Committee Stunned by Translink’s Admission of Significant Communications Failure

Synopsis: The Committee for Regional Development heard at their meeting today that Translink had a significant collapse in their communication lines when it failed to advise the Minister and the Department of their decision to pursue an alternative procurement process in respect of the phase two of the Coleraine to Londonderry rail line.

Session: 2013/2014

Date: 25 September 2013

Reference: CRD 01/13/14

The Committee for Regional Development heard at their meeting today that Translink had a significant collapse in their communication lines when it failed to advise the Minister and the Department of their decision to pursue an alternative procurement process in respect of the phase two of the Coleraine to Londonderry rail line.

Speaking after the meeting, the Chairperson of the Committee, Jimmy Spratt MLA, said: "Quite frankly, we were astounded that Translink could be so blasé about following the appropriate Ministerial and Departmental approval processes for major public procurements. Despite having received requests on more than one occasion from the Permanent Secretary and other senior officials, Translink chose to continue with an unapproved procurement and tendering process.

"Members of the Committee are adamant that Translink, or any other party, does not have the authority to act so in such a loose and easy manner with significant public funds and we will be demanding that Translink take immediate action to ensure that this will not happen again. We will also be seeking assurances from the Department that they will also put in place procedures that will prevent this sort of incident from occurring another time."

Mr Spratt concluded: "I would also stress that the Committee continues to be very supportive of the modernisation of this section of the Coleraine to Londonderry track. It has a major strategic significance in respect of the legacy of the City of Culture celebrations and the wider economy of the North-West region."

ENDS

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