Page last updated at 11:03 GMT, Tuesday, 13 October 2009 12:03 UK

Administration review costs 90m

Patsy McGlone
SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone has warned of spiralling costs

It has emerged that more than £90m has so far been spent on the Review of Public Administration (RPA).

The review was launched in 2002 and among its proposed changes is to cut from 26 to 11 the number of local councils.

SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone has said he is concerned the costs of the process are "spiralling out of control".

A report by consultants Deloitte in 2006 put the total cost of implementation between £133m and £397m.

The review of health administration has generated the bulk of the costs so far, £73.8m.

The number of health trusts was reduced from 18 to five in April 2007 while a single Patient and Client Council replaced the existing and Health and Social Care Councils in April this year.

The Department of the Environment has generated £8m of RPA costs in its review.

However the fact that the overall figure does not include the costs associated with the reorganisation of local government has concerned Mr McGlone.

He said that he had been told by "well-informed sources" that the costs are "an elephant in the room".

"I think that there was to be a cost-benefit analysis report to be due a month ago from PriceWaterhouseCooper (management consultants)," he said.

"That was pulled and according to reports I am hearing the findings weren't pretty beneficial.

"My concern is that we are sleepwalking into a situation where the costs are spiralling out of control.

"There needs to be much much more discussion at Executive level, a big reality check to get to grips with the cost of this."

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