Brendan Keenan: Flawed budgetary process made this crisis inevitable
Published 02/03/2011 | 05:00
WE'LL miss Conor Lenihan. Only he could have revealed that he prepared for his junior ministry by watching all the episodes of the hit UK comedy series 'Yes, Minister' -- but then the secretary-general took him quite by surprise by saying "No, Minister" to his pet ideas.
The core message of yesterday's report into the performance of the Department of Finance in the years before the crash is that it did not say "No Minister" often enough or forcefully enough.
Had it done so, we would not, in Brian Cowen's now famous phrase, be where we are. The most striking thing in the report is the chart illustrating the difference between the budgets the department recommended in its analyses each June and what the two Bertie Ahern Governments actually produced.