Mr Hain today announced that the number of government departments could reduce from 11 to 6.
Cllr Ford MLA said: “While Alliance supports the reduction in the number of government departments, the Secretary of State’s timing could not have been worse.
“Why were these proposals not included within the Review of Public Administration? It is disappointing that Peter Hain has decided to thrust further instability upon the political system now, when he could have dealt with the issue more effectively by including it within the RPA.
“Peter Hain should not be interfering in such matters. Having told the Assembly’s Preparation for Government Committee that they should deal with these types of issues, why has he decided to take back this responsibility?
“A decision of this nature should only be taken after through research, consultation and debate, not merely announced in an off-the-cuff remark by the Secretary of State.”
“Many other issues should be given consideration before making a decision of this nature, for example the role of OFMDFM and Junior Ministers.
“Under the Good Friday Agreement the D’Hondt mechanism is used to allocate Executive seats. Reducing the number of departments further illustrates the stupidity and unfeasibility of the D’Hondt mechanism.”