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News : Irish Economy Last Updated: Sep 13, 2010 - 7:19:48 AM

Independent review of Ireland's Department of Finance launched
By Finfacts Team
Sep 10, 2010 - 4:05:30 PM

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Department of Finance, Dublin
Ireland's Department of Finance is to be the subject of an independent review following the monumental failures of economic management during the property bubble. Failures in the Department are one factor but the biggest failures were on the political side under the stewardship of ministers Charlie McCreevy and Brian Cowen.

The Independent Review will examine the systems structures and processes used by the Department of Finance in relation to those elements of economic management that are relevant to its role and operations and the following individuals have been appointed to the Review Panel:

Rob Wright, who has been appointed as Chairman of the Group, has 35 years of economic, policy and management experience in the Public Service of Canada, over twenty years of which was at the Deputy Minister (Secretary General) level, most recently as Deputy Minister of Finance;

Hans Borstlap, who has considerable experience in the Dutch public administration, including holding the position of Director-General at the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment and membership of the advisory board of the Dutch National Bank. He has also had significant experience at EU level as Chairman of the Employment and Labour Market Committee. He is currently a member of the Council of State and provides advice to the Government on the annual budget in this role; and

John Malone, former Secretary General at the Department of Agriculture and Food.

Pat McArdle, the chief economist of Ul;ster Bank during the bubble years, will be providing support and assistance to the Panel.

The Terms of Reference state that the Independent Review Group will undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the systems, structures and processes of the Department of Finance relating to those elements of budgetary, economic, financial and public service management that are relevant to its role.

  • The review will assess the Department’s Performance in the past 10 years,

  • Advice (appropriateness and quality), forecasts, risk analysis (including of non-consensual opinion) and communications strategy, and,

  • Development and management of responses to the current crisis.

This assessment should have regard to the policy, legal and institutional framework within which the Department worked during this period.

The Group will, based on the conclusions and lessons drawn from this assessment, make recommendations for the future development, structure and resourcing of the Department.

In making its recommendations the Group will have regard to best practice regarding the organisational structures, skills, training, staff mix and levels required by a modern Finance Ministry in order that it can best fulfil its role in relation to (i) economic and financial management; (ii) policy analysis, development, advice and implementation; and, (iii) communication, transparency and accountability.

The Group will provide its full report and recommendations within three months.

The views of interest parties and members of the public will be welcomed by the Review Group and a mailbox has been set up for the purpose, review@finance.gov.ie

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