Reforming the Civil Service

Sat, Jul 5, 2014, 01:07

Sir, – Eddie Molloy (“Accountability needs brickbat of punishment”, Opinion & Analysis, July 4th) suggests that we need sanctions to address poor performance in the Civil Service. I would suggest that we do not have a properly structured or functioning Civil Service in this country any more.

The moratorium on recruitment has meant that experienced and trained staff are not being replaced. Instead, there are temporary staff on short-term contracts, with no prospect of a career and minimal wages. There is little recruitment of graduates, opening up critical gaps in expertise and experience. Serial pay cuts have increased staff turnover. Many aspects of public service work have been outsourced to the private sector, using call centres and document processing businesses.

At the top, Government is increasingly parachuting in “experts” to run departments, supported by a network of advisers and public relations consultants.

I fully support the need for evaluation of performance in any aspect of public life. However, if the structure of the Civil Service has been fatally damaged, we cannot be surprised if it is not fit for purpose. – Yours, etc,

EDEL FOLEY,

Faculty of Business,

Dublin Institute

of Technology,

Aungier Street,

Dublin 2.