asked Her Majesty's Government:
How many meetings about staffing the housing branch of the Northern Ireland Department of Social Development has held with (a) the South Ulster Housing Association; and (b) the Gosford Housing Association since 1 January 2004; and whether anyone from the department involved in these meetings was an applicant for employment by either of these two housing associations.
Members of staff from the regulation and inspection branch of housing division in the Department for Social Development, Northern Ireland have held one meeting about staffing with South Ulster Housing Association and one meeting with Gosford Housing Association since
An officer from the division's regulation and inspection team that had been involved in the meeting about staffing in Gosford Housing Association had applied for a post in South Ulster Housing Association. Having declared this potential conflict of interest up front, this officer was not involved in the meeting, nor had access to the inspection papers relating to staffing in South Ulster Housing Association. Housing division is satisfied that any actual or perceived conflict of interest was appropriately handled in this instance.