1.3 Process of developing this plan
The development of this new wave of Public Service Reform was led and coordinated by the Reform and Delivery Office in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, in collaboration and consultation with key stakeholders across the Public Service. The plan is also informed by best practice in the Public Service in other jurisdictions and in the private sector, where appropriate. The evidence base for the relevant reforms set out in this plan has been extensively researched.
Specific inputs in developing this plan include:
- A report on international best practice on Public Service Reform was commissioned from the Institute of Public Administration (IPA). This report studied best practice in Public Service Reform in more than ten countries;
- Separately, the IPA published a ‘Fit-for-Purpose’ progress report on Public Service Reform in Ireland that identified progress made but also pointed to areas where further action was required;
- A report from the National Economic and Social Council on ‘Ireland’s Five-Part Crisis, Five Years On: Deepening Reform and Institutional Innovation’ which places Public Service Reform in the wider context of economic recovery;
- A group of leading Irish and international academics provided some input and guidance on the priorities for the new Reform Plan;
- Support was provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers, who were brought on board following a competitive tendering process;
- The Cabinet Committee on Public Service Reform and the Advisory Group of Secretaries General provided strategic direction for the development of the renewed wave of reform;
- The Reform Delivery Board provided substantial input throughout the process;
- The plan also reflects the inputs from a workshop of senior managers from 20 public bodies which took place in July 2013;
- A series of bilateral meetings took place with all of the main sectors; and
- All Departments / Offices submitted Integrated Reform Delivery Plans setting out their priority reforms from mid 2013 onwards and these have informed the development of the overall plan.
Finally, the Irish Public Service has recently participated in an international survey on public service reform, which is part of the largest comparative public administration research project in Europe, ´Coordinating for Cohesion in the Public Sector of the Future´ (COCOPS)
. The preliminary high-level results of the survey indicate that the main current reform trends in the Irish Public Service include public sector downsizing; focusing on outcomes and results; collaboration / cooperation among public sector actors; transparency / open government; digitalisation / eGovernment; and treatment of service users as customers. As might be expected, these are all issues that feature throughout this updated Public Service Reform Plan. A report on the full results of the COCOPS survey will be published by the IPA in Quarter 1, 2014.