Page 2993 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 14 August 2013
MS GALLAGHER: I do not believe that there are other directorates relying on the TCH data centre or the systems that were affected. But, again, if I am wrong I will come and update the Assembly.
Mr Doszpot: We were affected.
MADAM SPEAKER: Questions without notice. Mrs Jones.
Ms Gallagher: On the systems that were affected. You do not use EDIS here.
MADAM SPEAKER: Are you two finished? Questions without notice. Mrs Jones.
MRS JONES: Madam Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Last week, you advised the Assembly that a number of executive contracts that should have been tabled within six sitting days had not been. You also tabled 41 long-term contracts, 57 short-term contracts and 37 contract variations. How many of those contracts had not been tabled within the mandatory six sitting days? What is the reason the relevant contracts were not tabled in the Assembly on time?
MS GALLAGHER: I would have to go through and see which ones were not tabled on time. There are a significant number that were not. We are undergoing an audit process at the moment. The information I have to date is that there have been lapses in the tabling of executive contracts that date back to 1996. So it is an extensive piece of work that is underway to ascertain why that situation has occurred.
There are issues in terms of the dating. There were no unsigned contracts tabled last week, but there will be three unsigned contracts tabled tomorrow. There were undated contracts. Again, the issue of dating is around meeting the tabling requirements; it is not relevant to the period of time of the contract. So, yes, there have been significant breakdowns in the tabling of executive contracts dating back many, many years. We are in the process of cleaning it up.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.
MRS JONES: Could there be a little bit more information, if possible? What was the reason that you had not tabled the relevant contracts on time and for how long has the problem existed where contracts have failed to be tabled on time? Is it just since 1996 or is it possibly before that?
MS GALLAGHER: I have seen some information to date that indicates it has been probably in every calendar year since 1996 until now. I do not think there is a standard reason why. There are some process problems—the difference between how short-term contracts and long-term contracts are executed. There are differences around performance elements or performance agreements that underpin the contracts. There is a whole range of different reasons that can be offered.