Lyttle welcomes Audit Office Social Investment Fund review

Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle has welcomed the start of a review into the controversial Social Investment Fund (SIF).

The value for money review by the Northern Ireland Audit Office will look at areas including the appointment of lead partners, membership of the steering groups and governance arrangements in relation to the multi-million pound scheme which has come under fire for its lack of transparency and awarding millions to Charter NI.

“I welcome the Audit Office review of SIF,” said Mr Lyttle.

“Whilst there are many bona fide organisations working to deliver positive outcomes via SIF, the flawed framework designed by the DUP and Sinn Fein Office of First Minister and deputy First Minister for the allocation of this funding lacked openness and transparency from its inception.

“It is unacceptable in a time of such severe austerity only £1 million of an available £80 million was expended by OFMDFM on SIF despite serious need across our community, and it is right and proper the Audit Office should review the poor administration of such a significant amount of public money.

“It is vitally important the Audit Office is given access to all information it requires to conduct a full investigation into the design and administration of this public fund immediately.”

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