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‘Failings over Fire Service appointments must be addressed’ - Sheehan

13 September, 2018 - by Pat Sheehan

Serious failings concerning appointments to the Fire Service Board must be addressed in the wake of criticism from the Commissioner for Public Appointments, Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan has said.

The party’s Health Spokesperson was commenting after an investigation by the Commissioner upheld a number of complaints over the department’s handling of the process to appoint lay members to the Board.

"It is very concerning that the Commissioner has found substantive breaches of the Code of Practice for Ministerial appointments to the Fire and Rescue Service Board,” Pat Sheehan said.

"It is important that the public has confidence in the process with regard to public appointments and the findings in this case could undermine that.

"All departments have a responsibility to manage public appointments processes in accordance with the code in a transparent manner and clearly that was not the case in this instance.

“The investigation also emphasises the importance of the scrutiny function being carried out by the Commissioner’s office. The Department of Health must now fully engage fully with the Commissioner to ensure these failings are addressed and that public confidence in the appointments process is restored."

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