Northern Ireland

Housing Executive meeting to discuss Red Sky 'U-turn'

Red Sky office
Image caption Red Sky went into administration shortly after the contract was ended

The board of the Housing Executive will meet on Tuesday to discuss a request from the housing minister to overturn its decision to end its contract with maintenance firm Red Sky.

The executive ended its £8m contract with the Belfast company in April.

Shortly after the contract was ended the firm went into administration.

Last week Nelson McCausland told the Housing Executive to re-instate Red Sky until a new system for awarding contracts was introduced.

Mr McCausland said because of a number ongoing internal investigations at the Housing Executive, he had significant concerns about the contracts process there.

He has asked the Housing Executive not to terminate its contract with Red Sky and to suspend any action to appoint alternative contractors.

In response, the Housing Executive said it had received no written instructions relating to the matter.

The Housing Executive ended all its repair contracts with Red Sky after it carried out an investigation into its work practices which included allegations of over-charging.

The firm has always denied the allegations.

On Monday, the chairman of the Social Development Committee Alex Maskey asked the minister to "come clean" about why he intervened in the dispute between the Housing Executive and Red Sky.

Mr Maskey said he wanted more details.

"His party has taken a very keen interest and a number of his senior colleagues have quite intensively met with and lobbied on behalf of this company," he said.

"This is very shaky legal ground and that is why I want the minister to come clean and give the public a full and transparent explanation of what is the basis of his intervention."

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