“Monitoring Rounds are vital to the role of Committees in scrutinising the work of Departments, particularly in the light of the Finance Minister’s recent proposal for the Executive to produce only a one-year Budget. For the Executive to state it would not be sharing the Monitoring Rounds with Committees was a concerning move.
“Despite today’s claim that MLAs on the Committee will now see the October Monitoring Round, we were also informed there is “no point,” as there is no underspend available. That is not a good enough reason to block scrutiny of the Department and Minister. If Committee members can discover where the pressures are, we can also suggest solutions.
“Among their many functions, Assembly Committees are there to consider and advise on matters brought by the Minister. If that is not happening, it is clear the Executive does not want open and transparent politics.”