Finance role to be filled from within Civil Service

External applications will not be invited as the Government selects a successor to John Moran

 John Moran: the first outsider to hold the post of secretary general at the  Department of Finance. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

John Moran: the first outsider to hold the post of secretary general at the Department of Finance. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Fri, Jun 13, 2014, 01:00

The Government has resolved to return command of the Department of Finance to the permanent Civil Service after a two-year hiatus in which the Department was run by a former banker.

External applications will not be invited as the Government selects a new secretary general in succession to John Moran, who leaves next month. The appointment is crucial as the department chief oversees economic, fiscal, taxation and banking policy for Minister for Finance Michael Noonan.

Mr Moran, who spent most of his career in banking, was the first outsider to hold the post. His departure has surprised Ministers as he had received a seven-year term of office in 2012.

Only permanent officials will be considered in the contest to succeed him, it is understood. This reflects concern within the Government that a newcomer would not have enough time to learn the brief while preparations intensify over the summer for the October budget.

The early favourites are: Derek Moran, assistant secretary in the fiscal policy division and Ann Nolan, second secretary in the financial services division.

Secretary general to the Government Martin Fraser sent an internal notice inviting expressions of interest two days ago, with a deadline of June 23rd.“Before a decision is taken by the Government on this appointment, all suitable officers in the civil service will be considered,” said the notice.

The Government is looking for a person “with an understanding of the policy and political context in which the Department operates”. The person should also be “a skilled negotiator in the international and domestic political context”.