Nothing seems to have been learned from the shenanigans associated with the Rathlin ferry saga and the NI Water fiasco. It's a nonsense for a Minister or a Permanent Secretary to act as judge and jury where they or their departmental associates are parties to the dispute.
By the way, why hasn't the Shortridge report seen the light of day? His investigation was commissioned around the beginning of September 2010. Surely it shouldn't have taken any more than a week to get to grips with a handful of correspondence. Rumours of the reports completion were circulating towards the end of November but since then not a cheep.
Talking of watchdogs, is it a coincidence that we're losing two chief executives of policing and justice watchdogs in quick succession and under controversial circumstances: Adrian Donaldson has just stepped down from the Policing Board and Sam Pollock will soon be departing from the Office of the Police Ombudsman?
Belfast and Glasgow prospered under the Union; Dublin prospered later under independence - before selling its soul to the EU and the USA. Perhaps Derry, like Hume hinted, should have a go at baking its own cake. As you might say, sweeties are not enough; they might leave you without teeth :L
Ministers work in tandem with their departmental Permanent Secretaries. I'd also invite David to have a look at the Chief Executives Forum and ask himself whether or not there is sufficient separation between Government departments and Public Watchdogs. Any risk that such watchdogs could act as an adjunct of government needs to be minimised, in the public interest and for the protection of justice.
Cllr Deans had this to say about the MLA, MP and Derry City Councillor's multi-tasking: "I think it's disgraceful". These are not really the words you want to hear from a colleague at the start of a testing election campaign.