DUP chairs to keep eye on SF ministers…

THE committee chairs at Stormont are being chosen, and the DUP has chosen chairs to oversee two Sinn Fein departments – education and agriculture. Apparently, there was some surprise when SF picked education first, so perhaps the DUP doesn’t want SF to have free rein with the successor to the 11-plus – although Sammy Wilson reckons the new restraints on ministers means no more ‘Martin McGuinness abolishing the transfer test’ moments. We shall see whether stalemate ensues, although there is a limit to how long pupils can remain in limbo. Sinn Fein is taking the important Public Accounts Committee, which played a key role holding the previous administration to account. PA report here on UTV, copied below the fold.Sinn Fein’s incoming education minister will be held to account by the DUP after it landed the chairmanship of the Stormont Assembly’s scrutiny committee.

The majority unionist party will also share the agriculture committee chair where it will oversee another of Sinn Fein`s ministers.

However, Sinn Fein has landed the public account committee chairmanship and will share the committee`s shadowing of the DUP`s finance and culture ministers.
The committee chairmanships were agreed at an hour long meeting between the parties in Stormont.

Under the deal hammered out today, the DUP also picked up the chairs of the health committee which will pit them against an Ulster Unionist minister, the social development committee which will see them square up to the SDLP`s minister and also the ordered, standing orders and procedures and internal review committee.

Sinn Fein will also chair the committee scrutinising the Ulster Unionist employment and learning minister.

The Ulster Unionists will chair the committee of the centre, examining the works of the First and Deputy First Minister.

The party also took the chairperson`s role in the regional development committee, focussing on the work of the Sinn Fein minister.

The SDLP chose two committee chairs scrutinising the work of DUP ministers at enterprise, trade and investment and also environment.

The party also landed the chairmanship of the standards and privileges committee.