Thursday, March 16, 2006

Sustaining Progress, my arse!

Tuesday’s launch of the joint Fine Gael/Labour proposal to clarify the respective roles and responsibilities of both ministers and civil servants and also to set ministerial performance targets is to be welcomed as a putative step in the right direction.

However, Wednesday’s announcement by the Civil Service Arbitration Board that the out-sourcing of any function carried out by full-time public servants, e.g. driver testing, is banned under the terms of “Sustaining Progress” suggests that a far more wide-reaching and fundamental reform of the management of the public service is required.

At a time when Government was waffling on about the benefits of bench-marking - the improved flexibility, efficiency, value for money etc, some idiot was agreeing this incredibly restrictive clause in Sustaining Progress.

Who will take political responsibility for this? No-one, as usual, I presume.

Footnote: Published as a letter in the Irish Independent and the Irish Examiner.

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