SDLP East Derry Assembly candidate John Dallat has said that before Stormont begins trading again there must be agreement that money doled out is benchmarked against the best international standards in accounting.
Mr Dallat who has worked with fledging governments in Armenia and Georgia says: “International expertise was brought in to assist with many aspects of politics in the North. It is now time to do the same to ensure that all members of the assembly are aware of the process that is used to release money for public spending.
‏”If elected I will use my 18 years on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to assist the SDLP to identify the shortcomings in the current system which couldn’t prevent the Cash for Ash or other scandals at Stormont during the last regime. We must then demand legislation appropriate to addressing the detailing of the gravy trains.
“I will also bring back to Stormont my experience of how financial scrutiny is approached by other countries some of which lived under tyrannical regimes for many years and appreciate perhaps more than us the need to live in a democracy which is accountable, transparent and has legislation which stops the disgraceful events associated with Stormont finances over the last year in particular.
“After working with other countries I believe passionately that new laws must be passed in the assembly government public spending and then there can be a process of Post Legislative Scrutiny which allows performance to be benchmarked against best international standards. Anything less is no good.
“The whole issue of Special Advisors, their qualifications and especially their close links to political parties is a major issue and raises the whole question of the integrity of paying individuals massive salaries for jobs that are not awarded on qualification, competition or merit.
“The anger experienced by most people must be turned into action and I could not stand by and not offer to be part of a team of SDLP assembly members who will work with Unionists that have the determination and integrity to clear out the corruption and lack of financial credibility which led to the current scandals.”