Outsourcing of State services by 2013
Outsourcing of services provided by the Civil Service and State agencies could begin from the second quarter of next year.
A draft reform plan drawn up in accordance with the Croke Park agreement also states the Government will consider a business case for shared services to administering payroll early next year.
The draft plan envisages longer opening hours for some State services as well as further cuts to the number of court venues and other office accommodation. It says the first wave of projects that could be outsourced are to be identified this month and the process could begin by the second quarter of next year. Further projects would be considered for outsourcing later next year, and implemented, if warranted, from the third quarter.
Printing of summonses
The plan states the Courts Service is examining the case for outsourcing the printing of summonses. It also says that the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources is tendering for a range of services where savings of up to 10 per cent have been targeted.
The draft plan says the Road Safety Authority is to pilot the introduction of driving tests early in the morning and at weekends as parts of reforms dealing with staff attendance patterns.
It says the Department of Foreign Affairs is to pilot the introduction of longer opening hours and a new appointment system in the Passport Office.
“The Probation Service is to establish systems to extend the hours of service delivery where there is a need including weekend and evening working arrangements.”
The draft report also says that following the review of allowances for staff in the public service, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform will look at the pay structure for service officer grades. There is also to be a review of the allowances paid to staff who act as private secretaries to ministers.
The plan provides for a scheme next year to allow the placement of Civil Service staff in private companies and the executives of private sector firms in Government departments and offices for a 12-month period.
The draft also says departments, offices and agencies will continue to pursue organisational reconfiguration. Examples include the expansion of a programme by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service at Dublin Airport to have civilians rather than gardaí carry out certain port of entry duties on a phased basis to the end of 2014.
The draft plan also says departments and agencies will seek to reduce their office and accommodation requirements. “The Department of Social Protection will review accommodation with a view to minimising costs (for example by co-location in towns with more than one office following the transfer of services from Fás and HSE, new accommodation approaches etc).”
“The Courts Service is considering the future of a number of standalone district court offices, the programme to rationalise the number of court venues will continue.”
The document will be considered further by management and unions in the weeks ahead.