Green MLA critical of lack of political transparency over proposal to scrap Department

North Down Green Party MLA Steven Agnew has hit out at today’s ‘behind closed doors’ meeting at Stormont to discuss the future of the Department of Employment and Learning and the Justice Ministry.

The Green Party Leader said: “While we have publicly stated that we support a reduction of departments in the Executive, secret meetings and horse trading over restructuring does little to give the electorate confidence in local democracy.

“In the interests of democracy, decisions about the number of departments and the appointment of Ministers should be done in full public view at the Executive and Review Committee and not in behind closed doors meetings.

“What we need, like the issue over party political funding in Northern Ireland, is complete transparency rather than behind the scenes deals.

“This is a case of political expediency over good governance.

“Under the d’hondt system it is deemed that Alliance Party has one ministry to many but simply opting to get rid of DEL in order to keep David Ford as Justice Minister is just not acceptable and it does not reflect good governance.

“The Executive are opting to take the easy option to solve an immediate issue instead of engaging in a proper root and branch restructuring of how the Assembly does business and that is what is needed.”

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