Fewer departments first step to coherent government: Neeson

Alliance Enterprise Spokesperson Sean Neeson MLA has repeated his call for an urgent review of departmental structures in Northern Ireland, to make coherent, “joined-up” government a reality.

The East Antrim Assembly member stated: “People know there are so many departments in Northern Ireland now they are more inclined to compete with each other than cooperate.

“The creation of 10 departments was designed to facilitate an even sectarian carve-up, but it has failed. Boards, voluntary-sector bodies, businesses and individuals are all having to deal with a multitude of departments and agencies even to get the simplest task done.

“A reduction in the number of Departments is essential to providing the best possible public services in the most efficient and effective manner. It is nonsense to implement any Review of Public Administration without tackling this obvious hurdle.

“Five or six Departments each with two Ministers, as is the case in Scotland, would be more likely to deliver genuine ‘joined-up’ government, as well as ensuring collective decision making by the Executive rather than individual fiefdoms.

“The result would be a much more transparent, cost-effective and competent system of government for Northern Ireland. This is a prerequisite for a successful Assembly.”


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