OECD Public Management Reviews: Ireland 2008

Towards an Integrated Public Service

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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.



Ensuring Capacity

Public Service capacity can be broadly defined as the totality of the strengths and resources available within the machinery of government. It refers to the organisational, structural and technical systems, as well as individual competencies that create and implement policies in response to the needs of the public, consistent with political direction. Public Service capacity cannot be measured in totality, and there are no universal rules about what level of capacity is necessary to deliver a certain level of Public Service outputs. The analysis of long-term trends in capacity and public service delivery, however, accompanied by qualitative comparisons of capacity among OECD countries, can contribute to an overall analysis of capacity in the Irish Public Service. The challenges for government organisational capacity in Ireland are addressed in the chapters on Governance, Performance, and a Citizen-centred Approach, and in the case study on Managing Agencies. This chapter focuses on the human resource aspect of capacity.


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