Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Housing Executive putting lives at risk

1 July, 2004

Sinn Fein Housing Spokesperson, West Belfast MLA Fra McCann has expressed outrage at the audit report into the installation of gas-fired central heating into Housing Executive Homes in Belfast that found fundamental flaws in the management of the installation, the tendering process and most seriously that there were immediate dangers.

Mr McCann said:

"This situation is totally untenable. Where were the checks and balances to ensure that the heating system was safe when it was installed? Where were the checks and balances to ensure that the tendering process delivered value for money?

"For a considerable period after these systems were introduced we had local Ministers and local MLA's yet still there were no action taken about safety or the tendering process.

"If firms were sharing lucrative contracts and "collusive tendering" practices were operating in tandem with serious safety failures it would indicate a widespread management failure within the Housing Executive and the Department of Social Development.

"My greatest concern is that we had a confidential Health and Safety Executive report from 2001 that almost 30 installations breached safety regulations with 4 being immediately dangerous yet it is only now that this has come into the public domain. The entire management of this project appears to have been a fiasco from day one." ENDS

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