FG ‘Reinventing Government’ plan reinventing the wheel

From the Irish Times today:

A slimmed-down civil service, a new cabinet minister for public sector reform and the abolition of the HSE “in its current form” are among a number of measures Fine Gael is proposing as part of a radical overhaul of the public service.

The party plans to publish the proposals within weeks to make what it claims would be the “most radical change in the way the Irish State works since its foundation”.

Here’s a timeline of events in history of Irish Public Service reform from Ireland: towards an integrated public service by Teresa Curristine, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Note the creation of a reforming Department of Public Service in 1973 on foot of a report produced in 1969 and its eventual demise in 1987.

A comment on the success (or otherwise) of the 1969 report which defined the department’s work from The Civil service in liberal democracies: an introductory survey by J. E. Kingdom, 1990

The intellectual foundation upon which the report was based have been criticised on the grounds that structural solutions do not necessarily solve organisational problems…

My experience of being a civil servant certainly lead me to believe that organisational problems still remain the core difficulties facing the service in the last decade. No amount of dusting off 50 year old plans and declaring them new will solve that.

Once again, a little bit of historical context in reporting would help us all to learn from our national mistakes. Who knows, we might even avoid repeating them every half-century or so.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.