Thursday, 14 November 2019

Questions (18)

Joan Burton

Question:

18. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the public sector reforms he plans to pursue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46858/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

While this Government has already implemented a comprehensive series of reforms in the public sector since 2011, I can assure the House that reform continues to be a key priority and we are already developing ambitious proposals for the future.

The current framework for public service reform and innovation, Our Public Service 2020 (OPS 2020), builds on earlier reforms while expanding their scope to focus on delivering better services for our customers and building innovative and responsive public sector organisations.  It contains 18 actions, built on three key pillars as follows:

Delivering for Our Public focuses on ensuring that outcomes for the public are central to service delivery. The development of digital services and eGovernment is particularly important in this regard, as well as making better use of data and sharing data more effectively between organisations.

Innovating for Our Future targets the development of innovative, robust and joined-up strategies and policies related to the delivery of public services, as well as promoting a culture of evaluation.

Developing Our People and Organisations seeks to improve human resources by focusing on sharing best practice and experience in areas such as strategic human resource management, workforce planning, employee engagement, public service culture and values, and equality, diversity and inclusion. 

Information and up-dates on the full range of OPS2020 activities can also be accessed at the website OPS2020.gov.ie.

Reform is underway in organisations right across the Civil and Public service.  My Department’s People Strategy for the Civil Service 2017-2020 sets strategic direction for Human Resource Management across the Civil Service (while recognising that each organisation is unique and has its own challenges) while the Department’s Office of the Government Chief Information Officer leads the implementation of the Public Service ICT Strategy in cooperation with departments and agencies across the Public Service.

We understand that the Civil Service of the future will necessarily be different in terms of its skills mix, use of technology and geographical footprint, and so we are now seeking to develop a longer-term vision and strategy to succeed the current Civil Service Renewal Plan, which has already allowed us to mark significant progress. 

Some of the areas that we are now pursuing for the next stage of Civil Service Renewal are:

- Building our capability in policy analysis and investing in analytic and data analytic capability for the future;

- Creating a culture of innovation across the Civil Service;  

- Reviewing the structure of the Civil Service so that we can be more agile and responsive;

- Setting out our ambition for digital transformation;

- Building our data infrastructure;  

- Building the Civil Service workforce of the future;

- Maintaining a robust Civil Service institution in Ireland in the face of the increasing threats to democracy and truth across the globe.

- Reviewing our Civil Service culture and building for the 21st century; and

- Moving to the next generation of shared services.

In today's world, we can never stand still and so the Government continues to drive and support significant reform and innovation across the Civil and Public Service.