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Public Expenditure and Reform | Public programme reforms

To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the degree to which he remains satisfied that public expenditure and reform proposals are sufficiently embedded in the system in order to maximise opportunities that might emerge; and if he will make a statement on the matter.


Budgetary and expenditure reforms remain a key feature of public expenditure management throughout all Departments. This important goal has been fully embedded across the system of Government and is progressed in a number of ways including the day-to-day management of resources, regular engagement across Departments on cross cutting issues and through the public service reform programme. It is also progressed through a range of core budgetary reform initiatives including, but not limited to:

– The Public Spending Code;
– National Development Plan;
– Performance Budgeting;
– Equality Budgeting;
– Green Budgeting
– Well-being budgeting; and
– The Spending Review Process.

These reforms and processes broaden the approach to how public expenditure is appraised, implemented and reviewed. They govern not only how and where the money is spent but also the impact of public expenditure across different cohorts of society and the different categories of expenditure. They work in tandem with broader initiatives, such as the establishment of the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service (IGEES), to develop capacity and enhance the role of economics and value for money analysis in public policy making.

While each reform may be considered in isolation, it is important to recognise that each represents one part of the overall reform process. Together, these expenditure reforms aim to provide a more comprehensive and thorough insight into how public services are supporting the Irish population.

It is with this more complete understanding that policymakers can work towards the achievement of value for money objectives in the context of the entire budgetary process, ensure responsiveness to emerging opportunities and trends where appropriate, and enhance the impact of policies and programmes on the lives of people in Ireland.

Looking to the future, and in accordance with the Department’s Statement of Strategy, officials are currently preparing the next phase of public service reform (to succeed Our Public Service 2020) which will incorporate priorities that were articulated in the recently published Public Service Innovation Strategy, Making Innovation Real, and set its focus on the wider Public Service. My Department has also published an ambitious programme of renewal for the Civil Service (CSR 2030). Additionally, the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer in my Department finalised and published a new Public Service Digital Strategy in 2022.

These new plans and strategies will strengthen the reform agenda further and ensure that we capitalise on the positive changes and learnings that we have witnessed since the onset of the pandemic, more than two years ago. They will also incorporate a number of Programme for Government commitments that will further enable the Public Service to be more responsive to the future needs of our citizens.

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