Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

When will Sammy deliver value for money?

The Auditor-General's report into the investigation of suspected fraud in Northern Ireland Water underlines the need for Sammy Wilson to get to grips with waste in public services.

Report after report from the Audit Commission reveals more inefficiency, impropriety and a failure to deal with problems when they arise.

These latest revelations come weeks after the Department for Regional Development was criticised for a botched investigation.

We know that public bodies waste up to £140m, because they don't procure goods and services as efficiently as possible; we know that the civil service wastes £17m on extra office space; we know that there are more and more high-earners in Northern Ireland's councils, while the figure in the rest of the UK goes down. The money which is squandered could make a huge difference if it were invested in health, schools, or infrastructure projects.

The Executive and, in particular, the finance minister is not offering the people of Northern Ireland value for money.

Sammy Wilson has presided over an enormous amount of waste, which is all paid for by our taxes. The audit office repeatedly highlights a lack of co-ordination between Government departments and a lack of targets to save money.

When will Sammy Wilson take responsibility for stamping out the culture of waste and inefficiency?

HARRY CULLEN

NI Conservatives finance spokesman

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