Page last updated at 16:06 GMT, Wednesday, 6 July 2011 17:06 UK

OFMDFM Committee

Video for this item of business will appear here.

The Office of the First and Deputy First Minister has investigated 19 cases where whistle-blowers have alleged irregularity in department-funded projects, MLAs were told, on 6 July 2011.

The OFMDFM committee evidence session came after the Comptroller and Auditor General, Kieran Donnelly, had expressed concerns about £7.5m of irregular expenditure.

Mr Donnelly told the committee there were no problems regarding the "truth and fairness" of the OFMDFM accounts.

Collette Kane from the Audit Office said that of the 19 incidents of whistle-blowing, three were being investigated by the police.

The 19 cases involved alleged irregularity in OFMDFM-funded projects.

Ms Kane said a higher level of control was required when making grants to voluntary and community bodies as they might not have formal governance structures.

Noel Lavery, the director of resources of OFMDFM, briefed the committee on the actions he had taken to address the issues raised by the Comptroller and Auditor General's report.

Mr Lavery detailed the instances when money had been spent without the correct approval.

He said the steps he had taken to remedy the irregularities were "robust".

In reply to a question for Tom Elliott, Mr Lavery said, "We are putting new systems in from cradle to grave".

The committee then discussed the press release to be issued once it had adjourned.

Alex Maskey of Sinn Fein described one of the comments as "unfair". He said he did not agree that lessons had not been learned by the department.

OFMDFM committee membership


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