Junior Minister Ian Paisley jnr today strongly defended the appointment of two more special advisors for him and his Executive counterpart Gerry Kelly.
But the DUP and Sinn Fein were being accused of failing to consult other parties about the appointments, which required a legal change to prerogatives by the former Secretary of State.
The attachment of lawyer Victoria Taylor to Mr Paisley and former Sinn Fein press officer Mark McLernon to Mr Kelly brings the total number of special advisors in the Office of First and Deputy First Minister to eight and around 16 across government departments.
Ms Taylor and Mr McLernon have been in post since the end of July but their appointments could still be debated by an Assembly committee.
But Mr Paisley said the role of junior ministers had now considerably expanded and insisted he was "not at all" embarrassed about his trenchant criticism of the office in the past.
"The fact is the last 120 days of government have been effective, cohesive and efficient - and that is due in no small measure to the fact that we are involved in this," he said.
He and Mr Kelly were responsible for the "smooth transition" of business between the Executive and Parliament as well as linking with the Assembly's business committee.
"In the last administration there was no contact between the business committee and the Executive so business was not smooth at all," he said.
The SDLP's Dolores Kelly lead the charge, however, accusing the DUP and Sinn Fein of "steam rollering" change without consulting other parties.
"The people of Northern Ireland deserve value for money in government. I have to question if this is what they are getting with the office employing eight advisors for four politicians," the Upper Bann MLA said.