Saturday 18 November 2017

Mandarins need not fear that the sky will fall

None of the political parties has addressed reform of the senior civil service, writes John-Paul McCarthy

Old habits are dying hard in this election, but there is evidence that they are indeed dying all the same. The major political parties have floated an unprecedented number of policy balloons since the IMF debacle, and many of these have been fairly robust.

Fianna Fail has suggested Americanising the Irish Cabinet, so to speak, so as to allow the chief executive maximum leeway in his appointment of ministers.

Though not a million miles away from the provision in the Free State's Constitution in the Twenties for 'extern ministers', Micheal Martin and Co were probably hoping to capture some of the roar and dazzle of past American cabinet secretaries.

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