‘Lessons must be learned from SIF scheme’ – McCartney

Responding to the Auditor and Comptroller General’s report on the Social Investment Fund, Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney said:

“The Auditor and Comptroller General’s report flagged up a number of weaknesses in regard to processes, governance and transparency in the SIF scheme.

“Those lessons must be learned and applied to any future schemes.

“The Social Investment approach was based on a progressive ethos, seeking to empower local communities and include them in the decision making process.

“The scheme identified both capital and revenue projects to tackle key issues in deprived communities.

“The bulk of the budget was spent on improved sport, social and community facilities, including childcare facilities, fuel poverty initiatives, literacy and numeracy programmes and on employment and training initiatives in areas of high unemployment.

“The Auditor and Comptroller General identifies a number of projects that are likely to have a positive impact.

“Sinn Féin’s focus will continue to be on tackling disadvantage and deprivation.”