The Department of Finance's budget and staffing allocation reflects ongoing ambitious objectives and goals, across a broad spectrum of economic, fiscal, financial and international policies, set out in its Statement of Strategy. This is particularly important as we target an exit from the EU/IMF programme of support and the Government has recognised this in the ECF numbers and resources allocated to the Department. Notwithstanding this, my Department has achieved considerable economies in a number of areas through, for example, the abolition of payable orders, efficiencies in accommodation footprint, and process improvement efficiencies. The full extent of these efficiencies is not immediately obvious because the Department has taken-on additional clients in the shared services area (these services are not recharged to the clients) and premises lease savings will accrue to the Office of Public Works vote.
During the course of 2014 my Department will incur once-off funding costs in relation to a number of policy areas, including the Government approved National Payments Plan project. We have also included an estimate for legal fees related to actions linked to the banking sector. These additional costs exceed the various cost savings expected to be achieved in 2014 relating to improved work practices.