NI infrastructure minister announces reviews

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon announced reviews into the MOT fiasco during a visit to DVA’s Boucher Road test centre on 28 January.

Speaking from the test centre, Minister Mallon said: “I have just been in speaking with staff here at the Boucher Road DVA centre. Staff are working tirelessly on the frontline to process priority customers and to communicate with the public. However, I have acted decisively to minimise disruption.”

The minister’s “decisive” action includes at least two reviews: “…I have instructed my Permanent Secretary to commission two separate reviews, which I will oversee.

“The first is an investigation of the timeline and events that led up to the situation that arose last night. I need greater assurance than I have at present about the maintenance and testing regime in operation within DVA and about the way in which initial concerns about the lifting equipment were followed up and addressed. I want to know the precise timeline and to understand who knew what and when and all actions taken. This review will be carried out independently by professional auditors managed from outside the Department.

“The second review will be carried out by an external expert which we are currently in the process of appointing and will provide me with independent advice on the steps that need to be taken to return our MOT centres urgently to a position where a full testing service can be provided. It is not acceptable to me that we are in a position where the DVA cannot guarantee a safe operating environment. It is equally unacceptable to me to have a lengthy period where vehicles are not undergoing the tests needed to ensure they are roadworthy and to keep all of us safe on the roads.” No details of which “external expert” is likely to be involved.

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