A New Change Agenda for the Irish Public Service
The Strategic Management Initiative (SMI) for the Irish Public Service is now over six years old. Since 1994, there have been significant changes in public service management. Major developments include:
- At central government level, the launch of an ambitious changes programme for the civil service, detailed in Delivering Better Government (1996).
- The specification and delegation of authority/accountability under Public Service Management Act, 1997.
- The implementation of the Freedom of Information Act, 1997.
- The production of strategy statements by departments/offices and the subsequent advent of a business planning, performance management/development process; and the introduction of a Quality Customer Service (QCS) Initiative.At local government level Better Local Government: A Programme for Change (1996) was launched.
- A major initiative on local government and local development leading to the creation of county/city development boards; and the publication of the Local Government Bill, 2000.In the health sector, the passing of new accountability legislation (The Health (Amendment)(No.3) Act, 1996).
- The preparation of detailed service plans by health agencies; and the creation of the Eastern Regional Health Authority to commission services, with its three new area health baords that will deliver services in the eastern region.In the wider public service, developments includeincreased makret liberalisation, competition and regulatory changes in the state-sponsored sector; the passing of the Education Act, 1998; and major changes in criminal justice structures and procedures.