Friday, 5 December 2008

Questions, questions, questions

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness have asked the Assembly’s procedures committee to cut back on the questions they have to answer.

Currently, in addition to written questions, the First Minister and deputy First Minister have to appear before the Assembly twice a month to answer oral questions for half an hour.
According to press reports this week, the duo now want this reduced to a monthly appearance before the Assembly.

To take a random sample, this coming Monday 8 December, the Ministers will appear to answer 20 questions, of which they may have the chance to answer maybe two or three in the 30 minute slot they, like all Executive ministers, are allocated.

Topics range from transfer of policing and justice powers through to asylum seekers and their children.

Of course, with transatlantic trips and the weekly media interview round slotting in the 30 minutes every fortnight must be tough, but is it tougher on the civil servants who must prepare briefings for the ministerial appearances?

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