Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson announces interim arrangements prior to leaving post

Published Date: 17.01.2012

Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson has announced that he is appointing Colin Lewis as Interim Chief Executive for the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland. Colin is currently the Deputy Secretary responsible for the Management Services Group within the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI). Colin has agreed to accept a six month secondment to cover an interim period pending the appointments of a new Police Ombudsman and Chief Executive.

Al Hutchinson said "I am pleased that someone with Colin's experience in both the private and Government sectors has accepted the challenge of serving Northern Ireland in this important office. Colin's knowledge and senior level leadership, supported by a very able Police Ombudsman team, will add valuable continuity and independence during this challenging period of change to the Office of the Police Ombudsman".

Mr. Hutchinson has said that at the end of January 2012 he will formally delegate his functions as Police Ombudsman to appropriate levels within his Office. He will be taking his accrued leave during February and then returning to his home in Canada at the end of March 2012.

As a result of independent legal advice, Mr. Hutchinson has taken the decision that, for operational and legal reasons, he will not formally resign until the newly appointed Police Ombudsman is in a position to assume full legal responsibility for the Office.

"The general responsibility for managing an effective organisation that secures the confidence of the public and the police will rest with the Interim Chief Executive and the leadership team during the period leading to the appointment of the new Police Ombudsman" he said.

From 1 March 2012 he will remain available to exercise any legal authorities required beyond the delegated authorities, but will do so in an unpaid capacity.

Mr. Hutchinson is providing his resignation in advance to take effect as soon as the new Police Ombudsman is appointed and can accept his or her statutory responsibility.


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