Troubled Sport NI gets interim leadership team

Car�l N� Chuil�n met the Sport NI board on Wednesday
Car�l N� Chuil�n met the Sport NI board on Wednesday

Sports Minister Caral Ni Chuilin has said she had a “constructive” meeting with the board of Sport NI.

The minister has resisted calls to resign after nine members of the board stepped down on Monday night.

She met the board on Wednesday to discuss what action she is taking.

She said: “We have now had two very constructive, positive and open engagements. I have listened carefully to the board’s views and I met them again today to discuss with them the actions that I am taking.

“The quality of leadership and management within Sport NI is critical to its long-term success and I am introducing a package of measures to address the concerns raised and to reassure me that the organisation is fit for purpose.”

She has appointed an interim executive leadership team whose primary role will be to conduct a confidential and independent employee survey, a “cultural audit” and an evaluation of the leadership.

“The executive team will operate under my authority and with the full support of the board of Sport NI. I have also written to all Sport NI staff to update them on the measures to be taken.

“In addition I would wish to have ongoing discussions with Sport NI about longer term options to strengthen relationships within Sport NI and to improve the interface between Sport NI and the department.”

A small number of people are likely to be co-opted on to the board from across the civil service to replace those who left.

The minister said the actions are necessary to address the allegations in an internal audit report, to support Sport NI through a challenging period of change, to ensure public trust and confidence is maintained in the work of the organisation and to provide all staff with the reassurance that they have taken their views and concerns seriously.