McGinley -Caution against unfounded allegations

Following the report from the NI Audit Office into waste management contracts Eric McGinley – Chairperson of Council’s Assurance, Audit & Risk Committee – said:

“This Committee has responsibility for ensuring that the Council conducts all its business in a proper manner.   Members are entitled to raise issues of concern when sufficient grounds exist to do so.

What we all must caution against is councillors being party to unfounded allegations against council on behalf of another individual or business.

Unfortunately, in this instance, we have had members at Committee meetings accusing senior council officers of acting improperly and accusing Council of being responsible for the loss of jobs at a particular company.

These accusation and allegations were demonstrated to be without foundation and those members responsible may wish to consider their own positions on this Committee.

For my part – as Chairperson of the Committee – I want to take this opportunity to extend our support to the council officer whose character and professionalism was called into question and I have asked that these sentiments are conveyed to the individual along with a copy of the Audit Office findings.

This case – which was not of Council’s making – placed a considerable strain on our human resources and disrupted other areas of Audit work.   It is important that we now draw a firm line under this matter and move forward without any further delay or distraction.”