Committee to Question Minister Over Department Performance

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 12 November 2010

Reference: ENV 03/10/11

The Assembly Committee for the Environment will call the Minister, Edwin Poots to account at its meeting on 18 November. The Committee is concerned about issues it views as serious departmental failings, especially delays to departmental work force models and the failure to implement primary legislation.

Committee Chairperson, Cathal Boylan MLA said: “The role of the Committee is to monitor the work of the Department, specifically in relation to value for money issues and on the provision of a viable service. This is especially pertinent during this time of financial uncertainty and public sector cutbacks.
“As a Committee, we are extremely disappointed by what we view as a distinct lack of direction and clarity from within the Department.
“In particular, we are looking for answers on why legislation to regulate taxis and the licensing of goods vehicles has not been implemented, particularly as both pieces of legislation were scrutinised by the Committee some years ago. In addition, we also have concerns over lack of information on the plans to redeploy Planning Service staff, the delay in introducing the electronic planning information system and the Department’s poor performance on public service agreements and its project evaluation programme.
“The Committee is committed to working to meet the needs of local people. However, we can only do this effectively when we have the full cooperation of the Minister and his Department.”

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