OECD Public Management Reviews: Ireland 2008

Towards an Integrated Public Service

image of OECD Public Management Reviews: Ireland 2008

Ireland's economic success story is one that many OECD countries would like to emulate. Of the many factors linked to this success, understanding the public sector’s role is key. Integration matters. The key public service reform challenge for Ireland going forward is for the different parts of the Irish Public Service to work cohesively together, with a more integrated approach at the national and local levels.

This book provides an overview of the Irish Public Service, its fiscal and demographic context, and looks at capacity and motivation issues, improving service delivery, and strengthening governance. It also provides four case studies and a series of recommendations.

This report is the first in a series of OECD country reviews that will look at public management reform and governance issues from a comprehensive perspective. These reviews will help countries to identify how reforms can better reinforce each other in support of overall government objectives. They also examine reform strategies that have worked in other countries and provide advice as to which reforms can be appropriately adapted to a given country.



Case Study 4: School Planning in the Education Sector

In the 1980s, Ireland undertook a comprehensive restructuring of its expenditures in an effort to address the fiscal imbalance resulting from a persistent slowdown in economic growth. This Programme for National Recovery entailed reducing Public Service personnel and cutting wages, income transfers and subsidies. Although necessary at the time, these restraint measures led to a significant overall deficit in infrastructure, in particular, to a shortage of new school buildings. This also meant that existing school buildings were not adequately maintained. With renewed economic growth, tackling this infrastructure deficit has been a priority


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