The Minister of Finance outlined October Monitoring in a statement to MLAs.
…The approach now adopted by the Executive to the monitoring round process no longer requires the submission of bids by Departments. The submission of a wish list of bids did not give a good indication of real pressures and led to slow and cumbersome negotiation, as Members from all parties know. Instead, key pressures are now identified through ongoing engagements between my officials and Departments.
The new process allows the Executive to focus on and react quickly to the key emerging pressures. It is consistent with the position adopted in Scotland, Wales and the South of Ireland, where parliamentary scrutiny takes place through the Estimates process and focuses on in-year changes to budgets with no references at all to bids. In keeping with the practice in those jurisdictions, the Executive do not disclose their deliberations in reaching an agreed monitoring round outcome. The focus of scrutiny is and should be on outcomes. The swift conclusion of the June monitoring round and the fact that I am standing before you today providing details of the October monitoring round demonstrates the efficiency of the new approach.