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Rows prevent mistakes, says top civil servant

THE country's most powerful civil servant said yesterday that having a row every now and again was important to prevent policy mistakes, writes Michael Brennan.

Recently appointed Department of Taoiseach secretary general Martin Fraser said he wanted to avoid the "groupthink" that was blamed as one of the causes of the banking and property crash.

He said it was good to have a row every now and again so that different opinions were aired. "It can't be all consensus," he said.

Mr Fraser spoke about the need to allow civil servants in the department to say that something was not going to work instead of saying, "Ah, no, this is fine".

He joked there were now loads of rows in his department.

"We're all fighting. It's great. It's important," he said.

Irish Independent