|Not related in any way!|
On the 16th March 2009 to much fanfare Martin McGuinness was in New York to participate in the announcement of a $30million investment project by New York State Comptroller, Thomas Di Napoli.
Speaking at the announcement which was made in the Comptroller’s Offices in New York, Mr McGuinness said: 'The Emerging Europe Fund will provide a total of $100million of which $30million has been earmarked for projects in the North of Ireland.'
Deputy McGuinness also said 'I was pleased last year during the Investment Conference, to host Comptroller Di Napoli on a visit to Derry. The Comptroller has targeted these funds to areas of long term disadvantage. This is recognition that these are areas of opportunity. It is also recognition that everyone must have a stake in the future and a role in developing peace'.
This week Stormont’s enterprise committee said it was totally unacceptable for the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) to fail to respond to its questions about the US-based Emerging Europe Fund. This seems to be a common trait within OFMDFM, when they really haven't got a baldies notion, they say nothing.
Allegedly worth $30m to the North, there hasn't been a single cent of the money invested here since it was unveiled nearly five years ago by Martin McGuinness, who at the time also said it was 'merely the start of even bigger and better things to come'.
Well since nothing has happened after 5 years I for one would like to hear Mr McGuinness or Mr Robinson give an explanation as to why. Then again their silence over the failings of their equally lauded Social investment fund speaks volumes.
With this in mind it reminds me that it's better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
However I would like to take this opportunity to remind Mr McGuinness & Mr Robinson of the Nolan principles on public life.
The Nolan principles of public life were drawn up by the Nolan Committee headed by Lord Nolan and endorsed by parliament. They apply to anyone who holds public office. I should mention that these principles have nothing to do with BBC presenter Stephen Nolan.
The Seven Principles
- Selflessness - holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family or their friends.
- Integrity - holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.
- Objectivity - in carrying out public business, including making public appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards and benefits, holders of public office should make choices on merit.
- Accountability - holders of public office are accountable for their decisions and actions to the public and must submit themselves to whatever scrutiny is appropriate to their office.
- Openness - holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands.
- Honesty - holders of public office have a duty to declare any private interests relating to their public duties and take steps to resolve any conflicts arising in a way that protects the public interest.
- Leadership - holders of public office should promote and support these principles by leadership and example