The level of legal fees across Government Departments and State agencies will be examined in the light of the relevant expenditure allocations decided by the Government in the context of Budget 2014. Necessary adjustments will be made to ensure adherence to such allocations.
The adjustments will continue the work already achieved in recent years by bodies such as the State Claims Agency and the Offices of the Chief State Solicitor and Director of Public Prosecutions in reducing expenditure on legal services, both in the level of fees and through stringent examination of claims. In addition, my Department has recently issued a circular underlining the importance of competitive tendering for legal services and setting out a number of approaches and tools for public bodies to use in managing legal costs.
Compliance with the terms of the circular will be expected to play a major role in Departments’ remaining within the constraints of the allocations to be contained in the forthcoming Budget.