Former Welsh Permanent Secretary to investigate suspended NI Permanent Secretary

Former Permanent Secretary of the Welsh Assembly Government, Sir Jon Shortridge, is to lead the investigation into suspended NI Permanent Secretary, Paul Priestly, and his role in the NI Water saga.

An iol report notes the terms of reference for the investigation

Mr Robinson outlined Mr Shortridge’s terms of reference: “The report will include your comment on whether you believe there may have been any misconduct, including breaches of relevant standards of conduct, terms and conditions of appointment, and in Mr Priestly’s case, his personal responsibilities as Accounting Officer and Head of Department,” he said.

The investigation will not begin until October due to Mr Shortridge’s other commitments.

Update  Mick has more details of the narrow terms of reference for the ‘investigation’.

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  • Ah, what a surprise!!

    Another “Got to keep it in the family” whitewash imminent!

  • Dewi

    “The investigation will not begin until October due to Mr Shortridge’s other commitments.”
    Indeed – busy man…
    On the side of the angels however…

  • And how much has been budgeted for the foreigner’s report? Or is that a NI State Secret which Mr Robinson will decline to answer?

    After all, there is bound to be a figure agreed, for no one will do sterling work for nothing nowadays. And it is your money Mr Robinson is spending.

  • wild turkey

    anyone making book on when the report will be completed AND findings released?

    to start things off i’ll go with 1 April 2011

    (actual year may vary according to, uhm, circumstances)

    on a wider issue, and i know it may be a bit off topic. just WTF gets done AND decided by Norn Ireland govt these days?

  • wt, you’ll be relieved to know that we have a dysfunctional local government muddling along with a dysfunctional Stormont executive.

  • WT
    I agree with the date! Findings (I reckon)
    Although there were a series of administrative errors the IRT could find no evidence of any serious wrongdoing!

  • Pigeon Toes

    There’s a couple of hours I’ll never get back…

    Intransigent I think is the word that springs to mind regarding the Ministers attitude towards the IRT and any notion of impropriety regarding the relationships and findings.

    Not his best performance…

  • wild turkey

    thanks for that astute and reassuring insight

    my heart soars like an eagle when my monthly rates are direct debited.

  • Drumlin Rock

    Should we commission our own report and see how the two compare?

  • medillen

    Oh dear Pigeon Toes did you waste a couple of hours waiting for you and your pals assertions NIW issue to be confirmed and Conor Murphy didn’t oblige. Shucks. Eamon Maillie seems to think it was an impressive performanceby CM, or a dismal one from the RD Committee, take your pick.

  • Drumlin Rock

    Dewi, do you know much about Mr Shortridge? what sort of report will he give?
    ie. 1- the usual whitewash exercise
    up to 10 – a complete clear out from minister right down to mail room boy.

  • Pigeon Toes

    No Medillen…I was actually at work.

    (You know that activity that pays for the circus.) Maybe not

    The Minister did what I expected, and so did the RDC with the notable exception of Conall Mc Devitt…

  • Dewi

    He’s very well thought of I know- 7 years as Perm sec to Welsh office and then WAG – his conclusions will depend on the evidence I assume…

  • joeCanuck

    The findings will be published around the same time that Peter Robinson publishes the findings on his privately commissioned but publicly paid investigation of him – never?.

  • Drumlin Rock

    So long as he is prepared to dig for it, the remit appears to be quite open, if he so desires… good luck to him.

  • William Markfelt

    ‘Eamon Maillie seems to think it was an impressive performanceby CM, or a dismal one from the RD Committee, take your pick.’

    That’s not exactly what Eamonn’s tweets say at all.

    If the committee are labouring under the notion that Murphy’s a target on whom to land blows, they’re more stupid than we imagined.

  • I’ve now found out who the interview panel was for the new NED’s and who the independent member was.

  • Paul Priestly was suspended barely 20 hours after the broadcast of the UTV investigation. Conor Murphy’s claim to the committee today that he still has not viewed the programme, and apparently has no plans to do so, was striking, to put it mildly.

  • Look forward to seeing the fruits of your research, belfastjj. I suppose it’s too much to expect DRD et al to put the requested information online 🙂

  • Cynic


  • Pigeon Toes

    Did I hear Mc Kibbin(?) say that because of the data protection issues of staff, that the reports of any investigation into their behaviour would not be made public?

    Civil servants data obviously is more protected by DRD than other citizens.

  • Pigeon Toes

    “He appears to be arguing that the end justifies the means, ”

    Nothing new there for the Minister…

  • Pigeon Toes

    “The investigation will not begin until October ”

    The delete button/shredders in DRD and NIW will be smoking between now and then.

  • Well i’ve lodged a formal review – i’m also awaiting the outcome of another review – surrounding missing documents in the first batch of New NED’s documents and redaction’s without any exemptions applied.

    But usually any FOI request which is granted/completed should be made available online to the public.

  • Pigeon Toes

    JJ simply doesn’t happen in DRD , and a with a lot more public bodies who cite they have adopted the “Model Publication Scheme”
    That may be due to a lack of understanding or training, but unsurprisingly they all seem to have expert knowledge when it comes to reasons for withholding/ redacting data from FOI requests.

    Good luck with the review

  • Pete Baker

    Update Mick has more details of the narrow terms of reference for the ‘investigation’.

  • Future Realist, Cynic. And thanks for asking. Many would have made a mistake and left the word naked, and then a false statement.

    And the same question this morning was asked on the Nolan Show ….. How much is it going to cost, in a time when we are being conned and told that there is no money for anything and we are to do more with less, and be taxed more to pay for what we are not gonna get ……. whenever they were discussing setting up another toothless worthless enquiry trying to discover the exact circumstances of who done what to whom and why did they have to die and be crippled, in the decades of madness that were the Troubles, fueled by Prods and Taigs and the State doing their crazy thing to sit in seats of power which now so demonstrable cannot deliver what is needed and wanted. But that is an altogether different Great Game being force fed to the masses.

    Move On folk, for no one is gonna admit to nothing for they are all tarred with the same brush and culpable, and the Past is gone, so bury it, and plan something completely different with your Intelligence and Services ….. if you have any, that is …. for the Future is Yours to Build without Bias and Favour, and not Theirs to Destroy with Secrets and Dodgy Deals.

    To imagine that the State will own up to how things were run, and thus how things are run, and out all the bit players and pawns in the Game, is delusional and bordering on madness. It aint gonna happen.

  • joeCanuck

    See my comment 1 Sep 2:57.