The Northern Ireland Office supports the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in promoting the best interests of Northern Ireland within a stronger United Kingdom. It ensures Northern Ireland interests are fully and effectively represented at Westminster and the heart of Government, and the Government’s responsibilities are fully and effectively represented in Northern Ireland.

Our key purpose is to ensure good political governance by working alongside the Northern Ireland Executive to help improve the effectiveness and delivery of the devolved institutions; to ensure a more secure Northern Ireland; deliver a growing economy including rebalancing the economy; ensure a stronger society by supporting initiatives designed to build better community relations and a genuinely shared future. 

The Northern Ireland Office employs over 200 staff, with offices in Belfast and London. Staff are recruited directly and on loan or secondment from other Whitehall departments and the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

In addition to the core Department, there are a range of matters that are dealt with through a network of associated bodies which operate independently of Government. These differ considerably from each other in terms of their formal status, intended purpose, statutory or other responsibilities, and the degree of independence from Government and size.

In partnership with the Irish Government we also co-sponsor the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains and provide support for the British-Irish Intergovernmental Secretariat.

Madeleine Alessandri Chair

Why the Northern Ireland Office is supporting Boardroom Apprentice

“The Northern Ireland Office is a leader in promoting inclusion, equality and diversity and is committed to supporting learning and development to enable our people to do their jobs to the best of their ability and to develop the necessary skills for the present and future. We, therefore, welcome this opportunity for a Boardroom Apprentice as it is consistent with our ethos and will have a positive impact on increasing participation in public life from a wide range of underrepresented groups.”

Location of Board and Committee Meetings

All Board and Committee meetings held by Video Conferencing between NIO offices in London and Stormont House in Belfast or accessed remotely.

Frequency and timing of board/committee meetings

Board meetings held quarterly with Executive Committee meetings held every month, except for months when the Board meets, and the Audit & Risk Committee meets at least four times a year. The Board and Committees meetings usually scheduled for the second Thursday of the month between 11.00-14.00.

Date of Board Meetings (September 2021 – August 2022)

9 September 2021, 9 December 2021, 9 March 2022 and 9 June 2022

Committee of the Boards and meeting dates (September 2021 – August 2022)

ExCo – 14 October 2021, 11 November 2021, 13 January 2022, 10 February 2022, 14 April 2022, 12 May 2022, 14 July 2022 (TBC) and 11 August 2022

Audit Committee – 16 September 2021, 20 January 2022. Meetings in April and June 2022 TBC.