“A feature of the devolved administration here has been that the two main parties have been sensitive to criticism…”

The BBC reported a telling admission from the head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, David Sterling, during the RHI Inquiry yesterday. Mr Sterling said the practice of taking minutes had “lapsed” after devolution when engagement between civil servants and local ministers became much more regular. But he said it was also an attempt to frustrate Freedom of Information requests. Mr Sterling said ministers liked to have a “safe space where they could think the unthinkable and not necessarily have …

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“nor does it sit comfortably with the transparency expectations of a modern society”

As the BBC reports, in response to a written question from TUV leader, Jim Allister, MLA, the Northern Ireland Justice Minister, David Ford, has revealed that, in the last 4 years, there have been 4 ‘super-injunctions’ granted in Northern Ireland – that is, court orders made “prohibiting publicity on the granting of injunctive relief”.  From the BBC report The North Antrim MLA said he hoped the information “may stimulate some necessary debate” on the issue. “The mystery and secrecy surrounding injunctive relief …

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