Ministerial statement on the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (Going live)

The Minister is likely to make a statement relating to that report we referred to earlier at about 12.15. There’s questions to follow and the session is timed to close at 1pm [In time for lunch? – Ed]. You speak for yourself!  They are just closing out with Proposals for Primary Legislation for 2012-13 Assembly Session now with the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety coming up at 11.30


Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty

  • Mick Fealty

    Board gave the Minister a response to his criticism on 29th June (last Friday), on the same day as he received his forensic report…

  • Mick Fealty

    He reads from the conclusions… And then gives a series of faults, but no figures proportion of total jobs involved..

  • Mick Fealty

    Bringing in new measures:

    – Comprehensive work plan subject to Ministerial approval…

    – Have sight of all internal audit and time tabling for addressing problems…

    – Accountablility meetings now once a month…

  • Mick Fealty

    On Chair’s “resignation is a matter for him…”

  • Mick Fealty

    Minister notes that failings were similar in Red Sky and the companies employed to replace them…

  • Pigeon Toes

    “The independent investigation revealed examples of poor workmanship including screws missing on hinges and doors that did not fit properly.

    There were even cases where contractors had claimed for work on more doors than exist on a property, Nelson McCausland said…..In expending so much effort in debating the methodology used in producing the reports, the Housing Executive has failed to focus on the significant findings in the reports.”

    I didn’t see all of the Minister’s “attack”…. But is that as far as it went????

  • Evolve

    “Minister notes that failings were similar in Red Sky and the companies employed to replace them…”

    Was he referring to the type of failings or the rate at which these failings occurred?

    seems like thin gruel so far.

  • Mick Fealty
      Pretty much. But then this is the kind of stuff red sky were kiboshed for. Oh, and having the temerity to send Protestant workers up The Falls… cue muttering about “coming over ‘ere, stealing our jobs.. we’ll show em…”
  • Evolve

    Thanks Nevin,

    The Minister seems to indicate that the rate at which failings occurred was similar, although scale could mean either cost or number of instances or both.

    “If you are looking at the scale of the issues, there is not much difference.”

  • Evolve

    There does seem to be a problem in comparing the scale of failings.

    So far as I can make out Red Sky was subject to one investigation and the other contractors to a second investigation.

  • Evolve

    Mick, I think that will be even harder to disentangle than the figures, unfortunately.

    Nelson McCausland didn’t have an answer as to why Red Sky was selected for termination, and claimed that it should have been clear that the problems were across the board.

    “I cannot answer that question at the moment. In due course, we need to get to the bottom of that sort of issue”. (in reply to Mr Campbell)

  • Nelson McCausland: “The issues that are identified in the ASM report are not new. They are issues that have already been identified in a forthcoming report from the Audit Office and in the Housing Executive’s internal reviews. Its own inspection unit identified those issues, but, as I said earlier, the reports sat on desks, perhaps from November last year, for six or seven months. It is only now that questions are being asked that these things are being extracted. In fact, they were only extracted when one of our departmental officials was put in the Housing Executive to do some work.”

    Is it possible that similar patterns of behaviour might be found in other bureaucratic organisations?

  • Evolve. Is Nelson a Father ted fan? Down with this sort of thing. Just as well NMcCwasn’t wearing his kilt in chamber.
    I suspect he’s only too ready to break up the HE, and call it something else. Unionists don’t like being reminded of their corrupt four and half decades, which the HE stands as a rebuke to.

  • lamhdearg2

    Thank you Nevin,for the link.
    Thank you Nelson, keep after them.

  • Evolve

    Danielsmoran. I’ve often wondered whether Nelson is totally serious or has an arch sense of humour, especially re issues like creationism.

    Mark Durkan made the point you made in relation to the H.E. but couldn’t get agreement. “It has to be noted that the Northern Ireland Housing Executive has transformed housing here in Northern Ireland for the better over 40 years”MD. His department’s direct rule of the H.E. is only an interim measure and a breakup may be one of the longer term changes.

    Nelson was keen to assure that he does not discriminate and just wanted equity of treatment but his failure to speak in terms of percentages or pounds leaves me somewhat suspicious. If the full report(s) don’t strengthen his preemptive strike considerably, then he may be vulnerable to a counter.

  • Pigeon Toes
    “On 29 June 2012, I received the draft report on the forensic investigation that I commissioned. As it was received only in the past few days, my officials and I need time to consider it in detail. …….

    I have not had the opportunity to go through the several thousand pages, because we got the report only the other day. However, the information that I have been given from an initial study of the report is that it occurs across all the areas and all the contractors who were inspected so far”

    Sounds like Nelson hasn’t actually read the report himself, yet
    …” I met the chair and put forward my concerns to him last Tuesday”

    Last Tuesday was the 26th, was it not?…

  • Evolve. Nelson ‘s elevation to public office [which he’s clearly not suited for] is proof of Robinson’s real attitudes at stormont, and he’s the one who sent NMcC to the DRD to do as much mischief as possible to the HE, nd talks fine phrases like ‘no more them and us’ but his actions drown out his words by some volume.

  • Pigeon Toes

    “and he’s the one who sent NMcC to the DRD ”

    DSD? I think DRD have enough bother lately 😀

  • “Unionists don’t like being reminded of their corrupt four and half decades, which the HE stands as a rebuke to.”

    Do you suppose Nationalists and Socialists will take said rebuke lying down, Daniel? Discrimination and cronyism are possibly irresistible when you have the power of patronage.

  • Evolve

    It was this sort of thing from the DCAL days that led me to think that perhaps he was a wind-up merchant.

    “Northern Ireland’s born-again Christian culture minister has called on the Ulster Museum to put on exhibits reflecting the view that the world was made by God only several thousand years ago.

    Nelson McCausland, who believes that Ulster Protestants are one of the lost tribes of Israel, has written to the museum’s board of trustees urging them to reflect creationist and intelligent design theories of the universe’s origins.”

  • We await with unbated breath, nelson’s BBC programme on ulster-yiddish. It would be interesting[pace Ken reid], to be a fly on the wall in nelson’s living room to hear UTV late news report which ended with talk of millions of years of the Giant’s Causeway.Suck it up, Nelson.

  • Nevin… I know the story. I’m from Co Derry.

  • “Nevin… I know the story. I’m from Co Derry.”

    Daniel, I think things may well be worse now, in some respects, than they were fifty years ago. Back then, local authority housing was in the gift of Unionist, Nationalist and Socialist councillors; now who lives where can be in the gift of loyalist or republican paramilitaries.

  • You’ve got a point there Nevin. in the earlier post, I was dealing with the HE in that instance, but I accept the abuse went on back then not solely in unionist controlled boroughs.

  • Daniel, IIRC they even had ‘gentlemen’s agreements’ down in Newry; I’ve never checked out Ballycastle. Councillors probably regarded patronage as one of the perks and its removal and the reduction of local powers may have led to a decline in the participation by businessmen in local government.