A public spending watchdog has called for a review of lucrative Government private finance contracts in Northern Ireland which are costing the taxpayer more than £1 million a day.
At a time when departments are facing unprecedented cuts to their budgets, it has emerged that Stormont must pay back £375m a year until 2030 - totalling around £5bn - because of controversial Private Finance Initiative (PFI) arrangements.
PFIs are deals signed with businesses which build capital projects like office blocks and hospitals, and then lease them to the public sector for years.
Significant flaws have been discovered in a flagship PFI project to build and operate Belfast Metropolitan College's Titanic Quarter campus. The project, which was £44m to build, will cost the taxpayer more than £200m over 25 years.
The Public Affairs Committee report expressed "serious concerns" over project management, governance, decision-making and the procurement process for the building of that new Belfast Met campus.
The report found:
Belfast Met entered into the 25-year agreement with ICL in 2009 to design, build, finance and operate the new campus in the Titanic Quarter.
Today's PAC report also found that there are currently 32 PFI projects running in Northern Ireland.
It said the wider lessons that have emerged from the Belfast Met example are "not new".
PAC chair Michaela Boyle said: "The Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) paid £20m of the £44m capital cost up front.
"The Belfast Met was the largest and most expensive further education public/private funding project ever undertaken.
"There are a number of issues that we believe need to be addressed. It is vitally important now that a comprehensive value for money assessment be carried out which factors in all costs of the project."
Ms Boyle said there were "serious questions to be asked on our long-term PFI commitments".
"As part of its consideration of wider issues, the committee is calling for greater transparency of long-term PFI commitments," she said.
A spokeswoman for the Department for Employment and Learning said: "The department welcomes the publication of the report and will consider the Committee's recommendations fully."