Top Finance and DPER jobs must be subject to open competition – media reports of ‘stitch up’ astonishing

19 April 2021

Labour Party Finance Spokesperson, Ged Nash, has described media reports that there would be no public competition for the position of the new Secretary General in the Department of Finance as ‘astonishing’. 

He called on the Ministers for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform to initiate an immediate public competition for the post. 

He is also seeking a confirmation that the position of Secretary General at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is also to be put out to open competition.

Deputy Nash said:

“The government seems intent on producing its own version of Reeling in the Years, bringing us back to the bad old days of insider appointments and the nod and wink culture of doing business.

“The practice of open competition for senior posts like this has been established for a decade now.  Even the controversial appointment of the new Secretary General at the Department of Health has been subject to an open competition involving the TLAC process.  

“The government appears intent on riding roughshod over a suite of governance reforms brought in after the last crash.  Is the TLAC process now to be abandoned if it no longer applies to senior positions?

“Both Ministers Paschal Donohoe and Michael McGrath know this is a nonsense and they should not stand over it. 

“Senior public services positions like this should be put out to open competition as a matter of principle, good governance and best practice.

“If media reports are true, and I understand that they are, then the Ministers are personally responsible for this retrograde step.  It is not too late for them to walk back this error.  They should so do so immediately.”

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