21/01/2020

Spad Salaries To Be Capped

The role of special advisers at Stormont is to come under greater scrutiny while maximum salaries are reduced, the Finance Minister has confirmed.

Under a newly published Code of Conduct, the officials commonly known as Spads will be capped at a salary of £85,000, meaning they can no longer be paid more than a Minister.

Finance Minister Connor Murphy implemented the changes this week, which also include new practices and rules for their daily duties and responsibilities.

The Code of Conduct now requires all Spads to keep good records and operate using official email accounts.

Salary details of each official will be published, along with any meetings, gifts or hospitality received.
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The changes make clear that Ministers are responsible for the appointment, conduct and discipline of Spads and reiterate that officials will serve the Executive as a whole as well as their appointed Minister.

Minister Murphy said the changes are vital for public confidence in the newly reformed Stormont institutions.

"Special Advisers are a critical part of the team supporting Ministers," the Sinn Fein MLA commented.

"Special Advisers should be subject to, and adhere to, the high standards expected of those in public life. Given the public's legitimate concerns in this regard I have moved quickly to produce and agree strengthened rules.

"If public confidence in these institutions is to be rebuilt it is essential that these rules and the values that underpin them are put into practice."



(JG/CM)

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