Here’s hoping FG proposals will include open government

A new Fine Gael policy document appears to be in the pipeline according to The Irish Times. It is said to include a slimmed-down civil service, a new cabinet minister for public sector reform and the abolition of the HSE “in its current form”. Under Fine Gael proposals, all Departments and agencies would openly compete for resources on an annual basis and publish the details of their bids. The use of cost benefit analysis would be dramatically widened to evaluate how money had been spent.

There are a couple of measures which sound as if they may act to reduce the power of the executive including the open recruitment for the head of Budget and Economic Policy division with the person appointed allowed  to “hand pick his or her own team”. An “independent fiscal council” would also be established in the Oireachtas modelled on the US Congressional Budget Office, but would have additional powers, including giving recommendations and opinions on the sustainability of the public finances. Of course much depends on the detail. Someway surprisingly, in this report at least, there is no mention of open government apart from publication of bids. Yet properly open governemnt with a default  position of publishing all government data would surely be among the best methods to ensure the other reforms worked. Here’s hoping this will be in the full document.

One thought on “Here’s hoping FG proposals will include open government

  1. Given the FG ‘New Politics’ document doesn’t contain a single word about reforming the political system of pay, pensions, expenses or transparency, it is unlikely this new document will offer the scale of reform Ireland needs, for example, will it include a committment to replace the myriad of pension systems within the public sector with one single system, will it include a system to support civil servants to go to college and get BAs and MAs and PhD’s with a resultant penalty if they leave the civil service ie their pension fund when they leave is reduced by the amount the education cost.

    Will it offer a single platform for civil servants to apply to any other department, ie when a job comes up, it is freely available to anyone internally or externally, no more closed shop. Will it involve monumental reforms in how transparency is applied within the decision making process, will it include whistle blowers protection.

    Before any party can credible ask others to sacrifice and change, they need to change themselves and there is zero evidence of anything changing within the political world. FG can’t even get it’s own reps to publish receipts to prove their expenses are genuine, Richard Bruton’s own brother is claiming a pension from both the Irish and EU taxpayer, on top of his huge private sector income and uses a car provided by the Irish taxpayer to drive him to his private profit driven roles in the IDA/FSFC or Ingersoll Rand etc – will Richard Bruton offer any policies to stop these abuses in future?

    It is a mark of how corrupted and partisian the civil serice has become over the last 25 years that the leaks of FG’s new policy contain prospoals that have been commonplace in most professional run organisations and countries for decades. Will all the civil service job blockers suddenly change their mindset from cronyism to honesty, transparency and accounability when FF leaves office?

    How will these policies tackle the cronyism within the Irish mindset that elects such poor quality TDs, time and time again.

    What odds are given for Beverly Flynn, Willie O’Dea, McDaid, O’Donoghue to top the poll where they stand, as well as Lowry and a Healy Rae and who would dismiss the chances of Callely wining again?

    Will FG have a line by line, item by item spending review when it enters office and start from the top down with a 60% cut to the Presidents salary and those of judges?

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