News story

Appointment of new member of the Northern Ireland Boundary Commission

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Rt. Hon Theresa Villiers MP today announced the appointment of Sarah Havlin to the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland.

The appointment will take effect on 11 December 2015.

Ms Villiers said:

I am confident that Ms Havlin will bring experience and perspective to the job and make a valuable contribution to the work of the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland.

The Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland’s role is to review the number, names, designation and boundaries of parliamentary constituencies in Northern Ireland and to submit reports with recommendations to the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

The enactment of Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act 2011 introduced new rules and procedures to be followed in the delineation of parliamentary constituency boundaries together with a new method of allocating constituencies. It also provided for a 5-year cycle of reviews.

The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is responsible for making appointments to the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland. The appointment is made in accordance with Schedule 1 of the Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986.

Biography of Appointee

Sarah Havlin is a solicitor by profession currently serving as the Certification Officer of Northern Ireland. She holds appointments as the legal member of the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority of Northern Ireland, and as a member of the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland. Previous appointments include Assistant Local Government Boundaries Commissioner and Assistant District Electoral Areas Commissioner.

Terms of Appointment

  • The position of member is a part-time appointment.
  • The position attracts a daily remuneration of £505.50.
  • The appointment will be from 11 December 2015 for a period of five years.

Political Activity

All appointments are made on merit and with regards to the statutory requirements. Commissioners should not have any party political affiliations which could be seen to affect their judgement and balance in their role as a Boundary Commissioner.

Mrs Havlin declared no political activity in the past ten years.

OCPA Code of Practice

The appointment process has been regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointment (OCPA) and all stages of the process were overseen by an independent panel member.

Statutory Requirements

This appointment is made by the Secretary of State with regard to the equality provisions set out in section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and in accordance with Schedule 1 Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986.