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Head of Information Systems Unit (ISU)
Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs (DAERA)


About the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs

The Department of Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs (DAERA) has responsibility for food, farming, environmental, fisheries, forestry and sustainability policy and the development of the rural sector in Northern Ireland.

Its vision is ‘Sustainability at the heart of a living, working, active landscape’. It has embarked on an ambitious five year Digital Transformation Programme aimed at delivering its services primarily through digital channels.


The Role - Head of Information Systems Unit

The Head of Information Systems Unit (ISU) is a permanent ICT level 8 post within Digital Services Division who leads and directs on the provision and delivery of all DAERA line of business digital services as well as contributing to the strategic direction of DAERA.

The post holder also provides professional guidance and leadership particularly in relation to procurement, contract management, development and the implementation of enterprise ready ICT and Digital solutions.

Head of DAERA’s ISU, the post holder is responsible for the design, integration, development and implementation of key line of business information systems within the Department, and leads on the implementation of DAERA’s data strategy.

Information Systems Unit is comprised of five branches:

  • Digital Enterprise Services Branch
  • Veterinary Services Digital Systems Branch
  • Environment, Marine & Fisheries Digital Systems Branch
  • Food, Farming & Forestry Digital Systems Branch
  • Data and Geographics Systems Branch

The ISU is responsible for a portfolio of 100 plus line of business information systems covering areas such as EU Grant and Subsidies, animal traceability, trade, environmental protection and green growth.

The overall purpose of the job is to provide strategic leadership in the delivery of innovative, high quality, compliant information systems that enable business areas to deliver services in a more efficient and effective way.

The role requires close collaboration with senior staff in business areas to understand complex business requirements and translate these into enterprise IT solutions, maximising the opportunities for standardisation and re-use within a componentised services oriented architecture.

The Head of Information Systems reports directly to the Director of Digital Services in DAERA and has responsibility for leading, co-ordinating, directing and overseeing a wide portfolio of information systems across DAERA.

The post holder is also responsible for procurement and management of external contractors who are embedded within IT development teams, as well as providing strategic IT related advice and guidance across the organisation and ensuring appropriately resourced and skilled staff are available to ensure key Departmental strategic goals related to digital delivery are met.