NITB 'deficiencies' will be addressed says Pearson

Finance Minister Ian Pearson has welcomed a report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) into the activities and running of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) and said he was "adamant" that the organisation's "deficiencies" would be addressed.

The PAC report dealt with a number of investigations of NITB activities by the Comptroller and Auditor General. It covered a range of issues spanning several years, and was strongly critical of a number of aspects of how the NITB was run.

Commenting on the report, Mr Pearson said: "Clearly there have been serious deficiencies in both the organisation and the operation of NITB. The PAC rightly identified a number of areas of unacceptable behaviour and practice, both within NITB and the way it was overseen by DETI. I accept what they have said.

“A detailed action plan to address the problems identified by PAC has been prepared, which includes both actions taken to date and those scheduled for implementation during 2003. I intend to take a close interest in the implementation of this plan and monitor progress in delivering the agreed improvements.

"As a first step in this, I will be meeting the Board of the NITB early in the New Year to discuss how we can best implement the action plan and build on the constructive changes which have already been implemented.

“There is a new Board in place and significant changes have also been made to the senior management team. I am committed to ensuring that the NITB sustains the highest possible standards of public service. The last year has been extremely turbulent for the NITB and I am adamant that this must never be allowed to happen again."

Chairman of PAC, Billy Bell, also welcome the response and said it recognised the scale of the problems revealed in NITB.

"At first glance, it does seem to address many of the issues which we raised," he added.

Mr Bell also described the report as extremely important and that there were many issues the department and the Tourist Board needed learn.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

26 July 2019
Public Report Leads To Arrests Over Vehicle Theft
Police have praised members of the public whose reports of suspicious activity led to the arrest of two males for vehicle theft. Officers were tasked to the Lady Wallace Avenue area of Lisburn shortly after 4am this morning, 26 July, after receiving information about men attempting to steal a car.
07 November 2018
United Ireland The 'Only Winning Scenario' After Brexit - Report
The "only winning scenario" for Northern Ireland after Brexit is a United Ireland, a report has suggested. The Costs of Non-Unification- Brexit and the Unification of Ireland report predicts that both Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic will suffer economically once the UK leaves the European Union.
26 April 2018
Warning Issued To Public Amid 'Suspect Device' Report In North Belfast
Police in north Belfast have urged the public to be cautious following reports of an alleged device being left in the area. Extensive searches have been carried in the North Queen Street area, however it is understood that nothing has yet been found.
25 April 2018
SDLP Hits Out At DUP And Sinn Féin Over Foodbank Report
The SDLP has hit out at the DUP and Sinn Féin for supporting "flawed welfare cuts that will inflict further hardship", following a report which revealed the extent of foodbank use in NI. SDLP Health Spokesperson Mark H Durkan expressed his concern, anger and frustration following the publication of a report by the Trussell Trust.
25 April 2018
Depts Take Decision To Publish Fatal Fetal Abnormality Termination Report
The report of an inter-Departmental working group on termination of pregnancies in fatal fetal abnormality cases has been published by the Departments for Health and Justice. Publication of the report, which was commissioned in 2016, was meant to have been decided by Ministers.