Julie Harrison was appointed as the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) with effect from 1 April 2022.
The Permanent Secretary of the Department for Infrastructure is the Minister's principal adviser across the full range of their Ministerial responsibilities.
In terms of the Department's corporate governance arrangements the Permanent Secretary acts as Head of Department and chair of the Departmental Board, as well as being the Accounting Officer.
Julie joined DfI as Permanent Secretary on 1 April 2022. Her background is in research and analysis, social inclusion, grant making and urban regeneration. In a variety of policy, funding and advisory roles, she has worked with local and central government, independent funders and voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations to support social change. She has previously served as Northern Ireland Chair of the National Lottery Community Fund, a Director of the Building Change Trust and co-optee to Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.
In 2015, Julie was retained as Strategic Advisor by the Strategic Investment Board, which supports delivery of large scale or complex projects and programmes and advises the NI Executive. In 2020 she joined the NICS as a Deputy Secretary in the Department of Justice. She was responsible for a broad range of policy areas including Policing, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Crime, Hate Crime, Paramilitarism and Organised Crime including Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery.
The Departmental Board exists to lead the Department's strategic planning and assist the Permanent Secretary in meeting corporate governance responsibilities for the Department.
The Board provides corporate leadership to the organisation as a whole, takes ownership of the Department's performance, provides support for the Head of Department and provides advice to the Minister.
The key aspects of the Board's role include:
- taking forward the Department's agreed strategic aims
- advising on the allocation of its financial and human resources to achieve those aims
- managing departmental resources and monitoring the achievement of performance objectives
- setting the Department's standards and values
- maintaining a transparent system of prudent and effective controls;
- assessing and managing risk
- leading and overseeing the process of change and encouraging innovation, to enhance the Department's capability to deliver
As Accounting Officer, the Permanent Secretary is responsible for ensuring that:
- the Departmental accounts are properly presented
- correct financial procedures are followed and accounting records maintained
- public funds are managed with propriety and duly safeguarded
- departmental assets are controlled and safeguarded
- all relevant financial considerations are taken into account, and brought to the Minister's attention, when considering policy proposals
- a sound system of internal control is maintained in the Department to support the achievement of its policies and objectives
- the impact of the Department's activities on others is properly identified and, where appropriate, taken into account
- the Statement of Internal Control is accurate and appropriate
The Permanent Secretary's Registers for Gifts and Hospitality and Expenses claims are available at: