Written answers

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Economic Policy

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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98. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the degree to which further reform is likely to be required arising from impending international economic pressures in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6223/19]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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As the Deputy’s question suggests, we are currently experiencing an environment of significant uncertainty presenting our country with many potential challenges, including those to which the Deputy refers. Central to the Government’s preparation for such challenges is the prudent management of the public finances in order to ensure the economy remains competitive in the face of future economic headwinds. Measures being taken include balancing the books, reducing our debt burden, building up the Rainy Day Fund and continuing to invest in infrastructure.

In the particular context of reform, a series of initiatives taken by this Government since 2011 have made the work of the civil and public services more transparent, decision-making more accountable and service delivery more effective and efficient. Our Public Service 2020- the current phase of reform which I launched in 2017 - builds on these previous reforms while expanding the scope of reform to focus more on collaboration, innovation and evaluation. Progress in each of these areas, but especially innovation, will better position Ireland to meet the challenges arising in the global environment to which the Deputy refers.

Certain of the eighteen specific actions set out in Our Public Service 2020, such asaccelerating digital delivery of services, driving efficiency and effectiveness and promoting a culture of innovation in the public service are particularly relevant in this regard. A Public Service Leadership Board comprising Secretary General and CEO level participants from across the civil and public service has been established to drive the new reform agenda and lead on its implementation. This approach will support and enable public servants and their organisations to perform at their best and to work together to deliver high-quality, value-for-money outcomes that will benefit the economy.

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