Murphy strengthens code for Special Advisers

Date published: 20 January 2020

Finance Minister, Conor Murphy has today published strengthened transparency and governance arrangements for the appointments of Special Advisers.

Speaking after these were agreed by The Executive, Minister Murphy said:  “Special Advisers are a critical part of the team supporting Ministers.

“Special Advisers should be subject to, and adhere to, the high standards expected of those in public life. Given the public’s legitimate concerns in this regard I have moved quickly to produce and agree strengthened rules.

“If public confidence in these institutions is to be rebuilt it is essential that these rules and the values that underpin them are put into practice.”

The strengthened rules for Special Advisers: 

  • Mean that pay is capped and set independently by Department of Finance officials.
  • Make clear that Ministers are responsible for the appointment, conduct and discipline of Special Advisers.
  • Require details of gifts and hospitality, meetings with external organisations, and pay to be published.
  • Require Special Advisers to keep good records and use official emails accounts.
  • Require Special Advisers to serve the Executive as a whole as well as their appointing Minister.

Notes to editors: 

Notes to editors:

  1. The process for appointing Special Advisers will now be completed under the new rules, with details of those appointed including salaries being published.
  2. The new Special Adviser Code, associated documents and Minister Murphy’s written statement to the Assembly is available at:
  3. All media queries to the Department of Finance Press Office on 028 9081 6724. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 90378110 and your call will be returned.
  4. Follow us on Twitter @dptfinance

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