9 August 2010 | Angeline Albert
Northern Ireland Water (NIW) has appointed Padraic White as interim chairman of the board after the previous chairman was dismissed following an investigation into procurement practice.
White will join four interim non-executive directors appointed in July: Peter Bunting, Lawson McDonald, Máirtín Ó Muilleoir and Kevin Steele. Another non-executive director, Don Price, remains on the board.
The interim chairman and non-executive directors replace individuals dismissed in March, including former chairman Chris Mellor, following an investigation into procurement practices at the utility company. Breaches included failures to put contracts out to competitive tender, instances where there was an absence of appropriate internal approval, as well as deals running on extensions outside the permitted contract terms.
Regional development minister Conor Murphy said: “I welcome the appointment of Padraic White who will bring his wealth of skills and experience to bear in providing a steadying influence on the board of NIW following what has been a difficult time for the organisation.”
White was the first chairman of the Railway Procurement Agency, which was responsible for introducing Ireland’s first light rail system in Dublin, between 2002 and 2007.
The Northern Ireland Executive said White’s appointment would initially be for up to nine months until a permanent appointment is made. Future long-term governance arrangements of water and sewerage services continue to be re-examined.