26/05/2008 Appointment of Inspector – Solidarity

The following will be announced on the Website of the Certification Office tomorrow - 27 May, 2008.

"On 22 May 2008 the Certification Officer appointed Gerard Walker, Assistant Certification Officer, as an Inspector to investigate the financial affairs of the trade union Solidarity.

The appointment was made under Section 37B of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992. The Inspector’s terms of reference are to investigate the financial affairs of the trade union Solidarity between 1 November 2005 and 24 November 2007; as regards;

  1. the production of receipts for expenditure,

  2. the operation of the Solidarity Paypal account,

  3. withdrawals for the Solidarity HSBC current account on 20 and 25 September 2007 and a transfer to the Solidarity HSBC current account from the Solidarity HSBC Money Manager Account on 20 September 2007,

  4. cheques cashed from the Solidarity HSBC current account between 18 January 2007 and 4 June 2007,

  5. payments made to Mr Patrick Harrington from the Solidarity HSBC current account between 1 February 2007 and 1 May 2007,

  6. the freezing of the Solidarity HSBC Current Account and Business Money Manager Account in 2007,

  7. the opening of a Bank of Scotland account in the name of Solidarity in 2007,

  8. the appointment of Accentuate PR Company by Solidarity in 2007,

  9. the appointment of the auditors of Solidarity’s accounts for the years ending 31 December 2006 and 31 December 2007 and

  10. any other matter, with the consent of the Certification Officer, indicating a financial irregularity within the description set out in section 37B(2) of the 1992 Act that may come to light during the investigation of (a) to (i) above.

The terms of reference exclude the Inspector from reaching any conclusion on the legal issues arising out of the unresolved dispute within Solidarity about the application of its rules to its governance, the resolution of which requires either internal agreement or judicial determination."

The announcement of an investigation into the financial affairs of our Union was expected. It is part of a co-ordinated campaign aimed at disrupting the work of our Brotherhood. Most of the points listed as items for investigation have already been answered by our Union. Additionally the Union is currently preparing fully audited accounts covering the period in question.

Our books are available for inspection and we shall meet our legal obligations. PayPal transactions are electronically recorded and we have already provided the CO with details of payments in and out. Detailed Petty Cash records backed by receipts are available to show where money paid to Pat Harrington for administration purposes has been spent. Likewise receipts are available for the other items of expenditure mentioned. Our Audtiors were properly appointed according to law and our Constitution. How the Executive chooses to transfer money from one account to another is at its discretion. Likewise who we choose to provide us with PR or any other service is at our discretion.

We keep an open-mind as regards the motivation of the Certification Office. It is possible that they are a neutral party simply responding professionally to a series of malicious (and potentially defamatory) allegations. We caution any third party from making unfounded or premature statements regarding this matter.

Our members have made it clear time and again that they support the current leadership of the Union, at Special Meetings, by offering financial support and in an Independently scrutinised ballot. Members can rest assured that we will deal with this matter in a businesslike fashion and our services will continue to be delivered as normal.