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.



Moving Toward a Citizen-centred Approach

The traditional point of direct contact for citizens with government occurs when they access public services. In this capacity, they judge governments’ performance by the ease with which they can access services and by the quality, effectiveness and timeliness of the service provided. People in Ireland rightly believe that the Public Service should be able to translate increased wealth and prosperity into better services. Instead, many experience delays in response times or lack of response from the Public Service, and they regularly see anecdotal evidence – usually through media reports – of service breakdowns and failures. Delivery of health, education, transportation, and justice services make headlines daily.


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