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First Ministers are still to respond to 2007 report

By Noel McAdam

Published 21/05/2015

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness have yet to respond to a report from the Children and Young People's Commissioner - eight years after it was first submitted.

The head of the Assembly committee which monitors the First and Deputy First Ministers' office (OFMDFM) said the delay amounted to a "serious failure".

Ulster Unionist leader Mike Nesbitt said he was astonished the report had been left to gather dust since 2007.

The report, which led to a second review two years ago, was discussed as newly-appointed commissioner Koulla Yiasouma appeared before the OFMDFM committee for the first time.

The report and subsequent review recommended that the commissioner's office come under the remit of the Assembly because of concerns that its independence is compromised because the sponsor body's a Government department.

Mr Nesbitt said: "The first review report was submitted to OFMDFM in May 2007, clearly sat on the shelf, and led to the need to commission a second review in 2013.

"Here we are in mid-May 2015, and the commission still await a formal response. This is both incomprehensible and unacceptable.

"This is a serious failure by OFMDFM and needs urgent redress," he added.

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