Reduction in number of Government Departments

bprob

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Jun 8, 2009
Messages
678
Clearly, the incoming government, regardless of its make-up, will have to cut spending. As part of this process, i expect that the number of Government Departments/Ministries will be reduced.

Currently, there are 15 departments:
  1. Taoiseach
  2. Education and Skills
  3. Finance
  4. Health and Children
  5. Transport
  6. Justice and Law Reform
  7. Foreign Affairs
  8. Social Protection
  9. Tourism, Culture and Sport
  10. Environment, Heritage and Local Government
  11. Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
  12. Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
  13. Enterprise, Trade and Innovation
  14. Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs
  15. Defence

how can these be reduced in number, without affecting effectiveness (no jokes!) and oversight.

my suggestions, though i am not sure how workable some are:
Unchanged:
1. Taoiseach
2. Finance

Merged:
3. Education: downsized, skills section given to National Recovery
4. Foreign Affairs, Tourism, Culture and Sport: overlap in foreign relations
5. Health and Children: no change, though if HSE abolished as per FG, would have implications for minister
6. Justice, Law Reform, Equality and Defence: incorporate equality (logical)and merge defence (not sure if that possible). major emphasis on corporate law reform
7. Social Protection: no change
8. Environment, Heritage, Local Government, Community and Gaeltacht Affairs: logical overlaps
9. Agriculture, Fisheries and Food: no change

New:
10. National Recovery: incorporating Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, Skills, Communications, Energy and Natural Resources and Transport: logical to merge these as they all have major influence over ability of manufacturing and industry to innovate and compete, thus driving exports and employment. however it would be a huge ministry which would become the most important ministry after finance
11. Constitutional Reform: the current constitution seems to be a major impediment to many aspects of irish life, including social and corporate. i envisage a constitutional forum chaired by this minister to have a new constitution ready for a referendum within 3 years of taking office. the minister would liaise closely with the minister for justice and law reform

that makes 11 departments (a reduction of 4)
the savings in political salaries would be small but would be an example for efficiencies for the rest of us to follow. numbers in each department would remain the same initially, i am sure that over time civil servant numbers could be reduced.

i welcome comments, and perhaps in a while we could move on to junior ministries?
 
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B

boo-boo

opportunities

They could stick all the junior ministry posts on the fire also....save a bucket. Take the DOHC for example, we've got Harney as Minister for Health, then Barry Andrew's who's the Minister for Children, Another Minister for Older Persons, and also for Mental Health, did I miss anyone? One minister should be suffice enough to take overall responsibility for policy in the DOHC....afterall, its not like she's not actively supported in 100% of the work she does by a wranch of ancillary staff and private consultants.

No need for the HSE monolith either.....but I cant help but think that under the FG arrangements....the old HB cosy cartell of politicians on local HB's is going to re-emerge:roll:

In the Dept. of Social Protection, I'd do away with public local social services offices....that's a job that private operators could do quite easily. I'd also entirely privatise the medical control system that's currently in operation in the DSP for illness related payments and co-locate all health (LHO's) and social services all under one roof in local geographic areas.

Employment and education could also be merged...maybe, we could then have a more coherent approach where our education and training system actually responds to Ireland's labour market needs. Did I mention a total clear out of FAS and those that are employed in it as well....that's another opportunity for privitisation....couldnt do any worse that the past crowd!

I would also tend to merge both the DOHC and the Department of Social Protection because alot of work on health and social services cross-cuts these two Departments....so its an opportunity for greater efficiency and cost-savings.
 

