Another cracking exposé by the one man opposition that is Jim Allister.
The Department of Social Development gave a grant of £350,000 to Lurgan Golf Club under its ‘Neighbourhood Renewal’ scheme. It gets even better. A member of the club, who is a senior official in DSD, was involved in processing the application. But he failed to disclose his interest, contrary to departmental guidance on conflicts of interest.
Jim Allister said:
“The Neighbourhood Renewal Fund exists, surely, to regenerate and help deprived areas, not to build facilities for private member golf clubs? Bad enough that at a time when the Executive is broke, £350,000 is directed to providing new facilities for a private members club, but, to discover that a member of that club was involved, as an official in the grant-aiding government department, in processing the application, then, there is even more to be explained by the minister about this project.
“The minister has confirmed to me that the official failed to declare his interest. But, what happens now, will discipline follow and what if it turns out the funding, which has already been paid out, should never have been granted? And, just how prevalent is it within funding departments that relevant declarations of interest are not being declared?”