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DSD treating scrutiny committee with contempt - ní Chuilín

11 September, 2008

Sinn Féin DSD spokesperson and MLA for North Belfast, Carál Ní Chuilín, has slammed the Department for Social Development for treating the elected representatives who sit on the DSD scrutiny committee with absolute contempt. This follows the failure of the DSD Minister, Margaret Ritchie, to present the September estimates detailing the expenditure for the coming quarter.

Speaking today Ms ní Chuilín said:

"The September estimates, which detail the financial agenda and the way forward for the coming quarter, were to be presented to the DSD committee today for scrutiny. The lead civil servant came to the meeting and informed us that this would not be happening.

"The Committee was informed that what was given to us in June, four months ago, was sufficient. This is not the way that scrutiny committees are meant to operate. We cannot properly evaluate, nor feedback to, the department when we do not have the information that should have been presented.

"Effectively, this is the DSD lead civil servants, under Margaret Ritchie, preventing elected representatives, , from taking part in DSD business and doing the job they were elected to do. This is not open, transparent and accountable government.

"Sinn Féin will be taking this further in the coming days to show clearly that this sort of contemptuous behaviour cannot, nor should not, be tolerated." CRÍOCH

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