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Saturday 20 January 2018

Finance chief unveils major restructuring and hiring plan

Secretary General of the Department of Finance John Moran hosts a press conference yesterday
Secretary General of the Department of Finance John Moran hosts a press conference yesterday

Laura Noonan and Michael Brennan

THE Department of Finance is embarking on a significant hiring spree and is taking on more experts 'donated' by their employers so it can move from "crisis mode" and plan for the country's future.

It will recruit about 40 new people to bolster its core staff as it prepares for major reorganisation -- but new finance boss John Moran yesterday invited more firms to send him free staff to work on secondment for the good of the country.

Details of the plans emerged as Mr Moran unveiled a major reorganisation that will see his department divided into smaller sections.

The department will be split into four main areas -- international, financial services, fiscal and economic. There'll also be a financial office that looks after accounting, HR and compliance, and a corporate office with responsibility for 'Change Management" and an "Executive Communication Programme".

Talented

Mr Moran said that some existing staff had already indicated that they'd like to move to the new unit. The total number of people hired is still expected to be around 40, bringing total staff numbers to over 360.

"At the top level we'd like to continue ... bringing in people from other departments and outside the department, bringing in people from public-sector and private-sector areas," Mr Moran said.

However, recruitment expert Shay Dalton, managing director of financial recruitment firm Lincoln, said: "The department should pick up graduates pretty easily ... but at more senior levels, there isn't a large pool of hugely talented people out there."

The department has already begun a recruitment round for graduates, who will be hired as part of the 40, and has attracted over 3,200 applications.

It will soon advertise for a new head of banking, the role that was occupied by Mr Moran before be acceded to the top job earlier this year.

Mr Moran invited more companies to send staff to work on secondment within the department -- potentially at no charge to the taxpayer.

Mr Moran admitted that the area had to be "carefully controlled" for potential conflicts of interest and pointed out that all secondees sign the Official Secrets Act "in blood".

"The State doesn't have unlimited resources," said Mr Moran. "We've got a very significant transformation to do in the department, until we get to status quo we're going to need extra help."

The department's new strategy statement for 2011-2014 follows the damning findings of the Wright Report, which uncovered serious weaknesses in the department during the bubble economy.

As part of its new strategy, the department has also committed to making "better use of electronic communications, improving our internet presence and examining how we can use social media".

When asked last night about the potential use of Facebook and Twitter, the department sent two brief responses: "#everythingisonthetable. #wearenotrulinganything inorout".

Analysis: tHomas molloy page 25

Irish Independent

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