A Comparative Perspective on Public Sector Reform in Ireland

29 January 2015

A comparative perspective on public sector reform in Ireland

Professor Niamh Hardiman (SPIRe and UCD Geary Fellow) organized a well-attended event on public sector reform in comparative European perspective. This round-table discussion, held on the NUI on Merrion Square on 23 January, brought together a diverse range of senior civil servants, academics and practitioners.

The keynote speakers were Professor Edoardo Ongaro (Northumbria University), and Professor Koen Verhoest (University of Antwerp), who offered provocative overviews of trends in European public sector reform and public services delivery.

First to respond were Robert Watt, Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER), and Dr. Orlaigh Quinn, Programme Director of the Reform and Delivery Office in DPER.

They were followed by UCD academics Professor Colin Scott (Principal, College of Human Sciences), Professor Tony Fahey (School of Applied Social Studies), and Professor Philip O’Connell (Director, UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy), along with Dr. Richard Boyle (IPA), and Dr. Muiris MacCarthaigh from Queen’s University Belfast.

The discussion drew lively contributions from academic colleagues from a variety of disciplines, from independent policy analysts including Eddie Molloy, Dónal de Buitléir (PublicPolicy.ie), and from the large representation form the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the Department of Finance, and the Office of the Taoiseach.

This innovative approach to engaging academics and practitioners was organized under the auspices of the interdisciplinary and inter-institutional research group on ‘Building State Capacity’, which is based in UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy, and supported by a UCD Seed Funding grant. The high level of interest in this event point to the need for more opportunities of this sort to debate current policy issues in a spirit of constructive criticism.

 

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