Croke Park 'shield for inactivity'


Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin has said that some people are using the Croke Park agreement as a shield for their own inactivity.

Mr Howlin said managers in the public service had to manage, but he declined to specify who he was referring to in his comments. “You read the papers too," he said.

The Minister was speaking at the publication of a progress report on reform in the public service. He said 28,000 people had left the public service and the State’s pay bill will be reduced by €3.3 billion in net terms by 2015.

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Brian Hayes said between €200 million and €600 million could be saved as a result of new streamlined procurement arrangements which the Government is to introduce.

Robert Watt, secretary general of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, said plans to introduce shared services across the Civil Service represented one of the biggest reforms ever in this area.

Under the plan, human resource functions will be taken away from individual departments and centralised, with pension administration, payroll, and banking and financial management also centralised at a latter stage.

Mr Watt said Government departments would be “hollowed out” to allow them to concentrate on their basic functions such as support for ministers and policy development.