Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Northern Ireland Water Fiasco - Some FOI and Other Documents - Right said Fred

The Northern Ireland Water fiasco and the Rathlin Ferry saga pose serious questions about Northern Ireland governance in general and that of the Department for Regional Development in particular.

Fred Cobain, Chairperson of the Committee for Regional Development, on 10 December 2008, "Although the report indicates that there was no evidence of manifest error in the award of the contract, the Committee has serious concerns that;

  • there was no clear and transparent evidence trail to support this procurement; and
  • the mistakes made and surrounding circumstances provided scope for misunderstanding and contributed to perceptions of wrongdoing.

The Department told the Committee that it accepts the report recommendations and that appropriate action, including training, is required to begin to repair the damage caused to public confidence in the public procurement process.

The Committee has decided to schedule time in its work programme in early 2009 to more carefully consider the report findings. Undoubtedly there are lessons to be learned. Today’s session is the beginning of the process, and we are looking forward to working with the Department in improving and enhancing its performance in this area, and improving public confidence.

The Committee welcomes the publication of the Department for Regional Development’s independent investigation, and the speed with which the investigation was conducted."

Since then CRD SILENCE and it seems DRD governance problems continue with limited let or hindrance.