Since the Government announced its programme of agency rationalisation measures in the Public Service Reform Plan, I have consistently argued that the real benefit from the rationalisation of State Bodies will be a less crowded administrative landscape resulting in greater democratic accountability, less duplication of effort and clearer lines of responsibility for the citizen. This will be of real and lasting benefit to all citizens, regardless of any headline figure on savings.
Specifically, the Public Service Reform Plan aimed to secure €20 million in enhanced service efficiencies and value-for-money from the rationalisation programme. This figure, however modest it appears, will be achieved. The bulk of the savings are derived from a reduction in the number of public servants working in the State Bodies affected. The rationalisation agenda is just one of the reform measures announced in the Public Service Reform Plan and the Programme for Government which facilitates the Government in ensuring delivery of critical services while still being able to reduce public service numbers.
There will of course be other cash savings realised over time as organisations, financial systems, office accommodation etc. are rationalised into leaner, more coherent structures. These savings, some of which will be once-off, will be factored into the overall budgetary framework as they arise.