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New Department of Public Expenditure & Reform established

2 June, 2011 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking after the vote on the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Bill Sinn Féin’s Public Expenditure and Reform Spokesperson Mary Lou McDonald TD said, “It is nearly three months since the new government signalled its intent to set up the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

“It is Sinn Féin’s view that the new Department as outlined in the Bill is inadequate in terms of its commitment to real public sector reform. Sinn Féin has also questioned the autonomy in real terms of Minister Howlin’s position as the department, its staff and much of his decision making powers remain under the thumb of the Department of Finance.

“I welcome the fact that the Minister can now be held accountable to the Dáil on the crucial matters of public expenditure and reform.

“A focus on public service reform is necessary and welcome however the issue of resourcing is a critical component of any serious reform agenda.

“The ultimate measure of any reform within the public sector will be the experience of citizens seeking and accessing services and it is Sinn Féin’s intention to hold the Minister and his Department to account on this matter.

“The reform agenda must not be used as a cover for the running down or privatising public services.” ENDS

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