Quango roles are extended despite no functioning Executive

Mark Ennis has had his £42,365-a-year role as chairman of Invest NI extended by another six months
Gary McDonald Business Editor

DESPITE the lack of a functioning Stormont Executive, the terms of office of a number of chairs and board members of various public bodies in the north have again been extended by the Department of the Economy.

Most of those sitting on the various quangos were due to have been out of post at the end of last year, but their terms have been extended by six months from January 1 to June 30.

The majority of the extendees are paid in some capacity, ranging from just over £105 a day for members of the Consumer Council through to £42,365 a year in the case of the chair of Invest NI. Those who don't receive a direct payment are able to claim travelling and subsistence allowances.

The reappointments are made under the rules of the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland, whose role it to to ensure that the best people are chosen for public bodies free of personal and political patronage. Here are the latest extensions and their payments:

:: Construction Industry Training Board (£144 a day) - six-month extensions for chair Maurice Johnston and members Christopher Corken, Siobhan Hassard, David Henry, Derek Martin and Jackie Pollock.

:: Consumer Council (£105.44 a day) - extensions for board members David Beattie, David Galloway and Sam Snodden.

:: Health and Safety Executive (£3,850 a year) - extensions for board members Tom Wright and Harry Sinclair.

:: Invest NI (pay currently £12,115 a year) - extensions for chairman Mark Ennis (his post pays £42,365 a year) and board members Brian Baird, Padraig Canavan and Judith Totten.

:: Labour Relations Agency (£5,252 a year) - six-month extensions for chair Marie Mallon (she is paid £24,190 a year, with a time commitment of six days per month) and Alison Millar. The terms of board members Gary McMichael, Daire Murphy, Jill Minne and Deirdre Fitzpatrick extend to May 31.

:: Northern Ireland Screen - tenure of chair Dame Rotha Johnston (she is paid £10,100) extended to the end of June.

:: Northern Regional College (£250 for a governing body meeting and £150 for a committee meeting) - extension for board member Richard Jay.

:: Stranmillis University College (travel expenses only are paid) - extensions for chairman Professor Sir Desmond Rea and board members Ken Nelson and Robert Thompson.

:: South Eastern Regional College (£250 for a governing body meeting and £150 for a committee meeting) - extension for board member Gareth Hetherington.

:: Tourism NI (£5,150 a year) - extensions for board members Michele Shirlow, Colin Neill, Angelina Fusco and Terry McCartney.

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