AFTER recent UUP criticism of the size of OFMDFM, the First Minister yesterday hinted he might get rid of some of the staff. Slugger pointed out a couple of weeks ago that it was under the UUP that the office got so bloated, and yesterday Paisley provided the latest figures on OFMDFM staffing levels. I wasn’t far out – and was right that under the previous administration the figure was actually higher, which scuppers the UUP criticism somewhat, as Paisley noted: The Member wants a solution to a problem for which his party was responsible. That party brought in all the extra workers. Perhaps some could be redeployed to the under-pressure Planning Service?Paisley said:
On 1 December 2000, the Department had 283 staff. Figures published in September two years later showed that that figure had risen to 417 just after devolution was suspended. Under Mr Trimble, the figure had almost doubled. Current staffing levels are broadly similar to those of the previous devolved Administration. As of 1 September 2007 there were 408 staff working in the Department, therefore fewer.