Saturday, 28 November 2009

Ulster-Scots Agency

The following is the answer I gave in the Assembly on Tuesday 24 November to a question about the Ulster-Scots Agency.

During my time as Minister and before, many individuals and groups within the Ulster-Scots community have expressed concerns to me about the internal and external operation of the Ulster-Scots Agency.  Concerns have also been raised by the Northern Ireland Audit Office and I share those concerns.

The agency is a body that uses public funds and I want that money to be used in an efficient and effective way.  It is essential that the Ulster-Scots Agency uses the resources allocated to it effectively and for the benefit of the community.  It must also deliver value for money, because that is what is best for the community that it serves.

It is clear that there are issues regarding the strategic direction of the agency and issues around its governance and administrative processes.  I am aware of the issues and I will be taking steps to try to address them.

I am determined to ensure that the Ulster-Scots Agency is fit for purpose and provides value for money.  That is good for the community that the agency serves and that view is shared by Minister O Cuiv in relation to both the Ulster-Scots Agency and Foras na Gaeilge.

1 comment:

  1. I've found the Ulster Scots Agency very slow to respond to emails. Friends from overseas have also contacted me to say that they no longer get the Ulster-Scot newspaper posted to them and have effectively lost contact with the agency. The newspaper just stopped being delivered. There was a very small article in one of the editions about it but most people didn't see it. So much for the Ulster-Scots diaspora! They now don't get any letters, newspapers or emails from the agency. Compare this to how the RoI Government gives grants to different organisations in Great Britain e.g. Irish centres, GAA clubs etc.

    A very disappointing level of service from the Ulster-Scots Agency.