“the scheme was poorly planned, badly managed and did not provide good value for money”

We’ve already seen the Northern Ireland Audit Office report criticising the NI Department of Agriculture’s handling of the Farm Nutrient Management Scheme – the largest capital grant scheme ever run by the Department of Agriculture, through which some 4000 farmers received grants worth £121million.  Now the BBC have reported that a draft report from the NI Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee, due to be published in 3 weeks time, will be equally damning.  From the BBC report It is expected to conclude that …

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PAC considers asking for members’ phone records to source leak…

Not sure how seriously to take this one, since the legal complications it might invoke would probably rule it out from any serious consideration. But on the eve of the publication of a major report from Stormont’s Public Accounts Committee, Slugger understands that some members of the PAC have been suggesting that the phone records of its members should be investigated in order to source the leak of an earlier draft version of that report to UTV on the goings …

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Murphy: “The person who has responsibility for dealing with these things is me”*

Conor Murphy’s line today on the leaked PAC report is strangely reminiscent of his party colleague, the chair of the PAC, Paul Maskey. But it is also in line with his own original interview with Jamie Delargy in UTV’s Stormy Water special back in August, that this was all about procurement issues, not the misdirection of process at the most senior levels of his own department. The draft report of the PAC agrees the breaches were serious, but that this …

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NI Water: PAC chair complains about leaked report to UTV…

As Pete noted earlier, the chair of Stormont’s Public Accounts Committee, Paul Maskey is not best pleased that a copy of that committee’s draft report has found its way into the hands of Jamie Delargy of UTV.  Not surprisingly, since as Maskey points out, it is not yet been official adopted by the committee. Mr Maskey is on record as saying that in his role as PAC chair he has to leave his political baggage at the door. Yet as …

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Northern Ireland Water: Procurement was a legacy of DRD management

Hmmm… Northern Ireland Water, remember them? You thought they’d had gone away? Well, not quite. This week one of the main characters in the whole drama, Ms Nicola Brennan (formerly an external auditor; subsequently head of Internal Auditing at NI Water), gave a detailed four page interview to Internal Auditing magazine (150,000 readership). It’s remarkable for two reasons. One, it has been published whilst the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is in the middle of investigating many of the issues that are …

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NI Water: “No, I do not believe that there was a conflict of interest.”

Slugger understands that there is growing unease amongst members of Stormont’s Public Accounts Committee with Peter Dixon’s unprecedented attack on the Committee’s line of inquiry, and the apparent silence on the matter from their own chair, Paul Maskey.  This passage from Hansard is illustrative of the line which drew fire from the Phoenix Gas CEO: Ms Purvis: On the back of that, Chairperson, I raised the point with the regulator last week that Peter Dixon was to head up the independent review team. …

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