23rd IMC Report: “skills are more significant than mere numbers”

As the BBC reports, the 23rd Independent Monitoring Commission report has been published online [pdf file].  NI Secretary of State Owen Paterson responds here.  Meanwhile RTÉ notes Sinn Féin’s John O’Dowd calling for the IMC to be wound up

Mr O’Dowd said the Commission was no part of the architecture of the Good Friday Agreement and had been set up as a unionist comfort blanket.

He said it had no role to play in the political process.

‘No doubt the IMC will produce their usual and predictable report, the contents of which will have no influence on the political process.

‘This is the function it has played for the past six years. It is a leftover from David Trimble’s era and one which is little more than a cash cow for those involved’, Mr O’Dowd said.

‘Can anyone seriously justify continuing to pump millions of pounds of public money into the IMC particularly at a time when there are real and acute pressures on frontline services in education, health and other areas,’ he asked.

Adds For the record, the last available audited accounts for the IMC [pdf file], presented to Parliament on 6 April 2010, show

Operating Cost Statement for the year ended 31 March 2008

Total expenditure

2007 – £866,315

2008 – £664,795

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  • al

    O’Dowd is just another SF hypocrite. It gets boring.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    To some extent …decommissioning weapons was easier than decommissioning a mindset or expertise.
    When (?) the conflict re-ignites, I would imagine that the weaponry can be easily enough replaced. And there will always be the expertise.
    Whether “confidence building” or “window dressing” decomissioning was necessary.

  • I would like to know if O’Dowd has any other ideas on saving money for the British Exchequer. The idea of stopping paying non-attendee’s expenses does spring to mind!

  • socaire

    Sharp on it tonight, boy. The wee break did you good. Did the neo-fascist parades cross your mind too?

  • Henry94

    O’Dowd has a point. I assume the police tell the IMC what’s going on and the IMC report it. That was all very well when the police were not quite trusted but at this stage wouldn’t it make more sense for the PSNI to brief the Minister and Mr. Ford to report to the Assembly.

    The IMC had a role to play in the past without a doubt but it was never supposed to be forever was it?

  • jim

    decomissioning was necessary.it was surrendering of weapons to the enemy

  • Comrade Stalin

    £900K is a lot of bread for a commission that doesn’t do anything except present intelligence on certain organized criminal gangs to the public. It should be abolished right now.

  • I agree with John o’Dowd, journalist Suzanne Breen told us the excat same thing two months ago.