New performance report will support policy-making, increase awareness and enhance parliamentary engagement – Donohoe

26th April, 2017

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D., today (Wednesday) published the Public Service Performance Report 2016. The report, which is the first of its kind, aims to strengthen the focus on what is being delivered with public funds and create an opportunity for meaningful dialogue between Ministers and Oireachtas Committees on government performance.

Following on from the recommendations of the OECD in its ‘Review of Budget Oversight by Parliament: Ireland’ (November 2015), a key objective of the Report is to equip Oireachtas Committees with timely information on what was delivered with public funds for each Department the previous year. This promotes performance dialogue with Ministers, who can illustrate the linkages between resources and results within their respective Departments.


It is intended that this Report will build on elements of the performance budgeting initiative* that are already in place and create space in the budget process for enhanced dialogue, thereby increasing transparency and more effective parliamentary engagement with the budget process. 


This report, which provides timely, quantitative performance data, aims to present relevant performance indicators in a dedicated and focused document. It is intended that this data will be developed and refined over time, building up a stock of information to create a more comprehensive picture of government performance. This data can then be used in the policy-making process to ensure the most effective use of public funds. It is also hoped that this addition to the budgetary process will help to underpin trust in the institutions of government while also improving government performance.


Minister Donohoe said: “The publication of this report will outline the key outputs that have been delivered in 2016 across the diverse range of public service bodies. It is intended that timely, meaningful and constructive dialogue on expenditure between Government and the Oireachtas will ensure that there is greater focus on what is being delivered with public funds. This information will, over time, feed into policy decisions that are being made, allowing us to allocate resources that are available to us in the way that has the biggest impact on our citizens’ lives”.




Notes to Editors:


At present, performance targets are published in the Revised Estimates Volume (REV) each year. However, the timing of the publication of the REV means that performance outturn information for that year is not yet available and only performance targets can be published. This means that Committees may not have the relevant information to allow them to assess performance for the most recent year in a timely fashion. The Performance Report aims to address this, by providing timely information on what was delivered with public funds the previous year. This creates an opportunity for meaningful dialogue between Ministers and the relevant sectoral Committees on Government performance.

*More information than ever before is now available in relation to how public resources are allocated and utilised. A number of key milestone events facilitate the publication of detailed information during the year:


  • The Summer Economic Statement outlines the overall fiscal stance;
  • the National Economic Dialogue facilitates a robust exchange of views from various stakeholders;
  • the Mid-Year Expenditure Report fulfils the requirement identified by the OECD for adequate “no policy change” pre-budget information to inform budget scrutiny;
  • allocations for the coming year are subsequently published in the Expenditure Report on Budget Day with three year multi-annual ceilings; 
  • The Revised Estimates Volume, published in December, details the specifics of the coming year’s allocations and also provides the public and Oireachtas Committees with convenient ‘at-a-glance’ information on what services are being provided.