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Cronyism continuing under Fine Gael and Labour

14 November, 2011 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD


Speaking ahead of tomorrows pre-budget submission launch Sinn Féin’s Public Expenditure and Reform Spokesperson Mary Lou McDonald TD has sharply criticised Labour and Fine Gael for appointing party insiders to a myriad of State agencies since entering Government.

Deputy McDonald said:

“Cronyism and self-interest has dogged Government since the inception of the State. Nowhere is this more evident than in the appointment of board members to State agencies. Since the time of Lemass party insiders have been gifted board memberships over and above those best qualified for the job.

“Fine Gael and Labour promised the people root and branch reform in advance of the election, the Programme for Government uses the word reform 65 times. But as today’s reports of recent government party insiders being appointed to State boards reveal, Fianna Fail kicked cronyism into the field but Labour and Fine Gael have now run with it.

“Under successive Fianna Fáil Governments the number of State agencies established rose by 60%and despite numerous reports calling for improved oversight and management of State agencies nothing changed.

“In the party’s pre-Budget submission Sinn Féin has called on Government to commit to a considered programme of reform, delivered within a 12 month period that incorporates proposals for enhanced governance, output measurement, reporting, shared services, and a reduction in pay at the top. A simple cull is not the answer, but the number of agencies must be reduced through amalgamation, shared services, shared personnel and if necessary the closing of those that serve no real purpose.

“Immediate reforms should include a reduction in board membership to no more than seven and remuneration awarded to all commercial and non-commercial State agency board member’s should be cut by 25%.

“Transparency must be introduced to the system of State agency board appointments.

“The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform should compile a public ‘State Agency Database’ of all commercial and non-commercial state agencies, board membership and accompanying remuneration. This information should be readily available on the Government’s website. In addition the Department should compile an additional database of potential board appointees selected on the basis of their capabilities.

“Cronyism has fundamentally undermined our system of Government and it can no longer be tolerated.” ENDS

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