A package of cutbacks including compulsory job losses is on the cards at the Department of Infrastructure, as it faces a £5 million reduction in its budget.
Minister Laurence Skelly has outlined the scale of savings he must find in the current year - as the department prepares to make a major contribution to re balancing the government's books.
In the past three years more than 100 full-time posts have gone at the DoI.
Staff are being offered further voluntary resignations but Mr Skelly says compulsory redundancies cannot be ruled out.
The department's now considering which taxpayer-funded services could in future be run privately but says no decisions have been made yet.
Mr Skelly says an immense challenge lies ahead: