Written Answers. - SMI in Public Service.

Bertie Ahern

Question:

48 Mr. B. Ahern asked the Minister for Finance the legislative reform, if any, that is planned over the remainder of 1996 to underpin the Strategic Management Initiative in the public service. [6610/96]

As the Deputy is aware, the Strategic Management Initiative is concerned with putting in place, in each Department and agency, a management process that is better geared to ensuring continuous improvements in the performance of the civil and public services in relation to the contribution they make to national development, the provision of services to the public and the efficient and effective use of resources. To this end, the Government has initiated a substantial programme of legislative reform.

The major Bill in that reform programme will be the Ministers and Secretaries Act (Amendment) Bill, which will effect the statutory adjustments in the framework of public administration necessitated by the SMI. Work on this measure has commenced in my Department and it is intended to put it before the Dáil in the autumn session.

Related work on amendments to the Civil Service Regulation Acts is also being undertaken.

Further legislative underpinning to the greater openness and transparency in the delivery of public services, which is a central objective of the SMI, will also be put into effect. To this end progress in the processing of privilege and compellability of witnesses and freedom of information legislation will be maintained. Also in this context, legislation to provide for an extension and deepening in the role of the Ombudsman and the implementation of improved administrative procedures will be brought forward, in accordance with the programme in A Government of Renewal.