Statement by TUV Leader Jim Allister:-
“Having previously exposed* that over £8m of spending by the North/South bodies within DCAL’s ambit was “irregular”, indeed illegal, because it did not have DFP approval, I have now established that within Waterways Ireland there has been £129,058 of overpayments in subsistence to staff and not one penny has yet been recovered.
“This was going on for years, unchecked and undiscovered. Finally, an internal audit brought it to light. The issue now is how and when will recovery by secured. This is public money which ought never to have been lost in the first place, but now must be recovered. Given the DCAL minister’s lax attitude to public spending I am less than confident that there will indeed be full recovery.”
To ask the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure to detail the amount in overpayments to staff of Waterways Ireland for subsistence rates from 2002 to 2011; and whether the overpayments have been independently validated by Internal Audit and recovered.
A validation exercise has been conducted by DCAL Internal Audit to verify the amount of overpayments made to staff of Waterways Ireland for subsistence rates from 2002 to 2011. The exercise has confirmed the amount as £129,058. From 2011 to present the correct rates have been applied. The verification report has been agreed by Sponsor Departments and will shortly issue to Waterways Ireland. Now that the amounts overpaid have been validated recovery action will commence.