Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Department of Finance
Public Service Reform
Question 84: To ask the Minister for Finance the new skills and rigour he has to date brought into policy making across all Departments as committed to in the Programme for Government and if he has not, as yet, the way he intends to do so into the future. [17387/11]
Question 85: To ask the Minister for Finance the measures by which Departments, from Ministers down, are more accountable at every level as committed to in the Programme for Government; if he will detail the consequences for success and or failure of implementing the measures for each departmental level of responsibility. [17388/11]
Question 88: To ask the Minister for Finance the date on which the Legislative Reform Unit will conclude its work in fast tracking the Whistleblowersâ€™ Act and restoration of Freedom of Information and in turn when may DÃ¡il Ã‰ireann expect legislation on both to be completed. [17392/11]
Question 122: To ask the Minister for Finance the mechanisms he has put in place to improve performance and deal with persistent under performance in the public sector as committed to in the Programme for Government. [17377/11]
Question 123: To ask the Minister for Finance the external standards and benchmarks he has put in place to improve performance and deal with persistent under performance in the public sector as committed to in the Programme for Government. [17378/11]
Question 129: To ask the Minister for Finance the measures he has put in place to deliver a more strategic centre at the heart of Government to confront and break up damaging concentrations of power as committed to in the Programme for Government. [17384/11]
Question 131: To ask the Minister for Finance the measures he has put in place to ensure there will be no more golden handshakes for public servants that have failed to deliver as committed to in the Programme for Government. [17391/11]
Question 133: To ask the Minister for Finance if he has introduced a reformed incentive scheme for all grades within core Government Departments to reward cross departmental teams that deliver audited improvements in service delivery and cost effectiveness; and if he will outline the incentive scheme and the Departments that are considered core. [17394/11]
Question 137: To ask the Minister for Finance the criteria he will apply to deem the opening up the delivery of public services to a range of providers as committed to in the Programme for Government; and the public services to which he refers. [17400/11]
Question 138: To ask the Minister for Finance when the new freedoms to be given to schools, hospitals and other public bodies as committed to in the Programme for Government will be implemented; and the nature of these freedoms. [17401/11]
Question 139: To ask the Minister for Finance if work has begun on the reconfiguration project of Government service websites, public offices, telephone services and helplines to facilitate access to a broad range of Government services through a single point of contact; the Government Department that is overseeing the work; and if he will provide a full list of Departments and service that will be included in the final single point of contact. [17402/11]
Question 143: To ask the Minister for Finance if he has created a new tier of senior public service management structures rotating senior officials across the public sector as committed to in the Programme for Government; and if so, the number of senior public servants that populate the new tier. [17406/11]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 84, 85, 87, 88, 122 to 126, inclusive, 129, 131, 133, 134 and 137 to 144, inclusive, together.
As outlined in the Programme for Government, this Government is committed to the most ambitious programme of Public Service Reform since the foundation of the State. This will take place in tandem with an equally significant programme of constitutional, political and institutional reform. We want to ensure that there is a fundamental change in democratic and public governance, and a dramatic change in the cost efficiency and methods of delivery of public services. It is clear that notwithstanding developments to-date, the cost of delivering public services must be reduced further, with fewer staff and tighter budgets, and that the Public Service must become better integrated and more customer-focused, as well as being leaner and more efficient.
A key element of our strategy to bring about real and lasting change in the Public Service is the establishment of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. This is an innovative development which reinforces the importance attached to delivering on the Public Service reform agenda, and the role which this Government believes a streamlined and high performing Public Service can play in our national recovery. The Bill to formally establish the Department is expected to complete all stages in the DÃ¡il and Seanad by the end of this week.
The Government wants to make progress on this issue quickly and detailed implementation plans are being developed at present which will encompass the commitments to Public Service reform in the Programme for Government, including those which are the subject of these Parliamentary Questions. The focus is on the key actions now required and how they will be implemented to ensure that substantive and tangible change is delivered within clearly defined timeframes.