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Sinn Féin demand Public Inquiry into Invest NI

1 July, 2008 - by Alex Maskey


South Belfast MLA Alex Maskey speaking after DETI responded to an Assembly Question revealing that Invest NI has spent over £1.6 million renting vacant office space in South Belfast in the last four years has re-iterated the party's demand for a Public Accounts Committee and Comptroller and Auditor General Public Inquiry into Invest NI.

Mr Maskey said:

"For several months Sinn Féin has been pursuing a detailed investigation into Invest NI's working practices. Our initial investigations have exposed worrying patterns of activity and sustained regional investment inequalities, overseen by Invest NI.

"As a result of an Assembly Question which I submitted, it has now emerged that Invest NI spent in excess of £1.61 million renting vacant offices in South Belfast during the past four years.

"My colleague Martina Anderson has already begun the process of securing a public inquiry through both the Public Accounts Committee and the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General."

Ms Anderson added:

"Sinn Fein will be meeting officials to progress the demand a public inquiry through both the Public Accounts Committee and the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General.

"This latest revelation brings to over £2 million the amount spent by Invest NI of vacant office space. I cannot see how anyone could argue that this is an effective use of public money.

"Invest NI has very serious questions to answer. Sinn Fein is determined to hold Invest NI to account.

"Sinn Féin is demanding a full Public Inquiry into Invest NI's prima facie failure to consistently discharge public funds with efficiency, effectiveness or equality." ENDS

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