Saturday 17 March 2018

Siobhan Creaton: Mandarins had no power to veto spendthrift policies

Siobhan Creaton

YOU would expect a career civil servant to be sympathetic to his peers at the Department of Finance because he knows better than anyone that while officials are there to offer advice, the minister is the boss.

Rob Wright, who has worked for 35 years in Canada's public service, including as secretary general of its finance ministry, probably knew what he would find before he started interviewing the Kildare Street mandarins about their role in bringing Ireland from boom to bust.

The story of Ireland's economic woes was well known by the time Finance Minister Brian Lenihan asked him to undertake the first ever review of the department last September.

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