DRD to meet in private tomorrow…

I would think there are a number of frank exchanges to be had with in the Regional Development Committee tomorrow.. Slugger understands it is to be held in private… Make of that what you will…


  • Mick, a lot of water has passed under the bridge since their earlier meeting on July 1. A period of quiet reflection/retreat seems the right way to go before the Minister arrives back from his holidays. They’ll probably want to call the Minister, call back their earlier witnesses and hopefully the deposed NEDs; justice in the latter case demands nothing less.

  • drumlins rock

    Nevin, this is a different committee, not sure if the DRD has dicussed the issues before, must see if can find anytihng.

  • OOPS Thanks, DR. My comments still stand with regard to PAC. As for CRD, it’s my experience that it punches well below its weight.

  • Why will it not be held in public ?

  • Pigeon Toes


  • Well, the Minister is on holiday and they might feel the need for permission for a public discussion.

  • It should be held in Pulic they are accountable to us !!

    Its has to be Transparent !!

  • Cynic

    Probably has to be in private for legal reasons to avoid prejudice to disciplinary and any criminal issues that may have been identified.

  • Cynic

    this is the DRD committee, not PAC

  • drumlins rock

    thats the hateful bit about Priestlys suspension, things will be hushed up to avoid influencing the investigation.

  • Alan

    Best that it is behind closed doors, they should leave the PAC to make the running on this.

    There’s an issue here about the rights of the Assembly Committees. Minister and MLA’s need to support the PAC in this. then, perhaps we will get two things,

    1. Further guidance on Departmental responsibilities re Committees,
    2. Senior civil servants who are less likely to push agendas against committees.

    There still, however, feels like there is a worrisome timeliness between the Board’s decision to reject substantial cuts in service and their eventual disappearance. Could the Independent Review have merely been opportune ?

  • Pigeon Toes


    “Consumer Council Is Asking Questions On Your Behalf

    Thursday 19 August 2010

    The Consumer Council has commented on this week’s developments regarding investigations into Northern Ireland Water (NI Water). Antoinette McKeown, Chief Executive of the Consumer Council said: “These latest developments are a further blow to consumer confidence, which had already plummeted following the revelations about NI Water’s misuse of public money. Very serious questions must be answered. Earlier this week the Consumer Council asked for and has now secured a meeting with Minister Murphy and we will be pressing him with those questions on consumers’ behalf.

    “This week we also called on Bruce Robinson, Head of the Civil Service, to appoint an interim DRD Permanent Secretary, who will ensure DRD is accountable to the public, and we welcome Bruce Robinson’s decisive action today.

    “Our focus – consistent with our remit – continues to be on the effective delivery of public services. The public needs to have confidence that NI Water’s board is delivering value for money and that DRD is monitoring the board to hold it to account.”

    Can we have a lis of the questions and responses then?

  • Mick can we start a new story about the New appointed NED’s i believe those appointments need to be scrutinised

    Why did Lian Patterson of Mr Priestly ring candidates ??

    Check my last email upload http://politicsni.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/img_0095-e1282229561968.jpg

    Surely because these are paid positions they should have been publicly advertised ?

  • William Markfelt

    ‘Slugger understands it is to be held in private… Make of that what you will…’

    A compounding of a lack of transparency.

  • snowstorm

    Very weak intervention fron GCC. Wouldn’t have happened on Elanor Gill’s watch. Maybe Priestly and Antionette are too friendly?

  • New Doubts emerge over Appointment process of NIwater Non Exec Directors http://politicsni.wordpress.com/

  • William Markfelt


    You ask if DRD knew if they were courting MOM, they should have created some distance.

    Perhaps DRD had no idea the minister was courting MOM. Or perhaps, given the way these things appear to be panning, Paul Prieslty knew, which could, in theory, be a wholly separate issue from DRD knowing.

    As this develops, there appears to be a presidential style of management emerging, with Priestly (in DRD) and McKenzie (in NIW)

  • Or was he worried about missing out in his New York trip lol

  • William Markfelt

    Could be, JJ.

    PAC has previously been exceptionally critical of public sector employees involved in junkets paid for by ‘others’.

    Perhaps a different set of rules apply when it’s the taxpayer picking up the tab.

  • Why did DRD mislead The Consumer Council over NIwater appointments ?

    Just spoke to the Consumer Council – the game is a foot !!

  • Pigeon Toes

    It will be “not to prejudice any investigation that may be ongoing”

    Or indeed perhaps they want to discuss just how much of their own “credibility is at stake”.

    Remember Declan Gormley wrote twice seeking a meeting, which was refused.
    Then there are the concerns raised about other “Independent Investigation” reports commissioned by Paul Priestly and which were never returned to, despite statements to the contrary.

    I could cynically suggest that it is another arse covering exercise.
    Though with the lead that’s been taken by members of the PAC committee, perhaps some of our MLAs will start to grow a set…

  • Pigeon Toes

    “DRD Chairman Fred Cobain has given his committee’s backing to Minister Conor Murphy’s handling of NI Water affair.”

    Words fail me..

  • drumlins rock

    This is from the UTV report on the meeting-

    Committee Chairman Fred Cobain said: “The independence of the review team’s report has been called into question, and the Committee will be seeking to assure itself that the production of the Independent Review Team’s report was robust and transparent.”

    Mr Cobain also confirmed the Committee will meet with Conor Murphy on 1 September.

    The UUP representative added: “At that meeting we will be asking the Minister to explain to the Committee, with the utmost clarity, developments since he briefed us on the Independent Review Team’s report on 15 March 2010.

    “We will also be asking him to set out the further action he proposes to take.”

    I’m not sure where Eamonn is getting “the committee backs the minster” from, were there more comments released?

  • Fred Cobain: “The Minister briefed the Committee on 15 March 2010 on the outcome of the Independent Review Team’s report into procurement governance in Northern Ireland Water. At that time, the Committee accepted the report on the basis of the evidence presented and the Minister’s briefing, and we supported the Minister’s actions to protect the public purse. ..

    “We will also speak to any others the Committee thinks necessary.”

    What about those who may wish to speak to the committee?

    “For this reason, next Monday the Deputy Chairperson and I are meeting with the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee, to be briefed on their work, to request access to the information in their possession and to establish how both Committees can best address their concerns.”

  • drumlins rock

    So if the minister was aware of the questionably impartiality of the report when he present it to the committee does that mean he misled them?