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.



Main Assessments and Recommendations

Over the past decade, Ireland has achieved the highest real economic growth rates within OECD countries (Figure 1.1). This success has been supported by an active and progressive Public Service that over the past decade has sought to modernise itself to improve openness and service quality through a programme of public management reform known as the Strategic Management Initiative. In light of a growing and more diverse population with increasing expectations, the Irish Government is looking ahead to see what should be the next stage of reform in order to ensure that the Public Service continues to best meet the needs of citizens and to support sustained economic growth and stability. With this in mind, it has asked the OECD to review public service reforms to date, assess how the Public Service is meeting these new challenges, and to identify a possible agenda for the next stage of reform. This chapter presents an overview of the main assessments and recommendations of this report.


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