More Croke Park 'reforms needed'
More fundamental public service reforms are necessary to ensure services are maintained as staffing levels fall, the head of the body overseeing the implementation of the Croke Park agreement has said.
In a speech at the National College of Ireland yesterday PJ Fitzpatrick described as “challenging” the Government's plan to reduce public service numbers to 282,500 by 2014.
He said a priority issue for the Croke Park agreement would be to support the achievement of this employment target.
Mr Fitzpatrick described the Croke Park deal as “an excellent agreement” which had facilitated significant change across the public service.
However, he said there were areas which needed to be progressed urgently by management.
He said these included further roster changes, particularly in terms of nurses and hospital consultants, the implementation of shared services and a greater focus on performance through the rollout of performance management systems where they were not already in place.
He said a new performance management system was being introduced on a trial basis in three Garda areas for the first time.
Mr Fitzpatrick said management in the public service had a critical role in terms of devising ambitious plans for reform and then leading that change.
“The sustainability of the agreement will be measured against its ability to accelerate the pace of change across the public service and its potential for extracting further exchequer pay bill savings and non-pay administrative efficiency savings.”