Public Sector Job Cuts


Latest News on Redundancy & Outplacement - 25th November 2008


Public sector reform including significant redundancies and the abolition of decades-old restrictions, are to be announced by Taoiseach Brian Cowen & the Minister for Finance tomorrow.

Under the plan, a four-strong expert committee is being asked "to secure reductions in spending and numbers across the public service" and "to see if more agencies can be rationalised to give better value for money".

A "unified" public service will allow "staff to move between agencies and departments", while more flexible rules will govern the redeployment of staff from unwanted posts. Future promotion will be competitive and based on merit.

A centralised National Operations Unit is to be set up to handle all purchases by the State in future, to "maximise economies of scale and get better value for taxpayers' money", while payroll, human resources and computer staff are all to be shared.

A redundancy scheme is being considered by the Government, to be imposed over the next 18 to 24 months. It is expected to be much more extensive than that which was announced by Mr. Lenihan in his November Budget, when redundancies were limited to unwanted managers in the Health Service Executive. Mr Lenihan has since said public expenditure is too high, and that has to be addressed.

The lengthy timescale for the redundancy programme has been defended on the grounds that it will take time to identify unneeded posts, and more time afterwards to agree terms with public workers' unions.

Following an examination by the Secretary to the Government which was presented to Cabinet last week, the Taoiseach and Minister for Finance have now decided that wide-ranging reforms of the public service are both necessary and possible.

In an effort to cut down on the paperwork faced by firms, State agencies are to be ordered to share information, where appropriate, and to minimise the number of times it seeks information from customers. The package to be announced tomorrow by Mr Cowen and Mr Lenihan will order that no new agency can be created without a department being able to prove why the work cannot be done by itself or an existing agency.

The four-strong committee is understood to include Maurice O'Connell, a former governor of the Central Bank; economist Colm McCarthy; CIÉ executive chairman John Lynch; and former HSE executive Pat McLaughlin.





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