“they keep giving a pretty devastating indictment of public administration”

In the Belfast Telegraph, David Gordon reports the comments of Labour MP Ian Davidson who sits on the Public Accounts Committee and is less than impressed with Northern Ireland’s public administration at government department level.

“I think there is an extent to which the Troubles in Northern Ireland are used by some officials as an alibi to excuse themselves from taking hard decisions. There is an extent to which Northern Ireland is a bit of a sleepy hollow and that best practice is not being followed.”[added emphasis]

From the Belfast Telegraph report

Mr Davidson told the Belfast Telegraph he was “disappointed” that problems were repeatedly being exposed by the committee.

He added: “I think there is an extent to which the Troubles in Northern Ireland are used by some officials as an alibi to excuse themselves from taking hard decisions. There is an extent to which Northern Ireland is a bit of a sleepy hollow and that best practice is not being followed.”

Referring to his Troubles “alibi” comment, Mr Davidson said: ” Whether or not it is justified on the basis that probably a lot of officials there have had a hard time keeping the basic services going, never mind anything else, is really for others to judge.

“I’m not setting myself up as a commentator on Northern Ireland.

“These reports keep getting produced. The fact that they keep giving a pretty devastating indictment of public administration is something that people in Northern Ireland will have to take account of, in my view.

“They’ve got to decide what type of discount they are prepared to allow on the basis of the Troubles.”