Antrim Area Hospital:  Procurement Review

Oral Answers to Questions – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 11th February 2014.

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Photo of Ian Milne Ian Milne Sinn Féin 2:30 pm, 11th February 2014

6. asked the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety to detail the outstanding recommendations that were made following the procurement review at Antrim Area Hospital and a time frame for their completion. (AQT 706/11-15)

Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP

We had asked for a course of work to be done.  In the past few weeks, I made a statement to the House that indicated that there were procurement issues.  Although there was no evidence of fraud, there were certainly weaknesses in procurement.  We are looking to close off those weaknesses and have a much more robust procurement scheme in the Northern Trust area.

Photo of Ian Milne Ian Milne Sinn Féin

Go raibh maith agat, a LeasCheann Comhairle.  Gabhaim buíochas leis an Aire as ucht a fhreagra sin.  I thank the Minister for his answer.  Will he give us an assurance that those recommendations will be implemented across the trusts and that procurement throughout the health service will be open and transparent?

Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP

It is certainly the case that we want procurement to be open and transparent throughout the system.  The Business Services Organisation will carry out much of that work for trusts.  Where trusts are engaged in direct procurement, we want everything to be done in a way that ensures that they have public confidence and deliver best value for money for the public.