Setting up new committees is the Government’s latest bright idea to oversee the Civil Service Renewal Plan launched by the Taoiseach and Minister Brendan Howlin today, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Sean Fleming has said.
Deputy Fleming commented: “The Government’s plan published today is completely lacking in ambition and will not bring about the necessary transformation that civil servants themselves believe is required. While it is acknowledged that Ireland has excellent civil servants Minister Howlin has dodged the key issues of accountability and performance management. His answer to every issue seems to be to set up a new committee.
“Under this plan there will be a new Accountability Board chaired by the Taoiseach with minimal external independent membership. Minister Howlin is also establishing a new Civil Service Management Board chaired by the Secretary-General to the Government with no external independent membership. Where is the vision for reform and transformation of the civil service?
“75% of the civil servants are over 40 years of age and while more than 60% of the civil service are women only a tiny a number of these women make it to the top. These are huge challenges facing the civil service and the Government has not come forward with proposals to address these issues in any meaningful way.
“Minister Howlin also failed to address the question of resources today. It is inconceivable that the three year plan published today will have no resource implication for government departments and services in the roll out of this plan but no detail has been provided.
“One of the main issues that stands out from today’s plan is how inward-looking it is. There is a complete lack of focus on reform of delivery for the general public. Minister Howlin has again prioritised spin over substance and has chosen to focus on headline issues that will not deliver real and meaningful change.”