Belfast Telegraph

Appointments to the Board of the Utility Regulator

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Finance and Personnel

Finance Minister Simon Hamilton has announced the appointment of three new members to the Board of the Northern Ireland Authority for Utility Regulation (the Utility Regulator), Mr David Strahan, Mr Harold McCracken and Ms Teresa Perchard.

All three have been appointed to serve on the Board for a five year term commencing 1 September 2013.

The new board members will receive annual remuneration of £9,561.

Notes to editors:

1. The Utility Regulator is the non-ministerial government department responsible for regulating the electricity and gas industries as well as water and sewerage services in Northern Ireland. It protects the interests of consumers with regard to both price and quality of service.

2. Mr David Strahan has had nine years experience in Phoenix including almost six years as Managing Director of Phoenix Supply Ltd. He is currently Finance Director of Dee Valley Group plc, the holding company for Dee Valley Water plc. Mr Strahan does not hold any other Ministerial public appointments.

3. Mr Harold McCracken held a number of roles in Viridian/NIE, retiring in 2011 as Managing Director of NIE. He is currently Non-Executive Chairman of two companies, Simple Power Ltd and Winder Electrical Holdings. Mr McCracken does not hold any other Ministerial public appointments.

4. Ms Teresa Perchard had nine years experience working in both the Office of Water Services and in the Office of Rail Regulation. Until June 2013 she was Director of Policy and Advocacy at Citizens Advice, having worked for Citizens Advice for more than 13 years. Ms Perchard is currently Vice-Chair of the UK Government's Fuel Poverty Advisory Group (England); board Director of the energy industry's Central Delivery Body for co-ordinating communications about the roll out of smart meters across Great Britain; and board Director of the Trading Standards Institute's Consumer Code Approvals Board (CCAB). She is also a member of the board of the Personal Finance Society and the Chartered Banker Professional Standards Board Consumer Advisory Panel. Ms Perchard does not hold any other Ministerial public appointments.

5. The appointments were made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland’s Code of Practice. All appointments to the Board of the Utility Regulator are made by the Minister for Finance and Personnel. Board members are expected to each devote around 20 days per year on average to Utility Regulator business.

6. Political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland requires the political activity of appointees to be published. Mr Strahan and Mr McCracken declared that they had not engaged in any political activity in the last five years. Ms Perchard declared that she had canvassed on behalf of a Scottish Conservative candidate during the Edinburgh City Council elections in 2012.

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