Parliament Buildings: Maintenance and Minor Works

Assembly Business — Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland Assembly Commission – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:15 pm on 7th December 2021.

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Photo of Mervyn Storey Mervyn Storey DUP 3:15 pm, 7th December 2021

11. Mr Storey asked the Assembly Commission for an update on the review of options for the future provision of maintenance and minor works. (AQO 2891/17-22)

Photo of Robbie Butler Robbie Butler UUP

I thank the Member for his question. For many years, maintenance and minor works projects relating to Parliament Buildings have been undertaken using the Department of Finance's pan-government framework contract for property maintenance. The Assembly Commission has, to date, continued that tradition. The Commission is undertaking a review of those services to consider whether that remains the best mechanism to undertake such works and to help to ensure that the framework arrangement provides a value-for-money option for the work. The scope of the services includes planned maintenance, reactive and remedial maintenance, repairs, minor works projects and the provision of a small team of in-house operatives. All such works are required to be undertaken in a manner that befits the listed status of Parliament Buildings and does not cause any unnecessary disruption to Assembly business. Senior management has considered an initial draft review that was undertaken by Building Services and has requested that further information be incorporated before the review is formally submitted for its consideration. It is planned that the review will be considered by senior management in December.

Photo of Mervyn Storey Mervyn Storey DUP

Without being facetious, I have to say that the Member's answer sounded more like a repeat on a well-known media outlet. It is the same answer as we have been given a number of times. This issue has been running on since 2016. When will the Commission make a decision and resolve this long-standing problem? People in the Building need to be respected and paid appropriately, including members of staff who have roles in the Chamber.

Photo of Robbie Butler Robbie Butler UUP

The Member raises a good point, but, as I said, it is planned that the review will be considered by senior management. Perhaps an answer will be forthcoming in December.

Photo of Christopher Stalford Christopher Stalford DUP

Just before Members take their ease, it would be remiss of me not to join Mr McNulty in congratulating Mr Carroll on the birth of his first child. I am sure that all Members would agree that that should be read into Hansard.

Members should take their ease. We will move on to the next item in a few moments.