Business Irish

Wednesday 17 January 2018

State's economic reporting 'fragmented'

Colm Kelpie

Colm Kelpie

GOVERNMENT reporting on the economy remains fragmented despite significant reforms in recent years, an IMF study has found.

But despite the criticisms, the IMF said Ireland is approaching best practice and forecasting meets basic IMF requirements.

The assessment was carried out by the Fiscal Affairs Department of the lender in March, at the request of the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform. The aim was to study how the Government reports on the economy, makes forecasts and undertakes budgets and to see how it stacks up against IMF standards.

The report said the pace of transparency-related reforms quickened in the wake of the crisis in 2008 with the passage of the new Fiscal Responsibility Law, the establishment of the Fiscal Advisory Council and the introduction of a medium-term expenditure framework.

But it also pointed out that fiscal reporting was quite fragmented. It laid out a number of recommendations, including expanding the coverage of budgets, statistics and accounts.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said the Government had already taken significant steps to improve the coverage.

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