Despite warning of `profound and serious implications' if the political parties failed to reach a deal by last Thursday's deadline, secretary of state James Brokenshire's strategy appears to be simply allowing the talks to limp on.
The publication of the latest audit report on the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme, a day after the failure of talks aimed at restoring the executive, provides a timely reminder of one of the main reasons why power-sharing collapsed in the first place.
While intense negotiations were going on aimed at restoring the Stormont executive, the department of health caused considerable dismay after it announced that the training budget for specialist nurses was being cut by £1 million.
The creation of new jobs, whether or not a devolved administration is in place at Stormont, is always a key priority, so there will be a warm welcome for yesterday's announcement that a US software firm is to recruit 170 employees in Belfast.
Now we know the DUP's price for propping up Theresa May's Conservative government but the issue is what will be the long term cost of a deal forged out of the prime minister's desperate bid to cling to office.
It is profoundly depressing that, almost 20 years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, familiar issues involving flags and bonfires are still have the capacity to cause enormous harm to community relations.
Today marks the first anniversary of the most seismic, disruptive and far-reaching decision in recent British political history when - against all the odds - a majority voted to leave the European Union.
Daniel Day-Lewis has already secured his place in cinema history as the only person to win three best actor Academy Awards, but there will still be enormous regret over the announcement that he has made his last film at the age of 60.
The potential meeting of Celtic and Linfield next month in a qualifying tie for the European Champions League has attracted considerable interest, and, if confirmed, can be expected to attract large attendances over both legs.