The Belfast Telegraph picks up Alliance leader David Ford’s criticism of the four parties currently engaged in the latest Hain Committee, the Programme for Government Committee and its 6 sub committees. The Alliance Party were not invited to participate. As happened initially with the previous Preparation for Government committee Hansard, the verbatim record, is not being published, instead we’re treated to condensed minutes only. We wait to see if someone forces the issue again. The BBC report, somewhat pointedly, also highlights the previously recorded comments on journalism by UUP MLA Alan McFarland.. a story which first appeared here on Slugger [*ahem* – Ed]From the Belfast Telegraph report
Mr Ford, whose party is excluded from the programme committee, said: ” Either they are an Assembly committee or they are not. Assembly committees are supposed to be open and transparent. People are supposed to know what is going on.
“Yet none of the usual rules seem to apply here and none of them have taken a pledge of office. These are people who complain of the lack of openness by the Northern Ireland Office and yet are behaving in exactly the same way.”
The Alliance chief said the predecessor to the Programme for Government Committee, the Preparation for Government Committee, had published its proceedings in full.
“But there will be no Hansard for either this committee or its sub-groups and its minutes will only tell us as much as people want to go into them,” he added.[added emphasis]