The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Karen Bradley MP today announced the appointment of Deirdre Blakely Toner as the new Chair of the Civil Service Commissioners for Northern Ireland.The appointment will take effect on 1 June 2018.Notes to EditorsThe Civil Service Commissioners for Northern IrelandThe Civil Service Commissioners for Northern Ireland are independent of Government and the Northern Ireland Civil Service, and have a statutory responsibility to uphold selection on merit for appointments to the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS). The Commissioners also hear appeals under the NICS Code of Ethics. Commissioners work in partnership with the NICS and other stakeholders to uphold the merit principle and promote public confidence in recruitment.Biography of AppointeeDeirdre Blakely Toner is currently Chief Executive Officer of Samaritans Ireland and serves as an independent member on the Northern Ireland Policing Board.Deirdre has over 30 years’ experience in governance, performance and risk management from working across the voluntary, community and public sectors in Northern Ireland and further afield. She is a graduate of Public Administration and Management, and Human Rights law with the University of Ulster and Transitional Justice Institute.Terms of AppointmentDeidre Blakely Toner will take up appointment from 1 June 2018. Her appointment is for a five year term.She will receive remuneration of £16,000 per annum for Chairing Civil Service Commissioner meetings and participating in Commissioner’s business as required by the Civil Service Commissioners (NI) Order.This is a Crown Appointment.Political ActivityAll appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity in defined categories within the last five years to be made public.The appointee has declared no such political activity in the past five years.