NI Secretary, Rt Hon Chris Heaton-Harris MP, has announced the re-appointment of Vilma Patterson to the Boundary Commission for NI for a further five years.


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 Secretary of State for Northern Ireland is responsible for making appointments to the role of members 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

Vilma Patterson MBE was formerly a Director and Shareholder of John G Duff (Annadale) Ltd and is a past member of the Training Committee for the Construction Industry Training Board for Northern Ireland. She was the founding Chair of the Women in Business Network and a former Board Member of the Women on the Move Network which works to support and encourage female entrepreneurship.

Ms Patterson has previously held a  number of appointments, including Chairman of the Probation Board for Northern Ireland, non-executive member of the Audit Committee of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland and a Civil Service Commissioner for Northern Ireland. Vilma was also a Member and Chair of the Independent Monitoring Board for HMP Maghaberry 1996 to 2008, Chairman of the Association of Members of Independent Monitoring Boards for Northern Ireland and a member of the Parades Commission for Northern Ireland from 2006-2010. From 2011 to 2013 she was a member of the Prison Service Pay Review Body and a Member of the Armed Forces Pay Review Body from 2015-2020.  She is currently a member of the Parole Commission for Northern Ireland.

Terms of Appointment

  • This position is part-time for a period of five years ending on 30 June 2029.
  • The position attracts a daily remuneration of £505.50 per day.
  • The position is not pensionable.

Political Activity

All appointments are made on merit and with regards to the statutory requirements. Political activity plays no part in the appointment process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity in defined categories to be made public. 

Vilma Patterson has declared that she has not been politically active in the past five years. 


The appointment is regulated by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointment (OCPA).  

Statutory Requirements

The appointment is made by the Secretary of State in accordance with Schedule 1 Parliamentary Constituencies Act 1986.

Published 24 May 2024