Belfast Telegraph

NI Water report 'vindicates Murphy'

The minister at the centre of the storm surrounding Northern Ireland Water (NIW) said the latest report into the company vindicated his stewardship.

The Public Accounts Committee report criticised the oversight of NIW provided by Conor Murphy's Department of Regional Development (DRD).

But Mr Murphy said confirmation that the Government-owned company had effectively mishandled the allocation of contracts worth £46 million proved he was correct in sacking four members of the NIW board last year.

Critics have said the wider findings of the report posed fresh questions of DRD.

But the minister said: "This report clearly confirms there was a culture of disregard for procurement processes in the company which led to serious failings in procurement procedures totalling £46 million.

"These findings vindicate the actions I took to address this, including the removal of four non-executive directors at NI Water.

"As minister, I am charged with protecting the public interest and ensuring that public contracts are fairly awarded.

"I tackled these issues head on - such was the seriousness of the procurement governance failings at NI Water that were brought to my attention."

He added: "Given the financial constraints that my department and indeed all Government departments are facing, it is vital that businesses and the public have confidence in how public contracts are procured."


From Belfast Telegraph