Tuesday, 24 April 2012
Question 113: To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he is satisfied that the full extent of public expenditure saving and reform envisaged in the context of the Memorandum of Understanding have been achieved to date; the area or areas that have so far performed best in this regard; those deemed to require improvement; if targets have been exceeded in any areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20253/12]
The Government is making good progress on achieving all its targets and priorities, as articulated in the Government programme. We are bringing public expenditure back to a sustainable level and driving forward the public service reform agenda to ensure that efficiencies and reformed work practices play a full part in contributing to the overall budgetary consolidation effort.
This Government's approach has been set out in the comprehensive expenditure report 2012-14, published on 5 December last; the capital infrastructure plan published on 10 November 2011; the implementation body publication of the public service agreement progress report on 17 November 2011; and the public service reform plan also published on 17 November 2011.
The public service reform plan published last November outlines the priority actions and timeframes for reform. Implementation of the reform plan is being overseen by the reform and delivery office established within my Department, which is co-ordinating the various reform initiatives. Good progress is being made in the implementation of the reform plan. For example, we are rolling out the public service card for government services, expanding e-government through the recently published e-government strategy, increasing the use of shared services and aggregated procurement under the supervision of my colleague, the Minister of State, Deputy Brian Hayes, who is sitting beside me, and we are rationalising the number of Government bodies to achieve efficiency savings.
Ireland is living up to its end of the bargain by delivering on all the conditions and targets set out in the EU-IMF programme by the required deadlines. As I am sure the Deputy is aware, the sixth quarterly review is currently taking place. It would be premature at this stage to comment on the possible outcome of these discussions but I am satisfied that Ireland is meeting all the conditions and targets of our programme, including all reform and expenditure targets. The Government has repeatedly affirmed its commitment to meeting the targets agreed with our European and IMF partners.