Monday 23 October 2017

NAMA adviser resigns from Northern Housing Executive

Mark Keenan

Mark Keenan

NAMA has declined to comment on the future of Brian Rowntree's position on its Northern Ireland Advisory Committee (NIAC) following yesterday's revelation that the Northern Ireland-based executive had resigned from his position as chairman of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive prior to the public disclosure of the results of an investigation into "irregularities" in maintenance contracts.

Mr Rowntree's resignation on Friday came ahead of a promise by Northern Ireland's Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland to relate the details of an independent investigation which his department commissioned into what were described as "irregularities" in financial maintenance contracts.

These involve the maintenance company Red Sky, which has benefited from contacts worth £7m. Mr McCausland has described the findings as "alarming."

Email

For his part, Mr Rowntree has issued an email to the housing body's 3,000 staff writing of "personal stress" and a "challenging relationship" with Mr McCausland's department.

Two weeks ago, Mr Rowntree was re-appointed to NAMA's NIAC following consultation with Finance Minister Michael Noonan and Sammy Wilson, the Northern Ireland Minister for Finance and Personnel.

Along with Mr Frank Cushnahan, Mr Rowntree's term is set to last for almost two more years running until April 15 2014.

Both had served on the committee since its inception.

Strategy

The role of NIAC is to make recommendations to the board of NAMA concerning its strategy relating to its Northern Ireland based assets and to advise the NAMA board on the general economy of Northern Ireland.

Despite issuing a statement last month that it had re-appointed Mr Rowntree -- the NAMA spokesman Ray Gordon yesterday asserted that the appointment had actually been made by Ministers Noonan and Wilson.

Irish Independent

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