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Tuesday 20 February 2018

Recommendations: More experts are needed in key positions

Siobhan Creaton

Key recommendations from the Wright report:

  • Department of Finance should keep a written record of advice tendered and decisions taken as part of the budgetary process.
  • The department should release substantially more economic analyses. Policy advice to the Finance Minister in the preparation of the Budget, though, should not be subject to release under Freedom of Information for five years.
  • A fiscal council should be established to review and publish commentary on the department's analyses and the size of the Government's tax and spending plans
  • The department should establish sufficient formal arrangements with the Central Bank, including its financial regulation function, the National Treasury Management Agency and the National Asset Management Agency as part of its risk assessment process.
  • The department should organise itself to consult with tax and financial experts and prepare advice that is most appropriate to an efficient tax regime in Ireland.
  • The public service management and development division should be established as a separate entity.
  • A full-time task force should be assigned responsibility for driving reforms under the Croke Park Agreement
  • The department should double the number of economists over the next two years. It should also hire more skilled staff in accounting, analysis, banking and financial markets.
  • The department should reinforce its performance review process.
  • The government must improve budgetary processes, enhance ministerial accountability to parliament and release more departmental analyses for public consultation.
  • The department requires changes of structure, professional capacity and internal working methods, together with a more outward-looking attitude.

Irish Independent

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