asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will detail the measures which have been introduced by the Housing Executive to avoid the recurrence of overpayments to contractors.
[pursuant to his reply, 12 June 1985, c. 477]: I am advised by the chairman of the Housing Executive that the executive's policy, practice and procedures relating to all contract matters were set out in a detailed contracts code which is currently being revised. In addition, the Housing Executive has introduced and developed a financial monitor system which compares actual payments to planned expenditure. Also a computerised contracts register is at an advanced stage of design. It will record all payments made to all contractors against a planned financial profile and compare payments to physical completions. This system will highlight, at an early date, variations from planned physical and/or financial profiles and enable remedial action, where necessary, to be taken.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the total extra costs to the Housing Executive, resulting from the liquidation of the firm involved in the overpayment investigated by the Local Government Auditor, have been computed; and what advice his Department has given to the Housing Executive about the avoidance of a recurrence of similar cases in the future.
[pursuant to his reply, 12 June 1985, c. 477]: I am advised by the chairman of the Housing Executive that the total costs have not yet been fully ascertained as the matter is still under active examination. The Department of the Environment (Northern Ireland) has discussed the particular case with the Housing Executive and the need generally to ensure that similar cases are avoided in the future. Appropriate procedures and controls have been developed and the Department has been assured that they have been implemented.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what procedures have now been laid down by the Housing Executive to avoid losses due to solicitors withholding proceeds of sales, bankruptcy or deaths of individuals involved in transactions.
[pursuant to his reply, 12 June 1985, c. 477]: This is a matter for the chairman of the Housing Executive who has advised me that procedures have recently been reviewed and the following measures are now being implemented:
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress has been made by the Housing Executive towards reconciliation of the amount of rates collectable with payment actually made to the rating authority for 1981–82 and 1982–83 in respect of the Belfast region.
[pursuant to his reply, 12 June 1985, c. 477]: This is a matter for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, but I am informed that a small group set up within the rates control section is concentrating solely on the reconciliation and it is anticipated that the exercise will be completed within the current financial year 1985–86.
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many posts are vacant in the claims management section of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive; and what difficulties are being experienced in filling these posts.
[pursuant to his reply, 12 June 1985, c. 477]: This is a matter for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, However, I am informed that there is one professional post vacant within the claims management section. Internal and external recruitment measures have been unsuccessful in attracting suitable applicants with the necessary experience in this type of work and cover is provided by secondments from within the executive.