Housing Executive: there was “a considerable degree of challenge” by management to the findings of inquiries

So to borrow the latest loan word to German (if it is good enough for Angela its good enough for me) as one shitschturm fades leaving virtually no trace of ever having existed, another one is blown up to take its place.

The rule in any public scandal, is follow the money. Today, a report from the Northern Ireland Audit Office firmly points the finger at the Northern Ireland Housing Executive:

Auditor General Kieran Donnelly said estimated overpayments of £18m to four contractors were a matter of concern. Mr Donnelly said he was concerned at the potential loss of public money.

“I am very concerned the executive’s seemingly lax controls appear to have resulted in such a large potential loss of public money”. He said he was “disappointed” the issue was not addressed earlier by the Housing Executive, stating it had an opportunity to do so in 2010, but there was “a considerable degree of challenge” by management to the findings of inquiries.[emphasis added]

Let’s be clear about this. This is a concrete figure, not made up like the ones we were fed during the NI Water crisis. The NIHE have been repeatedly challenged on it, sufficient to draw this adverse remark from the Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland.

If you ignore, for now, the unholy “shitschturm” surrounding Nelson McCausland and follow instead the money trail, it leads us right back to the NI Housing Executive, rather than the door of the ministerial office.

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