Something stinks in OFMDFM…

DESPITE all the talk about not enough funding for the devolved government, its scrutiny committees have warned the Executive over an underspend of between £113m and £115m over the past three years. While the previous direct rulers can be blamed, maybe the money could be put towards something ‘useful’, like funding the adminstration costs for Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness’s office, which have more than doubled. Next year’s underspend might include the £8 million that the First Ministers’ office allocated for a Victim’s Commissioner, which was supposed to be in place by the end of last year. Maybe the money could be spent on more OFMDFM advisers? Perhaps ones that the First Ministers will listen to, as they chose to ignore the advice civil servants gave them not to run a second search for a Victim’s Commissioner. Paisley said the first trawl did not stick to the principles of merit, but a Freedom of Information request reveals that the Commissioner for Public Appointments told Mr Paisley the first phase of recruitment was “well run”. I doubt the CPA was spoofing, as the interim vicitms’ commissioner’s appointment had been a favour to Paisley’s party, clearly abandoning all such principles, and there was something to prove this time to regain public confidence. Surely our Godly First Minister hasn’t been economical with the truth?