Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (175)

Bernard Durkan


175. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the degree to which he expects reform to play a part in the delivery of public services in County Kildare throughout the next four years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2860/21]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

As the Deputy is aware, my Department has instituted a number of ambitious Public Service Reform programmes since 2011. These reform programmes have served to make the work of the public service more transparent, decision-making more accountable and service delivery more effective and efficient.

The most recent reform plan- Our Public Service 2020 (launched in December 2017)- is designed to support the development of Public Service Organisations (PSOs) that are resilient and agile while also delivering better outcomes for the public. A Public Service Leadership Board comprising Secretary General and CEO level participants from across the civil and public service has been established to drive the reform agenda and lead on its implementation.

Service delivery has been a central focus on the OPS2020. Recent OPS2020 developments that will support enhanced service delivery include development of a procurement framework for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to enable all public service bodies to draw down RPA services from an agreed supplier, saving significant time and money; establishment of a Public Service Innovation Fund to encourage innovation in public bodies and promote collaboration as well as new and better approaches to service delivery; publication of Making Innovation Real, the Public Service Innovation Strategy ; and publication of OPS2020 Excellence in Customer Service Case Studies , 25 case studies on customer service best practice - see

My Department is currently preparing the next Public Service Reform and Innovation Programme - Our Public Service 2030 (OPS2030)- and will be consulting with PSOs, Government stakeholders and citizens on the draft proposal in the coming months. The vision and strategy underpinning OPS2030 will focus on large-scale ambitious transformation to support the delivery of better public services - embedding the key gains that have already been made in digitalisation, citizen engagement, programme management, and a growing culture of innovation. OPS2030 will incorporate key Programme for Government commitments, including the remote working commitment and relevant national policy strategies, such as the forthcoming Public Service Digital Strategy.

My Department is committed to exploring the possibility of including service provision and assisted digital functionality for the public in regional hubs, through the Public Service Innovation Strategy. This will require stakeholder engagement with officials from appropriate Departments and PSOs and will need to align with the ambitions articulated in the Making Remote Work strategy, recently published by the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment.

An important focus on OPS2030 will continue to be on enhanced service delivery and better outcomes for our public. The Deputy should note that the Programme Management and Innovation office of the Local Government Management Agency supports the delivery of innovation and continuous improvement across the local government sector.

Let me assure the Deputy that it is the Government’s intention that citizens in Kildare, along with those throughout Ireland, will continue to see significant benefits in the delivery of public services from the next stage of its public service reform programme.