Aye Minister: "Minutes? It feels more like weeks and months!"
The following is from a link on the Northern Ireland Water website to that of the Information Commissioners Office.
Departure of David Gilmour, former NIW Executive, and some minutes issues
What and who do the Northern Ireland Water fiasco and the Rathlin ferry saga have in common? Are there discernible common elements of behaviour?
Murphy (6.48 mins into his piece on UTV player): “.. so the core issue is here is that attention my attention was brought to the fact, initially in relation to one contract that there was something on-toward going on within NIW and I asked for further inquiries into that and that turned up 73 contracts with £24.5 million of awarding of contracts which couldn’t be defended which was done in an improper fashion”
[edited]When was the Minister first made aware of the fact that something on-toward was going on within NIW and by whom? When did he ask for these further inquiries and what was the chain of communication that led to them being carried out? It's not always clear from the July 1 PAC session who is initiating decisions and who is facilitating them.
Added August 18
Online minutes for the fortnightly NIW Executive Meetings are to be brought up-to-date next week. A decision on Board minutes is awaited. A clue to the discontinuation of the publication of the minutes from November 16, 2009, may lie in an email that was sent from MacKenzie to Dixon, an excerpt of which has been published in the PAC record for July 1, 2010:
There are some sensitive souls in here. For example, I say that all future consultancy expenditure has to be approved, In advance, by me — they tell me I am being autocratic — I say — get used to It!
Added 3 September
David Gilmour gave a presentation to the Northern Ireland Water Forum on the 20th May 2009. He expected £19 m savings by year end, some way ahead of the Assembly target, and during the course of the year, in association with Mellor, had nearly halved the expenditure on consultants.
He admitted that their information system on ordering had been woeful but expected the tried and tested Oracle P2P eordering system to be live by the end of June 2009.
So what has all the fuss been about and why were Gilmour’s services disposed of? Will PAC call him to give evidence, if he is willing to participate in such an 'illuminating' inquiry? After all, he was at the heart of procurement.