Beggs highlights need for better Court Funds Office Stewardship of funds

Roy Beggs MLA, who unearthed burdensome administrative processes and poor under investment of some £87m held by the Court Funds Office (CFO) in low interest bearing deposit accounts has supported the Public Accounts Committee recommendations that independent financial expertise was required within the CFO governance structures and that carefully managed pooled investment funds should be used to improve returns.

Roy Beggs said, “Holding almost twice their annual expenditure in a low interest bearing accounts is failing to get a reasonable return for the vulnerable clients that whose funds are managed by the Court Funds Office. It is also clear that there are burdensome, out of date administrative processes being used by those managing the Court Funds Office. This bureaucratic administration must also be paid for by vulnerable clients. There is a clear need for independent finance advice within the management structures of the CFO and a need for modernisation of their processes.”

The Ulster Unionist Party MLA unearthed that whilst £87m was being held in 0.5% low interest, bearing deposit accounts, access though only £40m/£50m cash was needed on an annual basis.

In conclusion Roy Beggs MLA said, “Once more the Public Accounts Committee has uncovered out dated and poor practice within the Justice System. I welcome the Committees recommendations for improvement and will look forward to the Justice Department’s response and will continue to monitor progress on this issue as a Member of the Public Accounts committee.”

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