As part of the budgetary correction process over the coming years, the Government will have to bring forward major savings across the full range of public expenditure, and to prioritise resources very carefully. The Government is also committed to far-reaching reforms to ensure the delivery of quality public services that meet the needs of citizens.
To achieve this, the Government is transforming the approach to budgets and providing services and has embarked on a detailed Comprehensive Review of Expenditure (CRE). This approach is a departure from previous reviews which focused narrowly on figures; under the new approach, the Government will look at reforming how services are delivered, making major efficiency gains while protecting essential services as far as possible.
Each Department will prepare a Comprehensive Expenditure Report in respect of the Department and its associated agencies, to identify expenditure programme savings, scope for savings arising from efficiency and other reforms, proposals for reducing and/or merging of agencies and associated reductions in staff numbers.
The objectives of the expenditure Review process will be to provide the Government with a comprehensive set of decision options:-
- to meet the overall fiscal consolidation objectives, both as regards spending and numbers reduction targets
- to re-align spending with the Programme for Government priorities
- in this context, to consider new ways of achieving Government objectives in the context of public sector reform.
Under the CRE, Ministers and Departments have the responsibility to evaluate every budgetary programme for which they are responsible, within both Departments and Agencies.
The Review has been initiated and will be completed by end-September. The results of this process will then be brought before Government for consideration and decision in the annual Budget and Estimates process.
The guidelines issued by the Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform to other Heads of Departments/Offices in the public service, in regard to the conduct of the CRE exercise, are now available here for public reference.
Capital Expenditure Review
Alongside the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure, the Government is undertaking a specific comprehensive review of its capital investment programme. The aim of the review is to assess:-
- priorities for capital investment to meet critical economic and/ social infrastructure deficits within our tightened budgetary circumstances
- what proposed infrastructural investment is vital and what is desirable but not vital?
- how, can capital programmes best support sustainable employment?
The Capital Expenditure Review will follow the same broad timeframe as the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure and will help the Government plan how to best target capital investment over the next few years.
The Minister would like to express his gratitude for all ideas which have been submitted and they will be considered as part of the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure which is ongoing. The public consultation has closed but any further ideas and suggestions after this date can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org