Opposition MLA Kieran McCarthy said: “If the Executive is really concerned about making the civil service more efficient they would do well to focus on reducing the number of government departments as soon as possible.
“The Executive must not delay in making brave or radical decisions on this issue because such moves are needed to deliver more efficient, effective and joined-up government. Such an initiative would not only make financial sense, it would also lead to greater coherence within government and better decision-making.
“Very little has been said officially regard reductions in the number of departments we have locally. If the number of Ministries were cut, we could make massive savings – savings that could be ploughed into vital frontline health services.
“It will be interesting to see whether the Executive chooses to be brave and reduces the number of departments by three of four, or whether it axes only one to make room for policing and justice if it becomes a devolved matter.”