About the Department for Infrastructure

Part of: DfI management and structure

The Department for Infrastructure is responsible for the maintenance and development of critical infrastructure in Northern Ireland.

Through its focus on water, transport and planning, the Department seeks to manage and protect over £37bn of public assets that improve people’s quality of life, reduce our impact on the planet by living sustainability and decarbonising key services, and building prosperity by driving inclusive productivity.

DfI Diagram of Strategic Framework Strategic Priorities

The Department is focused on:

  • Prioritising our work to focus on the delivery of our core services and the sound management of our assets;
  • Enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the planning system;
  • Considering how to transform our services and plan for the future in the context of the Climate Change Act (Northern Ireland) 2022 and other policy and legislation priorities;
  • Building capacity in these priority areas; and
  • Communicating more effectively with our delivery partners and the public.

 The main responsibilities of the Department are:

  • Regional strategic planning and development policy;
  • Transport strategy and sustainable transport policy;
  • Public transport policy and performance;
  • Road safety and vehicle regulation policy, including strategies to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads;
  • Driver and operator licensing and driver and vehicle testing;
  • Provision and maintenance of all public roads;
  • Certain policy and support work for air and sea-ports;
  • River and sea defence maintenance and the construction of flood alleviation schemes;
  • Provision of flood maps and risk information; and
  • Policy on water and sewerage services and management of the Department’s shareholder interest in Northern Ireland Water.

You can find out more on the work of the Department in the DfI Strategic Framework.

Organisation structure

The Department operates under the direction and control of the Minister for Infrastructure. Civil Servants are accountable to the Minister and the Minister is accountable to the Assembly.

The Permanent Secretary, Dr. Denis McMahon, is the Department’s Accounting Officer and the principal adviser to the Minister for Infrastructure.

The Department is made up of three groups;

You can view the staff structure at:

For more information on organisational structure and key functions, see:

The Departmental Board

The purpose of the Board is to provide leadership for the Department’s business, bringing together its senior officials (Executive Board Members) along with Non- Executive Board Members (NEMs) from outside government. It concentrates on advising on strategic, governance and operational issues affecting the Department’s performance as well as scrutinising and challenging Departmental policies and performance, with a view to the long-term health and success of the Department.

The Board does not decide policy or exercise the powers of the Ministers. The Department’s policy is decided by Ministers on advice from officials and in line with budget and resource availability. The Board’s Operating Framework, which sets out the functions, aims and responsibilities of the Board and its membership, can be found here.

The Board is supported by 3 Sub-Committees:



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