Leo O’Reilly was appointed Permanent Secretary in the Department for Communities (DfC) in May 2016.  This new department has been created following decisions by the Northern Ireland Executive to restructure and reduce the number of government departments from 12 departments to 9.  The new department’s functions cover a wide range of activities and responsibilities including:

  • the promotion of a healthy housing and the provision of decent, affordable, sustainable homes and housing support services
  • a social welfare system including focused support to the most disadvantaged areas
  • providing training and support to jobseekers and employers
  • bringing divided communities together by creating urban centres which are sustainable, welcoming and accessible to live, work and relax in peace
  • supporting local Government to deliver effective public services
  • maximising public benefits from the culture, arts and leisure sectors
  • tackling disadvantage and promoting equality of opportunity by reducing poverty, promoting and protecting the interests of children, older people, people with disabilities, and other socially excluded groups; addressing inequality and disadvantage.
  • The department employs some 8,500 staff and has an annual budget of almost £7 billion, including expenditure of £5.9 billion on social security and pension payments.

Copy of presentation made by GSAP to Mr. Leo O'Reilly - Permanent Secretary for the Department for Communities