DUP North Antrim MLA Paul Frew has challenged the Department of Finance to publish all emails relating to the announced order of PPE from China via Dublin.
Paul Frew is a member of the Finance Committee in Stormont.
Commenting Mr Frew said,
“At the commencement of the COVID-19 lockdown, there was an urgency to obtain PPE for frontline workers. I supported this. The Finance Minister and the deputy First Minister announced Northern Ireland was placing an order with Dublin for PPE from China.
I stood with frontline workers and cared little what route the PPE came from. Politics had been set aside. However within days it became clear that the order was not placed nor was any PPE coming from China or Dublin for Northern Ireland.
I have been seeking full disclosure from the Department of Finance about this failed order.
Whilst some information has been handed over to the Finance Committee, there are no emails for either 30th or 31st March. Were no emails sent those days? Were no notes made of conversations those days? No minutes?
With the deadline for reasonable time to respond approaching and having asked numerous times, the Committee then received a letter from the Minister stating the email exchanges on those dates related to volumes, products, specifications and pricing.
There should be full disclosure to protect public confidence. Jibes about RHI only serve to highlight the Minister’s weakness.”