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Labour Blog

Howlin launches Programme of Public Sector Reform

Posted on November 17, 2011 at 04:00 PM

The Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform, Brendan Howlin has announced a number of sweeping Public Sector Reforms. These new reforms will ensure a better public service - by eliminating duplication, wastage, and will save the exchequer billions. Using a common sense approach, these reforms will place customer service at the core of the Public Service, while also radically reducing its costs.

You can check out the reforms at this link to the Public Sector Reforms document.

Part of the key changes will be a reduction in State Bodies, with 48 bodies to be rationalized by the end of 2012, and a review of a further 46 bodies by the end of June next year.

A reduction of 23,500 public service employees will occur by 2015. This will reduce the Public Sector bill by over €2.5 billion, or 15%, since 2008.

The Government has also decided to cancel the Decentralisation. This will mean that some 40 projects will be cancelled. 32 projects, particularly those where permanent accommodation has been provided - will be left in situ and 22 others are being reviewed shortly.

Public Service annual leave will be standardised across all employees. Subject to agreement from the Public Service unions, this will lead to greater uniformity of terms and conditions in the Public Service, and enhance the fluid movement of staff between different sectors and organisations.

These new reforms will also see the implementation of a radical restructuring of how the Public Sector does its business, by establishing shared services models for areas such HR, payroll and pensions.

As well as being cost effective, the Reform Plan also places an emphasis on customer service. The new single awarding authority for student grants, which will facilitate an online application process for more than 72,000 students, is an example of how through streamlining a process and a smarter use of technology, customers will benefit from a user-friendly and efficient service. Other new online services in the plan include a first time voter registration and the rollout of "fixyourstreet.ie".

With unprecedented economic difficulties, the far reaching reforms of the Public Service will play a crucial role in getting Ireland back on track. These innovative and forward thinking reforms will give Ireland a Public Service of which we can all be proud.

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