Call to reform Public Accounts Committee

Admin —  March 27, 2014

Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:-

“At this week’s meeting of the Procedures Committee in Stormont I proposed that Standing Orders be amended to provide that the Chair of the Public Accounts Committee must be held by an MLA from outside any of the parties included in the executive. At the moment Sinn Fein chair it and there isn’t even a single member on it from outside the Executive parties.

“Across the world it is established practice that PACs, because of their key scrutiny role in regard to government action, are chaired by someone from the Opposition. Of course, the perverse system in Stormont does not even allow an Opposition and the PAC chair comes from one of the main parties of government. As one small step towards normality, I, therefore, proposed this change.

“The immediate response of Sinn Fein was outright rejection – old habits of non toleration of opposition die hard! Some other parties suggested they would wish to take the proposal back to their own groups and thus the matter stands adjourned to a future meeting.

“It will be interesting to see the response, particularly from those who profess a belief in normalising Stormont.”

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