Press Release

Committee Agrees Priorities for New Inquiries

Session: 2011/2012

Date: Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Reference: PAC 01/11/12

The Northern Ireland Assembly Public Accounts Committee today agreed which issues it will pursue over the coming months. Between September and Christmas 2011 it will initiate inquiries into criminal legal aid; the partnerships between Government and the community and voluntary sector; and the use of locum doctors.

The Committee will examine both best practice and unacceptable spending in the public sector by holding to account Government departments, arm’s-length bodies and non-governmental agencies through these NIAO reports.

Commenting on its programme, Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee, Paul Maskey MP MLA said: “In the face of the financial pressures being placed upon spending, it is time that all bodies responsible for public money ensure that they receive value for money.

“In the investigations that this Committee carried out in the last Mandate, there were many recommendations to improving processes for managing public funds and we urge all Departments and funding bodies to learn from these lessons.

“Accounting Officers and other senior civil servants have a role to play. We look to them and their Departments to step up to the mark to instil confidence in their use of public funds.”

ENDS


Notes to Editors:

The Committee will hear evidence on the following Audit Office reports on the dates below:

Managing Criminal Legal Aid - 21 September

Creating Effective Partnerships between Government and the Voluntary and Community Sector - 12 October

The Use of Locum Doctors by NI Hospitals - 30 November

The membership of the Committee since 23 May 2011 has been as follows:

Mr Paul Maskey (Chairperson)
Mr Joe Byrne (Deputy Chairperson)
Mr Sydney Anderson
Mr Michael Copeland
Mr John Dallat
Mr Alex Easton
Mr Paul Frew
Mr Paul Girvan
Mr Ross Hussey
Ms Jennifer McCann
Mr Mitchel McLaughlin

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