Armstrong secures commitment on upcoming Monitoring Round

Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong has secured an agreement from the Department for Infrastructure (DFI) for it to share its October Monitoring Round, despite previous claims it wouldn’t be producing such a document.

It follows an Executive announcement it would not be bringing future Monitoring Rounds to Departmental Committees for scrutiny, a move Ms Armstrong said was not open or transparent. However, following questioning by the Strangford MLA at today’s Infrastructure Committee, Departmental officials pledged to show the DFI Monitoring Round to members.

“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.”

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