Comprehensive Review of Expenditure 2014

The first Comprehensive Review of Expenditure (CRE) was carried out in 2011 and was published in December 2011 in conjunction with Budget 2012 as the Comprehensive Expenditure Report 2012 – 2014.

A second CRE was announced by Minister Brendan Howlin in his Budget speech on 15 October 2013 and this Review is intended to update the multi-annual expenditure ceilings for the succeeding three year period 2015 – 2017.

A separate Review of Capital Expenditure will also be carried out with the view to realigning future investment priorities and to reset the medium-term Capital envelopes for the next five years.

The objective of this second CRE will be for each Ministers and their Departments to examine and propose measures that will contribute to the overall expenditure target set by Government for each of the next three years.  This CRE will also expand on the existing analysis carried out by Departments and the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform since 2011.

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform will coordinate the Review process and will produce the final Comprehensive Expenditure Report, alongside Budget 2015.

Public Consultation

As part of the CRE process, the public are once again invited to submit their proposals for further expenditure savings, for presenting reforms and efficiencies in spending programmes and for the design and delivery of public services.  In this regard a good starting point is to examine the Revised Estimates for Public Services (REV) which is available here or review the Public Service Reform Plan (PSRP) which is available here.

The REV contains the key financial and performance based information relating to expenditure by Government Departments and includes all of the key information needed by decision-makers, and by those who scrutinise public policy available at a glance:

  • Financial and Human Resource Inputs – The amount of money going to each spending area is laid out and is broken down between Administration Costs – both Pay and Non-pay – and the actual costs of programme delivery.
  • Outputs and Public Service Activities – The tasks and work-steps that transform financial inputs into services.
  • Context and Impact Indicators – The impacts or outcomes that public policy is aiming to influence.

Public Service Reform continues to be an important element of the Government’s strategy for economic recovery and enables services to be maintained and improved upon in the context of reduced resources.  The PSRP focuses on four key themes:

  • Delivery of Improved Outcomes – Examining alternative models of service delivery, including commissioning for specific outcomes; more digital delivery of services; and service delivery improvements at sectoral and organisational levels.
  • Reform Dividend – Freeing up resources by making existing processes more cost effective and efficient, and using some of the savings to invest in new or improved services.
  • Digitalisation / Open Data – A new ICT strategy will address how best to use new and emerging technologies, ensuring that eGovernment is designed around the needs of service users and taking steps to improve the take-up of Digital Government.
  • Openness and Accountability - The political reform programme will continue to focus on delivering greater openness, transparency and accountability to strengthen trust in government and public services, and enhance public governance.

Submission of Suggestions and Privacy

Submissions from the public should be made by clicking on this link or by post to the address below.  Please indicate clearly the name of the Ministerial Vote(s) and the Programme area to which your proposal refers.  Suggestions received may be made available publicly on the Department’s website.  Submissions must be received, at the latest, by 5:00pm on Friday, 22nd August, 2014.

Please note that all submissions and comments submitted to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform for this purpose may be subject to release under the Freedom of Information Acts 1997 to 2003.

By post: Comprehensive Review of Expenditure 2014

Room 1.12, South Block

Government Buildings

Upper Merrion Street

Dublin 2