Assembly Committee Concerned Over Housing Executive Maintenance Contracts
Date: 03 July 2012
Reference: SD 13/11/12
The Assembly Committee for Social Development has today expressed its concern over new findings on the Housing Executive's management of repair maintenance contracts outlined today in the Minister's statement to the Assembly.
Speaking after the Minister's statement, the Chairperson of the Committee for Social Development Alex Maskey MLA said: "The Committee has not yet seen the report referred to by the Minister but on the basis of his statement it is clear that there are a number of significant questions to be answered by the Housing Executive on how it has managed these particular maintenance contracts. Today's statement has also raised concerns about governance within the Housing Executive and the overall control mechanisms it has in place for contract management.
Mr Maskey continued: "From the Minister's statement it would appear that, in many cases, the quality of the work carried out under these contracts was severely substandard.
"We must remember that as well as ensuring value for money in public contracts, in situations like this it is often the thousands of local Housing Executive tenants who will ultimately suffer as a result. They must remain our key concern and my Committee will continue our work to ensure that their interests are protected.
Mr Maskey added: "The Committee has scheduled an urgent briefing with the Department to discuss the issues arising from today's statement. Based on the evidence provided to the Committee we intend to get to the bottom of what has gone wrong and identify where the responsibility lies for the deficiencies in respect of these very serious issues.
Concluding, Mr Maskey said: "The Committee is mindful that it must proceed on the basis of having the full picture in relation to these contracts. The Minister has indicated that the Housing Executive will respond to this report in the coming weeks and we will therefore be returning to this issue when all the facts are at hand".