Fine Gael’s Reinventing Government

Reinventing Government means starting at the top – Bruton

FG plan will pool Ministerial cars, open up senior appointments to outsiders & vet appointments to State Boards
A key element of Fine Gael’s 5 Point Plan to Get Ireland Working is our strategy to reinvent Government to make it more efficient, more effective and more responsive to the needs of the public it is designed to serve, according to Fine Gael Enterprise Spokesman Richard Bruton.

Deputy Bruton said the process of change and renewal within the wider Government sector must start at the top, with Government Ministers and senior civil and public servants taking the lead.

“Fine Gael has set out the most ambitious plan ever for transforming our public sector. We believe public servants have a crucial role to play in helping to get Ireland working again, but too often they are trapped in systems and structures that restrict rather than encourage innovation and change.

“We will unleash that potential, while protecting vital frontline services like nurses, teachers and Gardaí. That’s why serious change must start at the top of Government to show that our plans are serious and credible. Key changes will include:
• Halve the cost of State car provision to current and former State officials through the introduction of a Government Car Service Pool arrangement;
• All senior level Public Service appointments (above PO level) will be open to outside competition. At least one third of all senior appointments will be reserved for outside appointments;
• All State Boards Directors will have to resign within six months of a new Government taking office. All subsequent appointments of CEOs and Chairmen of State Boards will be vetted by a Dáil Committee, with all other Board members vetted by the Public Appointments Commission;
• The work plans and targets of 1,300 of the most senior public servants will be published online for ease of public scrutiny;
• All lobbyists will have to be registered with the Standards in Public Office Commission. Recent restrictions to the Freedom of Information Act will be reversed.

“The public sector has a key role to play in rebuilding Ireland. We believe the vast majority of public servants do an absolutely vital job and recognise that many public servants feel they are being unfairly targeted as a result of a crisis they did not create. The current crisis represents an opportunity to release the full potential of all who serve the public and a chance to say, ‘Never again’ to the behaviour of the past that has cast such a shadow on our future. Change and renewal must come quickly, but it must start at the top if it is to have any credibility and any prospect of buy-in from all those who must embrace and deliver the change that Fine Gael wants to see across our public services.”