Ulster Unionist Party Leader, Robin Swann MLA, has written to the Secretary of State, Karen Bradley MP, asking that any talks process must include a working group to ensure that if Stormont is restored, that its systems, Executive and Ministers are both accountable and responsible for their decisions and actions.
Mr Swann said:
“I have written to the Secretary of State asking her to seek an interim report from Sir Patrick Coghlin on his recommendations from the RHI Inquiry. If Sir Patrick has made firm recommendations as to how the civil service and political governance is to be reformed it would be foolish to allow parties to put forward a sticking plaster solution rather than the root and branch reform that is needed.
“I have also asked that the Comptroller and Auditor General of the Northern Ireland Audit Office be involved in this work stream. Now is the opportunity to ensure that good governance is embedded in our systems. Kieran Donnelly's team have produced guidance and made recommendations on how Government systems can work effectively and efficiently, so it would be important that he is involved.
“We cannot allow any review of governance to be dictated or fixed by the DUP, Sinn Fein and the UK Government. We have witnessed the abject failure of that approach from the Saint Andrew’s Agreement, so it is crucial that all parties have a role to play. The Ulster Unionist Party will be seeking a strong mandate on Thursday to ensure that approach is taken.”