Northern Ireland

NI executive: International review shapes programme for government

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Image caption Demand for public services in Northern Ireland has increased against a backdrop of public sector cuts.

An international review into governance in Northern Ireland will shape the next programme for government.

The recommendations on how to "do better, with less" were published by The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Demand for public services in Northern Ireland has increased against a backdrop of public sector cuts.

Former finance minister, Simon Hamilton, launched the review in November 2014.

The aim was to get advice from international experts on how to reform the public sector.

Image caption Northern Ireland is the first case the OECD has ever worked on at a sub-regional level.

The report says: "If grappling with the after-effects of a global economic recession is challenging for any government, it is even more complex for the government of Northern Ireland, given its history and the fragility of its constitutional and institutional arrangements."

Some changes, including reducing the number of government departments from 12 to nine, have already been made.

It is too early to decide if these changes have resulted in savings or improvements in efficiency.

Northern Ireland is the first case the OECD has ever worked on at a sub-regional level.

Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said: "The OECD's report provides us with a roadmap to continue our journey of transforming and reforming our public services."

Ms Mari Kiviniemi, from the OECD, said: "Our advice seeks to build on these successes, while suggesting that the executive should adopt a more joined-up approach that breaks down administrative silos to pursue integrated outcomes for people more effectively and more inclusive growth for the region."

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