Press Release

Department Obstructing Housing Executive Inquiry Says Committee

Session: 2013/2014

Date: Thursday, 13 February 2014

Reference: SD 02/13/14

The Committee for Social Development has voiced concern at departmental delays in providing information for the inquiry into allegations made against Minister Nelson McCausland MLA in a BBC Spotlight programme. 

The Committee’s inquiry has been examining if there was any impropriety or irregularity relating to decision-making in respect of Northern Ireland Housing Executive contracts. This has now entered its second phase, but the Committee is concerned that papers to inform the first phase of the inquiry are still outstanding. 

Following today’s meeting, the Chairperson of the Committee, Alex Maskey MLA said: “The Committee has previously raised concerns with the Department about how it has handled requests for information pertaining to this inquiry. Yet despite assurances and a commitment from the Department that it will facilitate the Committee in fulfilling its statutory duty, we are still waiting for essential papers and information. We believe that this approach by the Department is proving obstructive.

“While we may have made some progress on this issue following discussions with departmental officials, delays continue in relation to the delivery of information. It is crucial that the Department commits sufficient resources to ensure that information requests from the Committee are not only handled expeditiously but are also answered comprehensively. 

Mr Maskey concluded, ‘This inquiry was initiated to address very serious issues of alleged impropriety and the Department has a duty to assist the Committee in progressing its investigations as quickly as possible.’

ENDS


Notes to Editors:

Further information on the Inquiry, the Terms of Reference and Minutes of evidence can be found on the Northern Ireland Assembly website via the following link http://nia1.me/1q9

The Committee for Social Development membership is:

Alex Maskey MLA (Chairperson)

Mickey Brady MLA (Deputy Chairperson)

Jim Allister MLA

Paula Bradley MLA

Gregory Campbell MLA

Trevor Clarke MLA

Michael Copeland MLA

Stewart Dickson MLA

Dolores Kelly MLA

Fra McCann MLA

Sammy Wilson MLA

The Clerk of the Social Development Committee is:

Dr. Kevin Pelan
Northern Ireland Assembly
Phone: 028 90 521864
Mobile: 07917881639
Email: kevin.pelan@niassembly.gov.uk 

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