Anger over cost of new education authority
The Department of Education in Northern Ireland has been criticised for spending #163;7 million on the new Education and Skills Authority, even before it has come into being.
The ESA is intended to replace the five existing education and library boards in Northern Ireland as part of the Government's overall review of public administration.
It was to come into effect on January 1, but education minister Caitriona Ruane has failed to get her proposals approved by the divided NI Executive.
Nonetheless, almost #163;5.5m has been spent on ESA salaries, #163;359,000 on accommodation, #163;670,000 on "support services" and #163;727,000 on "other costs", according to the Department of Education.