Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness have snubbed calls for an Assembly reform on ministerial ethics.
The Stormont system has no independent procedure for investigating alleged breaches of the Ministerial Code of Conduct
And that puts it out of step with Westminster and the views of the watchdog Committee on Standards in Public Life.
The Office of the First Minister and deputy First Minister (OFMDFM) has now told an Assembly committee it has no plans to change the situation
The lack of an independent procedure was shown up earlier this year after the sex and money scandal surrounding Iris Robinson MP.
It meant there was no established external process for investigating a BBC documentary's allegations against Mr Robinson, on how he had responded to his wife's conduct.
Instead, Mr Robinson's ministerial colleague Sammy Wilson established a special one-off arrangement involving a legal opinion being obtained from a Government lawyer.
The QC found that the DUP leader had not breached his ministerial obligations by not reporting his wife for obtaining £50,000 from businessmen for her 19-year-old lover's business.
This opinion, which has never been released, led to Mr Robinson returning to his First Minister duties.
But it was widely criticised over its secrecy and lack of independence from Government.
Mr Robinson has cited “legal impediments” over the non-publication and said he wanted it released.
The Assembly's cross-party Standards Committee has been asking OFMDFM since last year about the lack of an independent complaints process on Ministerial Code obligations.
It has now finally received a reply, which states that it is not the role of the First and deputy First Ministers to determine if other ministers have breached the requirements.
The OFMDFM letter also said the pair have “no plans to establish an external, independent mechanism to investigate such complaints”.
In contrast to Stormont ministers, MLAs have conduct complaints against them examined by an outside standards commissioner, who reports on his findings.
The question of how to enforce ministerial rules has been a major standards issue at Westminster. As Prime Minister, Gordon Brown had an outside expert to advise him on cases as they arose.