LinkedIn at DfILinkedIn.

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