Government must constantly seek improvement, efficiency and delivery - Ross

Date published: 23 November 2016

In response to a motion in the Northern Ireland Assembly Junior Minister Alastair Ross has outlined the future for arms length bodies in Northern Ireland.

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Speaking at Parliament Buildings Junior Minister, Alastair Ross said: “In Government we should continuously be seeking improvement and efficiency, and ensure that bodies are delivering what they are meant to.

“We have a new approach in how we have drafted the Programme for Government (PfG), and its use of an outcomes-based approach which focuses on outcomes of societal wellbeing.

 “More than ever we need to look at how we can do things differently, use new ways of reaching people, consider alternative ways of delivering services to constituents and ensure that everything we do delivers for the public and is cost effective.

“It is timely that this motion has been brought forward this evening and that Members have the opportunity to debate and discuss the current number and function of arms length bodies and express an aspiration to, where appropriate, reduce the number.

“From next year, all public bodies must be able to demonstrate their contribution to PfG outcomes, if they cannot, then they have no justification for continuing with any other focus.

“We want to identify the things that are not contributing to societal wellbeing, so we can stop doing them.  Executive Ministers, central and local government, all our publicly-funded bodies, must look to the societal outcomes as their primary focus.  If the use of public money isn’t contributing to the delivery of those outcomes, then we will be asking for a better justification.  Where none exists, we will be bringing that spending to an end.”

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