Armstrong: Public life must be open and transparent

Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has said transparency is key in public life after a report found the public sector must change ‘cultural barriers’ stopping concerns from the public and workers being listened to and acted on.

The report from the Audit Office, entitled Raising Concerns, looked at issues in the public sector here and how good practice could be improved. It said public bodies needed to take action to address real and perceived barriers to people raising concerns.

“Alliance is fully committed to openness and transparency. Those factors are key in public life and ensure people trust their representatives,” said Strangford MLA Ms Armstrong.

“I welcome this report and hope public bodies not only listen to it but take the appropriate action. The public and workers raising concerns are crucial in the scrutinising process, as we have seen in matters such as RHI, where a whistleblower first brought it to public attention.

“In the negotiations which led to the New Decade New Approach agreement, Alliance outlined a series of processes to ensure new codes of conduct where created in an attempt to remove all barriers to transparency.”