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Saturday 25 February 2017

Howlin names an 'insider' as head of reform section

Fionnan Sheahan Political Editor

PUBLIC Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin has picked a civil service insider as head of his new department.

Economist Robert Watt is the €214,000-a-year secretary general of the breakaway part of the Department of Finance, formed by the new Government.

Mr Watt was brought into the civil service from the private sector, when he was appointed as an assistant secretary general in the department. He previously worked with Indecon Economic Consultants and London Economics.

Mr Howlin chose to only advertise the post of Department of Public Expenditure secretary general within the senior ranks of the civil service, despite a firm promise to open up all senior public sector posts to outside expertise.

He is understood to have been anxious to fill the position quickly.

Irish Independent

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