Friday, 4 November 2011

Northern Ireland Water - Lack of Transparency and Accountability 2

The current hiatus over the position of the current interim Chief Executive of NI Water, Trevor Haslett, led me back to the company website and its failure to deliver on openness and transparency:
NI Water is a transparent and open organisation. We publish a great deal of continually updated information about what we do on this Internet site, which you can access by using the search facility clearly marked on each page.
The last NI Water Board minutes** published online are dated 20 April 2011 and they’re still not user friendly ie there’s no simple ‘copy and paste’ facility. These are two further examples of NI Water bad practice.

However there was a discussion on pay back then which might be relevant to the conversation taking place on Slugger O'Toole:

"The Board noted the background to and submission of a pay remit to DRD on behalf of the organisation. There followed some discussion in relation to the approach being taken within the Civil Service in relation to cost of living increases. The Chairman agreed to clarify this position. The Chief Executive noted that the 2 year pay freeze in relation to the Company was due to end in March 2012. The Board noted the potential risk for key staff leaving the organisation as a result of the pay freeze. It was agreed that business cases might be needed to support the retention of such key resources. The Board also agreed that an update should be provided to staff in relation to ongoing performance related pay issues.”

With such a long chain of decision making from the NI Water Board through various parts of the Department for Regional Development , starting at the Shareholder Unit, and on to the Department of Finance and Personnel it's hardly surprising that a topic being discussed in April or earlier still hasn't been resolved.

** Despite this commitment, "In this section you will find links to Executive Team minutes from April 2007 (when Northern Ireland Water was first established) to date. In line with the Model Publication Scheme the minutes provide an overview that would be of interest to the public", Executive Committee minutes were last published on 17 September 2010 - the Executive Team had been rebranded the Executive Committee on 16 November 2009.