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Concern at agenda of leaking 'Review of Public Administration' Group

5 October, 2004

Sinn Féin South Belfast MLA Alex Maskey has expressed concern at the agenda of those behind the leaking of information about the review of public administration and said that it will undermine confidence in the review group.

Mr Maskey said:

"From day one the review of public administration has been presented as a review about the number of councils and councillors. However, the most important job of the review should be to cut through the culture of unaccountability and quangoism.

"The reality is that the most important element of any shake up of councils, their powers and numbers, must be the ability to deliver genuine accountability, real democratic participation in decision making and effectiveness and efficiency.

"Many councils throughout the Six Counties continue to represent everything that is wrong with unionism. They are continue to exclude and discriminate.

"The Review of public administration must ensure that services are provided at the right time and in the right place and are accessible and that service provision goes hand in hand with real democratic accountability.

"The success of the review will be in its' ability to deliver 'power to the people' by scrapping the huge layers of bureaucracy and unaccountable quangoism that have flourished here. It is about creating new democratic relationships between decision-making, control and accountability in our society.

"The Assembly and the institutions are only part of the wider process of democratisation that are crucially important if we are to reject the failed old ways of doing things that was about maintaining prestige and power in the hands of a small elite who were not accountable. These are the very people who created and maintained the patterns of discrimination and disadvantage that are still prevalent today." ENDS

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