Regional Development Committee live…

Without the presence of Laurence MacKenzie this is likely to be a ‘besides the point affair, so no live blog as such… But here’s the link and give your opinion (H/T edgeoftheunion, again)…

  • Mick Fealty

    Comprehensive reporting from Hazlett, but it’s operational (which is what you might expect, since that’s his current level of competence), not an overview of executive decisions… Without the Minister there is no chance of getting at the strategic oversight either.

  • Mick Fealty

    No figures on staff leave over the holiday period: that would be an executive matter, not operational. Which tells you just where all of this is going.

  • Mick Fealty

    Chair: Why did you wait till last Friday to clarify the agreement with UK Water? And find out that they could give NI Water call support.

    Hazlett: You do have protocols with these people? No.

  • thethoughtfulone

    On a slightly different note, I would love to know the combined annual salaries of all the people in that room and then know what they actually contribute to the economy of Northern Ireland in a year.

    How the hell can we afford to pay so many people to do nothing but talk. The rest of us have do that in our spare time!

  • Mick Fealty

    Weird. Hazlett is being treated as the most senior here, when currently, ie today, Sara Venning is the most senior of the three being interrogating by RDC. Has the Chair tumbled to that?

  • Mick Fealty

    Hazlett. NI Water £670 Million has been invested in infrastructure in the last three years. So this GoCo model is ‘dysfunctional’?

    Last Board prioritized bringing NI Water up to British standards. And they got sacked!

  • And there was i posting to myself on another thread while watching live democracy! Sorry i hadn’t realised that you had opened a separate thread, we could have kept each other company on what was the non event of the year so far.

    Poor show all round from the Committee but i am not sure i could have done any better myself as it is seemingly acceptable not to have relevant information to hand, to come back to straightforward questions at a later date, and indeed not to turn up at all. The chair should have adjourned the meeting until the afternoon and publicly asked the Minister to instruct his CX’s attendance.

  • Mick Fealty

    They were completely short changed, without MacKenzie. And none seemed to understand that Venning was the one they should have been asking the questions of since she’s Trevor’s boss.

    Others need to get to grips with why they are there. They have ask researched questions not relay gripes from constituents.

  • Sean Og

    Why did the Board appoint Trevor Haslett acting CEO ahead of Venning if she’s his boss and already on the Board? Does it indicate a lack of confidence in her ability?

    What is the difference in Venning and Mulholland’s roles? Both are Directors of Customer Service & something in an organisation that is far from customer focused. Mulholland was all over the media during the last week. We never heard from Venning. What does she do?

  • edgeoftheunion

    I realise this is a technical matter, but it points to the same basic lack of professionalism:
    Why did we have to endure the pick up of the noise of paper being shuffled?

  • Edge

    Was that paper or feet being shuffled? Hard to tell.

  • Pigeon Toes

    Perhaps this? And the possibility of a few more on the way?
    Director of Customer Services Delivery within NI Water

    Mr J Dallat asked e Minister for Regional Development, pursuant to AQW 2683/11, to detail (i) whether the external candidate, which the Chief Executive Officer of NI Water met in a local restaurant in December 2009, was successful for the post of Customer Operations Director; (ii) whether interviewers on the panel were told of this meeting prior to the interviews; (iii) the purpose of this meeting and the number of people present; (iv) whether interview questions were discussed at the meeting (v) whether a member of staff booked the table at the local restaurant; (vi) how many other external candidates the CEO met, off NI Water premises, prior to the interviews; (vii) whether it is standard practice for the CEO to meet external candidates, off Ni Water premises, prior to an interview; (viii) whether the CEO met all internal candidates prior to the interviews; (ix) how many people applied for the post of Customer Operations Director; (x) whether the CEO approached potential candidates within NI Electricity to apply for the post of Customer Operations Director, and if so, how many.

    (AQW 2959/11)

    Minister for Regional Development: I have been advised by Northern Ireland Water (NIW) that (i) the external candidate referred to was successful for the post of Customer Operations Director; (ii) the Chief Executive did not formally advise other panel members of the meeting, but panel members were fully aware that the candidate had previously worked with the Chief Executive; (iii) I refer to the answer already provided to AQW 2683/11 and can confirm that two people met with the external candidate; (iv) no interview questions were discussed at the meeting. (v) a reservation was made by the Chief Executive’s personal assistant; (vi) the Chief Executive met no other external candidates prior to the interviews; (vii) NIW has no defined practice in relation to this matter; (viii) the Chief Executive met the internal candidates, on occasion, in the normal course of business prior to interviews taking place; (ix) there were 50 applications for the post; (x) approaches to potential candidates were made by an independent recruitment agent who was engaged to undertake an executive

  • Sean Og

    Very interesting Pigeon Toes. Too close to MacKenzie?

