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Department warns of 'impossible' goals as it announces reorganisation

The Department of Finance has published its statement of strategy today, announcing a significant internal reorganisation.

John Moran was appointed as Kevin Cardiff's successor at the Department of Finance in March.
John Moran was appointed as Kevin Cardiff's successor at the Department of Finance in March.
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

THE DEPARTMENT OF Finance has said that a fall in investment has made it “impossible for it to achieve its overriding strategic goals” set by itself and by the government in its latest strategy document published today.

The Department of Finance Statement of Strategy 2011 – 2014 has been published with revisions for 2012 today and outlines a number of strategies to be undertaken including the establishment of an economics division and a project management unit.

The paper comes on foot of the establishment of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform which has taken over the spending allocation aspect of the Department of Finance.

The latest strategy document contains details of a further breaking up of the department’s organisational structure into separate units and divisions.

Each government department is required to present a statement of strategy to the government for the period 2011 and 2014.

The aim of the economics division will be to focus on economic planning and performance monitoring with those working in the unit working on economic forecasts, carrying out macro-economic analysis and producing position papers.

A fiscal division will deal with taxation policy while a financial services unit will deal with financial regulation and monitoring the government’s stake in Ireland’s financial institutions.

An international division will deal with delivering the commitments laid out in the international bailout programme as well as Ireland’s upcoming presidency of the European Union and wider international relations.

In the document the new secretary general of the Department, John Moran, says that a fall in investment has made it impossible to achieve some of the objectives laid out.

The document states: “Since 2008 pay and non-pay costs have fallen significantly reflecting a fall in staffing and associated supports. This fall in investment in the Department makes it impossible for us to achieve our overriding strategic goals set by ourselves and by the Government.

“This is particularly so with the key important roles to be undertaken by the Department during the Presidency of the European Union in 2013 and in spearheading the economic recovery of the country.

“To continue with such reduced resources is not sustainable or advisable given the greater challenges facing the economy and financial sector.”

The document recommends a “threefold action plan” which will include extra training of staff as well as laying down challenges to “key performing staff”, there will also be additional staff hired to work in the Department in order “supplement our skills base”.

The Department has also promised to improve communications and transparency by examining how it can use social media to “communicate in more innovative ways”. It has also promised to improve its internet presence.

In full: The Department of Finance’s Statement of Strategy 2011 – 2014

Read: Meet the new secretary general at the Department of Finance

About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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