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Deputy Principal
Head of Procurement and Contracts
Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA)

“The headquarters in the North West removes the need to travel to Belfast.”

I joined the NICS as an Administrative Officer in the Courts Service in 1999 and worked in courthouses across NI, which I really enjoyed. In 2009 I was promoted to Staff Officer (SO) as Deputy Chief Clerk in Londonderry Court House. In 2012 I was successful in the Deputy Principal (DP) competition and was posted to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA). I have been Head of Procurement and Contracts Branch since 2018.

Strong people skills are essential in a role like this because you have to negotiate and communicate effectively, lead a team and drive decision-making, while focusing on outcomes and delivering value for money. It’s a very responsible job – my team currently leads 400 live contracts valued at £80m –and a challenging one as well.

I currently work in Ballykelly House, a fantastic new building and a lovely working environment. The opening of this new headquarters presents staff in the North West with new opportunities, removing the need to travel to Belfast, which has been a barrier to promotion for many staff in the past.

I get to work on a hugely diverse range of projects. That can look intimidating from the outside, but in the NICS you’re always provided with the necessary training to complete your role, plus opportunities to develop new skills. Though it’s a huge organisation, everyone matters. So I’d highly recommend a career in the NICS. It’s given me the chance to work in many business areas and gain important transferable skills.