  • edgeoftheunion

    Quality stuff PT. Is this Venning, late of NIE?

  • edgeoftheunion

    Needless to say Dallat is not on the RDC. Here is their last outing with Murphy re. water :

  • Haslett is a member of the Executive Committee along with Sarah Venning; she but not he is a member of the Board. Is she really his boss? He has the experience; she is probably still something of an apprentice re. NI Water.

    He was previously a member of the Executive Team* prior to restructuring in November 2009 . The Team was slimmed down as were the minutes. The Committee met for the first time on November 16, 2009, the date of the ‘sensitive souls’/autocratic email.

    * ‘Our Executive Team’ is still available on the NIW website more than year after it was restructured 😉

  • DC

    New strapline for SF:

    You’re never losing when you’re learning!

  • Pigeon Toes
    Director of Customer Services Delivery within NI Water

    Mr J Dallat asked the Minister for Regional Development (i) whether the Chief Executive of NI Water met any of the candidates for the post of Director of Customer Services prior to the interview process in December 2009; (ii) where these meetings took place; (iii) the purpose and format of these meetings; and (d) whether any member NI Water staff was involved in arranging the meetings.

    (AQW 2683/11)

    Minister for Regional Development: I have been advised by Northern Ireland Water (NIW) that (i) its Chief Executive met with a number of candidates for the role of Customer Operations Director (not Director of Customer Services) prior to the formal interview process in December 2009; (ii) the meetings with internal candidates took place in NIW premises and a meeting with an external candidate (that he had worked with in the past) took place in a local restaurant; (iii) the meetings were informal and no information was discussed that was not already in the public domain. No member of NIW staff was involved in arranging the meetings.

    The Chief Executive has assured me that none of these meetings impacted on the outcome of the appointments process which was carried out in line with recognised procedures and resulted in a unanimous decision by a three person interview panel.


  • Pigeon Toes
  • edgeoftheunion

    If this much confusion reigns on the website, can the real world be far behind?

    Check out the minutes of the last posted meeting.

    Laurence MacKenzie
    Chief Executive

    Laurence joined Northern Ireland Water as Chief Executive Officer in July 2009. Prior to joining NI Water he was an executive director of the Viridian Group and headed up Northern Ireland Electricity plc. Before joining Viridian in 2000 he was General Manager of ABB’s manufacturing interests in Scotland, he also spent time with Scottish Hydro-Electric plc as Business Performance Manager.

    Responsible for the overall performance of Northern Ireland Water and the ongoing transformation of the organisation into an efficient, customer focussed, world class water utility.

  • BBC Democracy Live – Water boss ‘should have been here’.

  • edgeoftheunion

    Murph’s interview on Newsline:

    Sorry I lost the will to live during that dronefest (RDC).

    Murph said that most losses were private. was that stat aired this afternoon?

    Murph said they would look at NI Water coming under Stormont control. Not what he said in November.

    Mr Boylan:

    I welcome the Minister and thank him for his update. Can NIW be brought back into central government? What would be the financial implications of that? You also touched on PC10. What is the current position on that determination?
    The Minister for Regional Development:

    One of the issues that predicated the former Water Service being brought out of the control of central government was that it was in conflict with EU regulations, particularly environmental regulations and the ability to prosecute a provider of water and sewerage services for pollution. Therefore, the difficulty with bringing NIW back into the Department and going back to the Water Service model would be the contravention of EU environmental regulations, and we are looking at other options.

    A lot of the work on the PC10 process has been concluded between NIW and the regulator. We are trying to ensure that we have the money going forward, and we want to agree and sign a memorandum of understanding. However, some classification issues to do with how money is accounted for are outstanding with the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP), and I met with the Finance Minister and the First Minister and deputy First Minister last week to go through some of those issues. As soon as we can get those sorted, we can allow the memorandum of understanding, which will deal with PC10 for the coming period, to be signed.

  • andnowwhat

    As communication is one of the major issues, it is little wonder Venning was not condidered. That was her brief and she was nowhere to be seen.