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Assembly spends over £¼million on sending publications to MLAs

5 March, 2009

North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has said that Assembly Members are not doing enough to reduce the amount of money being spent on paper in the Assembly. Mr McKay has revealed that over £¼million has been spent on sending Assembly publications which include reports, minutes, etc to MLAs in the last 2 years.

Mr McKay said

"The amount of money which is spent on sending out Assembly publications to MLAs is absolutely scandalous and elected members must do more to reduce their paper-trail and not have material printed for them which they neither want or use.

"Out of 108 elected MLAs, only 18 have indicated that they no longer wish to receive hard copy Bound Volumes and 40 have requested not to receive hard copy daily reports. 22 have chosen to receive Committee reports rather than hard copy.

"A number of members, including myself have opted to receive the vast majority of these publications by e-mail and I would personally prefer it if all of my correspondence was done electronically to save such waste and expense. An MLA does not read every single printed report and publication which is sent to him/her so why receive it in that format at all? I think it would be a better idea if all correspondence were sent electronically and elected members could then request a hard copy of correspondence

"The Assembly provides IT training for all our members and I think MLAs should make much more of an effort to become computer-literate and make the Assembly as well as government departments as efficient and effective as possible." ENDS

N.B. From 8 May 2007 until 31 January 2009 the total amount spent by the Printed Paper Office on printing was £381,085.40. Out of that figure £258,340.55 related to print costs incurred on publications delivered to both Members and Secretariat staff.

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