Appointment of interim Chief Commissioner and Chair to the Board of the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland

Date published: 04 January 2023

The Department for Communities has announced the interim appointment of Gerard McCurdy as Chief Commissioner and Chair of the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (the Commission).

image of a boardroom

This appointment took effect from 21 December 2022.

The Commission was established as the regulator of charities operating in Northern Ireland following the enactment of the Charities Act (Northern Ireland) 2008. The main functions of the Commission are to keep a public register of charities; encourage, facilitate and monitor compliance with charity law; determine charity status; identify and investigate misconduct in charity administration and take remedial or protective action, as necessary.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland Board: The Commission is a Non-Departmental Public Body of the Department for Communities. The Commission comprises a chair, deputy chair and at least three, but no more than five other commissioners.
  2. Details of appointment: This position attracts remuneration of £15,300 for a commitment of approximately five days per month (currently under review), plus travel and subsistence allowances. Mr McCurdy has been appointed to this role until a permanent appointee is in place. Since the McBride High Court Judgement of 2019, the Commission has operated decision-making committees, service on which attracts a daily rate of £500.
  3. Biography of appointee: Mr McCurdy has over 40 years’ experience working in a regulatory environment dealing with food safety, public health and consumer protection, including as the former NI Director of the Food Standards Agency which he was instrumental in setting up. He is on the Board of the Northern Ireland Consumer Council [fees payable are £56.67 (per meeting under 4 hours) and £113.32 (per meeting over 4 hours)] as well as on the Board of the Food Safety Authority of Ireland. He has considerable board experience, particularly in the areas of strategic planning, governance, audit and risk management.
  4. CPANI code of practice and political activity: The appointment has been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland’s (CPA NI) Code of Practice. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, CPA NI requires the political activity of appointees to be published. Mr McCurdy has had no political activity in the last five years.
  5. For media queries contact the Department for Communities press office via email: Press.Office
  6. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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