Belfast Telegraph

Reform of Civil Service under the spotlight

By Robin Morton

The challenges of modernising the Northern Ireland Civil Service and cutting the cost of the public sector will come under the spotlight at a conference in Belfast today.

The Northern Ireland 08 event at Waterfront Hall is designed to examine the major programme of internal reform currently under way within the Civil Service.

Among the keynote speakers will be Bill McCluggage, director, delivery of innovation at the Department of Finance; Rose Crozier, head of information services at Belfast City Council and David Orr, DFP corporate services director.

Top of the agenda is a scrutiny of the Executive’s three-year Programme for Government and the proposed multi-billion pound investment strategy outlined to the Assembly last January by Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness.

A framework of 23 public service agreements (PSAs) has been drawn up to set priorities, a key aim being to cut costs and red tape by pooling corporate services such as human resources, finance and ICT.

Ms Crozier said: “Our citizens expect and deserve the same type of service that they receive from the private sector, and they also expect to be able to access our services through the channels that they are most comfortable with.

“We need to be more pro-active in delivering the appropriate services by using our information collaboratively both within our own organisations as well as across the public sector as a whole.”

The conference will be chaired by Mark Devonport, the BBC’s political editor. It will bring together more than 350 public sector professionals and 18 industry experts.

Belfast Telegraph