Written answers

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Public Sector Reform Implementation

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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143. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the degree to which the principles of reform have benefited the national recovery in the past eight years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3120/20]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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I am pleased to inform the Deputy that the significant reforms in the public sector that the Government has brought about since 2011 continues to deliver improved services and value for money across a range of themes such as governance, accountability, procurement, shared services, organisational reform and property management.

The current framework for public service reform and innovation, Our Public Service 2020 (OPS 2020) – which I launched at end-2017, builds on earlier reforms while expanding their scope in order to accelerate the digital delivery of public services, deliver better services to customers, drive innovation and develop our people and organisations.

Some notable examples of reform initiatives that have being delivered under Our Public Service 2020 include:

- Transforming and driving Digital Delivery of Services, such as for example;  An Garda Síochána's Active Mobility Service; Passport on-line; Library Service’s My Open Library initiative; Revenue Commissioners PAYE Modernisation programme;

- Driving the take-up of Robotic Process Automation including the establishment of Procurement Framework to enable draw down of support and expertise;

- Innovation: A pilot Innovation Fund to support Public Service innovation, launched in May 2019; establishment of a central Innovation Support Team and Innovation Studio; launch of a first Public Service wide Innovation Network and first Public-Service wide Innovation Week held on 9-13 December 2019;

- A significant strategic workforce planning initiative commenced in selected public service organisations;

- An initiative to support greater diversity and inclusion  in our  Public Service;

- Creation of a Public Service Leadership Board (PSLB) - at Sec Gen equivalent level- supported by the Public Service Management Group (PSMG).

Further details of these and the other reforms that continue to be delivered can be found in the first progress report on Our Public Service 2020, which I published last October in conjunction with my colleague Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan. Information and up-dates on the full range of OPS 2020 activities can also be accessed at the website OPS2020.gov.ie.

Apart from the OPS 2020 framework, reforms are underway in organisations right across the civil and public services. For example, the overall programme of reform that we set out in the 2014 Civil Service Renewal Plan in order to support a higher performing organisation continues to be embedded within our Civil Service.  A fourth progress report that captures the progress made since the Civil Service Renewal Plan commenced was published last May and this is also available on my Department's website at www.gov.ie/en/collection/8a4a55-civil-service-renewal-plan-progress-reports/#fourth-progress-report. An ambitious 10-year strategy and framework for Civil Service Renewal is now being developed which will allow the Civil Service to maintain a clear longer term vision and to achieve significant sustainable transformation in a number of key areas.

In my role as both Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, I have sought to ensure that our fiscal and public expenditure policy is sustainable and that Public Sector policy will continue to facilitate good economic performance in the future. A number of the budgetary reforms introduced in recent years to guide my decisions on overall fiscal policy in this regard, including fiscal rules, expenditure ceilings and spending reviews. The actions in OPS 2020 will help ensure that the focus of the public service is very much on delivery of quality public services over the coming years, without impacting negatively on economic performance.


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