Value for Money

Finance and Personnel – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 4:00 pm on 11th March 2002.

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Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP 4:00 pm, 11th March 2002

11. asked the Minister of Finance and Personnel how he ensures that additional funding for allocated Departments provides value for money.

(AQO 984/01)

Photo of Sean Farren Sean Farren Social Democratic and Labour Party

A range of measures is in place to ensure that resources used by Departments provide value for money. First, all expenditure is subject to scrutiny by the Department of Finance and Personnel’s central finance group in conjunction with the Office of the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister. The Assembly and its Committees also examine expenditure. In addition, the Comptroller and Auditor General provides the Assembly, and the Public Accounts Committee in particular, with reports that identify the extent to which Departments provide value for money from the resources allocated to them.

Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP

How does that analysis work for the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety? Despite a 37% increase in that Department’s spending in the lifetime of this Assembly, waiting lists are higher than ever. How can the Minister account for the £110,000 that was spent on translation services as good value for money, given the current state of the Health Service?

Photo of Sean Farren Sean Farren Social Democratic and Labour Party

Some of those questions need to be directed to the relevant Minister. In response to an earlier question, I said that needs are being assessed. The effectiveness of the manner in which allocated resources are being spent is currently being addressed.

Photo of Lord John Alderdice Lord John Alderdice Speaker

I must interrupt the Minister while he is in full flow because the time for questions to the Minister is up.

(Mr Deputy Speaker [Mr J Wilson] in the Chair)