Thursday, 20 June 2013

Questions (119)

Niall Collins

Question:

119. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if his Department has brought in new guidelines to allow for a record to be kept of ministerial involvement with an issue and any decisions taken as per the commitment made in the programme for Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29954/13]

View answer

120. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if his Department has kept an accessible record of ministerial involvement with an issue and any decisions taken as per the commitment made in the programme for Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29974/13]

Written answers (Question to Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 119 and 120 together.

The Programme for Government contains a number of important commitments, including that referred to in the Deputy’s question to ensure that there is legal clarity and certainty regarding the legal relationship between Ministers and their civil servants and the appropriate accountabilities that apply in each case. The Government Reform Unit in my Department has carried out a review of the current accountability framework for ministers and civil servants set out in the Ministers and Secretaries Acts and the Public Service Management Act, 1997. Work is now at an advanced stage in my Department in finalising a consultation paper based on the outcome of that review which will be considered by Government prior to its publication. The case for the requirement for any legislative change, for guidelines or for any strengthening in the governance frameworks for Government Departments in relation to the documentation of decision making can be assessed in the context of the process following the publication of the consultation paper.

I am satisfied that appropriate arrangements are in place in my Department relating to the documentation of key decision-making in my Department