end corruption,stroke politics, & incompetent administration

Second bite of the cherry for ungrateful civil servants.

Mr Brian Cowen, TD, Minster for Finance, announced on 13 January 2006, the formal establishment of the Public Service Benchmarking Body as provided for in the second public service agreement under Sustaining Progress (SP) to undertake a fundamental examination of the pay of public service employees vis-à-vis the private sector.The benchmarking body consists -in the main of civil servants or retired civil service union officials.

It is as if Brian Cowan arrived at every privately run factory ,or officeplace in the country, and asked the workers there to form a commitee to decide how much they were worth.!

Furthermore you need not worry about future criticism because you are not obliged to divulge any details of your lengthy deliberations.!

According to its web site,

the Body, in reaching its recommendations should have regard to:

The need to ensure equity between the employees in both the public and private sectors and,

The need to underpin the country’s competitiveness and continued economic prosperity .

"A LACK of accountability in the public sector is costing millions of euro and leading to management plans not being implemented", the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association claimed . Unless politicians are willing to tackle "middle management bureaucracy "(Civil service), an independent agency should be established to ensure that the public sector operates more efficiently and provides a "value for money" service, ISME Chief Executive Mark Fielding said.

The recent scandal involving overcharging of residents in nursing homes was an example of the "incompetence and unaccountability" that had existed in parts of the civil service "for years". Heads would roll and companies would go out of business if this had happened in the private sector", he claimed. "Politicians", Mr Fielding claimed, "had been failed by the civil service in the and there was no impetus to enforce the 1997 Public Service Management Act which obliges government departments to publish these tri-annual strategy statements and annual reports." What we're getting is little more than promotional documents. There's an act in place, but it's being ignored," he said. And he said that average wages in the public sector of €41,700 were 43pc above the average industrial wage. Since 1997 public sector pay had increased by 112pc, almost five times the rate of inflation, with Mr Fielding blaming benchmarking payments for the "unmerited blanket increase".

David Went, CEO of Irish Life & Permanent, stated that to obtain a salary-indexed pension (like our public servants have) in the private sector would require contributions of 45% of a person's salary throughout their working life! Public servants pay around 6% of salary for their pensions.

He also stated that when consequent pension costs are included, the true cost of the last benchmarking deal was €20 billion and not €1.1 billion as is often stated.

Members of the Benchmarking Body


Mr Dan O’Keeffe SC BCL LL.B. A.C.A.


Mr Billy Attley, former General Secretary of SIPTU.(A union representing, in the main, public servants)

Ms Olive Braiden, Arts Council; former Chair of Justice sector Performance Verification Group.(ditto)

Mr John Malone, former Secretary General of the Department of Agriculture and Food.(civil servant)

Mr Tom McKevitt, former Deputy General Secretary of the Public Service Executive Union(needs no annotation).

Mr Willie Slattery, Managing Director, State Street International (Ireland) Ltd.(claims to be one of the largest employers in the I.F.S.C.- very involved with government.)

Professor Brendan Walsh, Emeritus Professor of Economics, UCD.(unknown quantity)

"The level of detail to be provided by the Body in its report is a matter for the Body itself taking into account any confidentiality constraints and its own judgement on the level of detail that should be provided."

Jargonspeak for: We tell you the taxpayer as little as we decide you should know.!

"Continued co-operation with change and modernisation has been a feature of previous national agreements and, in the context of Sustaining Progress, detailed Action Plans were agreed in each sector."

Do tell ,pray tell us what ever changes in the civil service.?

"We gave them the money . why won't they Fu**ing move.!"

The government website states that the Minister for Finance Brian Cowan has welcomed the Decentralization Implementation Group's (DIG) report to the effect that 'Decentralisation will be a reality in 29 towns by the end of 2007" and that: "progress is well advanced in relation to the civil service aspects of the programme."

The Minister stated that: "the success of the programme can be seen from the fact that decentralisation is now a reality in 12 new locations and that over 2,000 civil servants will have relocated to 29 locations by the end of 2007". Furthermore; "This steady level of progress is an indication of the level of interest in relocating among civil servants and represents an endorsement of the ability of public service managers to effectively manage the staffing, business and property issues arising."? .

In continuation,Mr Cowan believes that the delivery time for some locations will lead to a greater concentration of moves in 2009 rather than in 2008, and he was particularly pleased to note that the "target" of 6,800 moves by end 2009 remains "on track".(Martin Cullen?)

The Minister stated that his colleague, Minister of State, Tom Parlon, in the Office of Public Works has completed or significantly advanced property acquisitions in over 34 locations.

While the first three paragraphs are amusing, and reflect the Goebellesque style ("The bigger the lie the more believable") in which most of Fianna Fail's dispatches are written nowadays, the last statement is the more frightening because it is truth, and the contracts entered into, may be irrevocable, in the unlikely event of a change of government.

We know who will foot the bill for comrade Ahern's failed Stalinesque decentralization plans but who will occupy these 34 palatial monuments/office blocks now under contract and construction nationwide,if nothing induces the ungrateful Civil Service to reconsider.?

As the government coffers are brimful of citizens cash, would anybody begrudge the O.P.W. converting them to Palaces to house our Glorious Leader while he visits his loyal subjects around the country during his "Third Reign".?

An alternative more practical possibility of course is to convert the new office blocks into affordable housing units..a little far from Dublin perhaps, but long distance commuting is becoming more and more popular, every year now.