Regulator ends statutory managerial appointment at Ferguslie Park

The Scottish Housing Regulator has decided to end the appointment of a manager at Ferguslie Park Housing Association after “good progress” was made in delivering the required improvements.

The Regulator initially made the statutory appointment of a manager and three appointees to the governing body in February 2016 after it identified serious weaknesses in the Association’s governance and financial management and failures to comply with Regulatory Standards.

An independent investigation commissioned by Ferguslie Park at the time highlighted a number of serious concerns including inappropriate payments being made without the proper delegated authority. A Section 72 notice was also sent to the Regulator from external auditors notifying it of inappropriate payments.

These appointments were extended in March 2017 and again in August 2017.

However in an updated regulation plan published this week, the Regulator states that it ended the appointment of the manager at the end of January 2018 and will reduce the number of statutory appointments to the governing body from three to two at the end of March 2018.

The Regulator said: “Ferguslie Park has made good progress in delivering the required improvements but this has taken some time due to the number and complexity of issues identified, particularly in relation to Ferguslie Park’s subsidiary, The New Tannahill Centre Ltd.”

It added: “Ferguslie Park has recruited new members with good skills and experience to strengthen its governing body. It has completed many of the necessary improvements and Ferguslie Park is now seeking to recruit a chief executive and complete a review of its staffing structure. The successful appointment of a chief executive is a critical milestone for Ferguslie Park.

“We are satisfied that our appointed manager has concluded the remit we set to support the organisation to comply with Regulatory Standards. It is now for the governing body to demonstrate that it is capable of sustaining and building on these improvements.”

The two appointments to the Board have therefore now been extended to September 2018.

Ferguslie Park Housing Association told Scottish Housing News that the Management Board were “very pleased” with the decision to review the statutory intervention when the updated regulation plan was considered on Wednesday night.

Chair Shona McIntyre said: “The statutory manager and Board appointees have been a great assistance to the Board in reviewing and rebuilding their governance and financial management support systems. Our financial position has always been strong but now the Board is in full control of decision making. Tenants can be reassured that the risks to their interests, which led to intervention, have been managed and resolved.

“The conclusion of the Manager’s task, and the reduction in appointees, is evidence that we have sorted those old weaknesses – we just need to prove now that we have firmly established the rejuvenated FPHA. We are really looking forward to doing that with our new management Board and a new chief executive, during what we hope will be the final few months of intervention.”