Monday 27 February 2017

Without accountability we will be cursed with politics of ineptitude

Eddie Molloy

We need to talk about reform: The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) launches its General Election Manifesto outside the Dáil, as the USI has registered 80,000 students to vote over the last two years. Pictured are Trish O’Beirne and Molly Kenny from Trinity College Students Union. Photo: Conor McCabe photography
We need to talk about reform: The Union of Students in Ireland (USI) launches its General Election Manifesto outside the Dáil, as the USI has registered 80,000 students to vote over the last two years. Pictured are Trish O’Beirne and Molly Kenny from Trinity College Students Union. Photo: Conor McCabe photography

Prior to the last general election, such had been the catastrophic failure of our political system, the civil service and vital State institutions, every party manifesto promised radical political and administrative reform.

Sensing the public outrage at the incompetence and betrayal of trust by senior officials and politicians, there were elaborate commitments to "a new way of doing politics", "scorecards" to hold ministers to account, and, in the Coalition's Programme for Government, a pledge to close the "huge accountability gap" in our systems of governance.

As early evidence of its resolve to implement the needed reforms, the Government removed responsibility for reform from the Department of Finance, itself needing root-and-branch reform, and assigned the task to the newly created Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER).

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