Belfast Telegraph

IoD: Stormont must deliverBosses want government departments to raise their game

By Clare Weir

The Institute of Directors (IoD) has called on the Executive to establish ways to ensure that government departments deliver on their commitments.

In its response to the consultation on the Programme for Government's economic and investment strategies, the body has welcomed the priorities outlined in the draft documents and has made a number of additional suggestions.

The Institute has called for more ambitious export targets, more commitment to securing sustainable sources of finance, such as water rates, open competition in service procurement, acceleration of the Review of Public Administration and a drive towards a reduction in the size of the public sector.

The IoD has also called for the devolution of corporation tax rate-setting powers and said the reduction in corporation tax must happen in a much shorter timescale than proposed.

Michael Murray (below), chairman of the IoD's Economic Strategy Committee, said that the group is disappointed that so many completion dates are as far away as 2015.

"The Executive should by now have matured to the point of distinguishing rhetoric from reality," he said.

"We want to see a greater emphasis on making things happen rather than presenting a catalogue of commitments which are in many cases difficult to translate into measurable objectives.

"Now is the time for action and the IoD is ready to support the Executive to deliver.

"Ministers must demonstrate a greater ability now than in the past to translate words into actions."

Meanwhile the Chartered Accountants Ulster Society, in its response, has said that ministers must adopt a 'can do' approach.

"Under-performance, lower productivity than elsewhere and a public sector that has undue caution as its watchword must end," said a spokesman.