“on terms confidential to both parties..”

Northern Ireland’s Finance minister, the DUP’s Peter Robinson, might have claimed that the Executive has a policy of openness but it doesn’t seem to apply to the Department of Finance. A key element of future funding is the private finance initiative plan, Workplace 2010, to sell a range of publicly owned government buildings before leasing them back from the private sector. That had been facing a legal challenge from one of the bidding consortia – one which had been dropped from the process. However, the Belfast Telegraph reports that

A spokesman for the Department of Finance and Personnel (DFP) last night said: “DFP and Partenaire can confirm that this matter has been resolved on terms confidential to both parties.”

Apparently that confidentiality extends no further than the Department of Finance.. and the Assembly’s Finance Committee has not been included. [Has that department been privatised too? – Ed]. From the same Belfast Telegraph report

[SDLP MLA Declan] O’Loan said he saw no reason why the committee should not be told details of the settlement. “We must be able to have confidence in the management of this project,” he added. “The Committee needs information about the deal in order to have that confidence.”