By Stephen McKinley
A committee in Belfast has heard that the New York Northern Ireland Tourist Board chief spent almost _25,000 on entertainment in one year, using a corporate credit card — but civil servants have leaped to his defense.
The manager, David Boyce, was the target of a damning audit report from a Stormont committee.
Wilfie Hamilton, principal finance officer of the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment, said that the New York office, now part of the all-Ireland tourist board, cost _1 million to run, and that Boyce’s endeavors had raised _29 million in tourist revenue from U.S. visitors.
“An awful lot of this is directly a consequence of the New York manager,” Hamilton said.
According to the Belfast Telegraph, Hamilton acknowledged that Boyce’s record in collecting receipts was “extremely poor” and he had received a written warning.
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The hearing was told he had still to provide supporting documentation for about _3,000 of the _25,000 expenditure.