THE new "An Bord Snip" was announced by Finance Minister Brian Lenihan last night -- with an extra mandate to focus on slashing spending after disastrous 11-month Exchequer Returns.
The Bord, whose official title is the tongue-twisting "Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes" (SGPSNEP), is beginning its review of activities across the Government landscape. Its membership was approved by Cabinet yesterday.
Chaired by economist Colm McCarthy, the Bord has been asked to advise the department "so that savings can be made as soon as possible," Mr Lenihan said.
Its brief also includes full freedom to make recommendations on any aspect of public sector reform, which Mr Lenihan said would be crucial to the restoration of competitiveness in the economy.
Mr McCarthy, who lectures in economics in UCD and is a frequent financial commentator in the media, was a member of the original 'An Bord Snip' established by former Taoiseach Charles Haughey and Minister for Finance Ray MacSharry in 1987.
This time Mr McMcCarthy will be assisted by liaison officer Donal McNally, who is Second Secretary General at the Department of Finance.
The other members of the Bord include Maurice O'Connell, former Governor of the Central Bank, William Slattery, MD of State Street International, Mary Walsh, a former partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and Pat McLaughlin, former Deputy CEO of the Health Services Executive. The group will be supported by Finance officials.
Maurice O'Connell served as Governor of the Central Bank from 1994 to 2002.