News Column

United Kingdom : Hamilton outlines extensive progress on public sector reform

July 3, 2014

Finance Minister Simon Hamilton MLA has outlined the extensive progress made to date on advancing public sector reform.

Mr Hamilton told the Confederation of British Industry at a members lunch held in Barclays Bank in Belfast that a year after setting his focus on reform, he remains positive that Northern Ireland can create an innovative public sector capable of addressing the challenges Northern Ireland faces in the future.

Commenting, Minister Hamilton said: A year ago, upon taking office as Minister of Finance and Personnel, I sketched out my agenda for the Department to an audience of CBI members. I outlined my vision that Northern Ireland should aspire to have the most innovative public sector in the world, harnessing the advantages of our size and our experience and leveraging the opportunities of public spending pressure to renew, redesign, rethink, restructure and reform our government.

We live in an impatient world. In a time when people want tangible results now, not tomorrow. I knew a year ago that some would expect the results of my reform agenda to materialise almost instantly. That was never going to be the case. If we are to reach the summit of public sector innovation, then we must first ascend through the foothills.

The degree of change that I envisage, the level of reform that we need, isn t achieved overnight or even in one year. It isn t even possible in the current term of this Executive. It is, arguably, a never ending process of change - always innovating; always reforming; always addressing emerging challenges.

The Minister described how much of the last year has been spent constructing what he called the architecture of reform . He outlined a number of public sector reform initiatives the Department have been involved in during the last 12 months including: the creation of the Public Sector Reform Division with DFP; a modern, IT driven staff innovation scheme called Ideas Engine which gives staff the chance to be involved in service redesign and be rewarded for their ideas that work; the launch of the Northern Ireland Public Sector Innovation Laboratory with the inaugural lab examining the effectiveness of the regulatory impact assessment process was reviewed and other labs looking at dementia and innovation in procurement in planning; the publication of the first ever Northern Ireland wellbeing data as the beginning of a better focus on outcomes; and Executive agreement to engage with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to conduct the first ever sub-national public governance review with the OECD providing a strategic underpinning for Northern Ireland s reform agenda.

Minister Hamilton continued: Just as the vision of better to come isn t enough. Neither is solely establishing the architecture for reforming our public sector.

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Source: TendersInfo (India)

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