Tuesday, 23 October 2007
Dáil Eireann Debate
The Taoiseach: My Department’s Output Statement was completed and was circulated to the Select Committee on Finance and the Public Service on 4 April last. It has been publicly available in response to requests thereafter and it has now been published on the website in association with the Department of the Taoiseach Annual Report.
142. Deputy Eamon Gilmore asked the Taoiseach if tenders were sought in regard to the study of the public service commissioned by him from the OECD; if he is satisfied that all Department of Finance and EU requirements regarding public procurement were met when awarding the contract; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24830/07]
The Taoiseach: Last December, the Government approved the initiation of a major Review by the OECD of the Irish Public Service. The objectives of this Review are to benchmark the Public Service in Ireland against other comparable countries and secondly, to make recommendations as to future directions for Public Service reform. This required a holistic, system-wide assessment of the Public Service which the OECD are uniquely positioned to undertake in terms of peer review benefits/capabilities, in-house expertise, access to extensive information databases, specialist knowledge and the level of engagement by the Governments and administrations of the 30 member states.
Against this background, it was considered that the OECD was best placed to undertake a review of this nature. Similar reviews by the OECD in the economic and regulatory areas are well established and highly regarded instruments. The Public Governance and Territorial Development Committee of the OECD, who are undertaking the Review, has also established similar peer review processes in the areas of HRM, ICT and in the area of ethics in public service, which are available to the member states.
Given that this is the first whole of Public Service Review undertaken by the OECD, the work is very extensive and requires developing new approaches and working methods. This offers the OECD the opportunity to develop a new tool kit of use to all OECD member states. In this regard, I understand that a number of countries are closely monitoring the progress of the Review.
In light of the developmental aspect of the Review, in terms of advancing the science of public management, the Government agreed to make an additional contribution towards the work of the OECD. This approach is entirely in keeping with the OECD’s status as an international organisation funded by member state contributions and by additional voluntary contributions towards projects in which countries have a particular interest. Accordingly, the question of seeking tenders and the requirements regarding public procurement did not arise.
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