LgCastell

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
688
Clearly, the incoming government, regardless of its make-up, will have to cut spending. As part of this process, i expect that the number of Government Departments/Ministries will be reduced.
i think the problem with your suggestion is that it really just changes the names of depts and makes the remaing 11 bigger so in reality any efficiency gained by reducing numbers of dept would be more less ruled out because the existing ones are so big

Personally i would have:

1. Taoiseach
2. Finance - maintain the same but the inter-workings changed
3. Education -downsized focus on primary secondary and third level education only and back to ed,further education in these institutes
4. Health and Childrenthe same only change HSE as per FG fair care plan
5. Justice & Defense
6. Foreign & European Affairs - the same only with a bigger focus on the EU too
7. Social Protection & Equality
8. Transport Communications & Energy - would focus on coordination of infrastructure... and as most of out roads are now built transport could be merged
9. Agriculture & Environment - as EU now regulates Ag a sole ministry isnt needed the environment portfolio would focus on natural and physical environment and the planning portfolio would be moved to community and gaeltacht
10. Community and Gaeltacht Affairs this would take the planning area now in gormley's dept with the coordination of planning with community interests in mnd
11.Dept of Public Sector and Local Government Reform - taking the former from the taoiseach's office and the latter from Gormley's one
12.Tourism, Culture and Sport i'd keep this one i think a bigger foucs on tourism
12. Dept of Employment - Focus on employment, investment, policy formation for SMEs , and a revised FAS and funding for business
13 Economic Coordination this would take this from finance leaving it with budgetary formation tax etc and would coordinate all depts ensuring economic improvement
 
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RobB

Member
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
55
I don't think the number of departments is that critical. I would look at those we do have, prioritise the services we expect from them and then cut them down to the required size to oversee those services. I do like FG's plan for shared services between departments and links between them such as one means testing agency etc.
 

PAD1OH

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2008
Messages
2,732
environment and Gaeltacht makes no sense whatsoever.

environment and agriculture makes a bit more sense.

a more strategic department for sustainable development that creates horizontal co-ordination amongst finance/transport/environment

I'd also like a department for research, education and skills to facilitate more structured co-ordination
 
D

Dylan2010

Its an interesting way to look at it but its better to focus on activiites. The attidute to every cent spent should be, "any spending on the activity in question will require borrowing the money now and 30 years of interest payments." spending on tourism, the irish language, embassies........... would all be very easy ie there shouldnt be any
 

bprob

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Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
678
i think the problem with your suggestion is that it really just changes the names of depts and makes the remaing 11 bigger so in reality any efficiency gained by reducing numbers of dept would be more less ruled out because the existing ones are so big
fair point. i imagine there won't be much change in civil service numbers at the start, but i'm a bit more optimistic that efficiencies would emerge over time.

environment and Gaeltacht makes no sense whatsoever.

environment and agriculture makes a bit more sense.
i had thought that as i wrote the post, but had to put gaeltacht somewhere. in retrospect, perhaps it makes more sense to put gaeltacht affairs with culture, assuming it warrants being in the title of a senior ministry at all.
agriculture does make a good fit with environment too. another good suggestion.
 

Albert O'Camus

Active member
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Jun 14, 2010
Messages
137
And while were at it why not eliminate the policy of HAVING to print everything in Irish, costs a fortune, hardly worth it.
 

Trophonius

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Joined
Nov 6, 2010
Messages
374
1. Taoiseach
2. Finance
3. Foreign Affairs and EU Affairs
4. Health (have it on it's own and get it sorted)
5. Social Welfare (on its own for now cos of the state we're in)
6. Local Government and Political Reform (badly needed, could have constitutional law reform put in here as well)
7. Environment, Energy and Natural Resources (includes Marine and Forestry)
8. Education, Science and Technology, Sport and Children (emphasis on maths and science and reducing obesity in children)
9. Justice and Constitutional Law Reform (if CLR wnet with LG & PR then Justice could be combined with another ministry)
10. Agriculture, Rural Affairs, Gaeltacht, Fisheries
11. Trade, Tourism, Enterprise and Culture
12. Defence and Transport

Tried to get it down further. Do we need all of these anyway? Is there a major need fro a seperate Dept. of the Taoiseach? Why not just a few staff?
 
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