David Ford said: “There is a case for Ministers each having a single special adviser. This helps avoid the civil service becoming politicised and is accepted in other administrations.
“However, these problems started when David Trimble and Seamus Mallon each got three special advisers. At times it seemed as if their main function was to send rude memos between the First Minister’s Office and the Deputy First Minister’s Office.
“Now, the DUP and Sinn Féin have elevated this bad practice to a new level with the appointment of Special Advisers for the two Junior Ministers. Junior Ministers are appointed to assist the two principal Ministers with their duties: there is no reason for them to have Advisers of their own.
“We have already seen Ministers in disagreement over the provision of cars, now we have these appointments. Both issues raise serious questions about value for money. The Executive would do well to look at the problems that new Labour encountered in this area.”