Dolores Kelly has pointed out that PR spending for the councils added up to
£5,128,474 in 2008/09, a rise on the previous year's total of £4,924,945.
The biggest spender was Belfast City Council, which had a public relations outlay in 2008/09 of £1,462,512.
Next highest in the year was Coleraine with £465,849, followed by North Down with £305,092.
Kelly said a rethink was needed on how ratepayers' money was used and whether value for money was being secured. She said her concern was to ensure that money remained available for key council services.