Mr Rob Wright, Chairman of the Review Panel established by theMinister for Finance to conduct an Independent Review of theDepartment of Finance
- Review of the Department of Finance -
Submission by Robert Pye, employee of the Department 1979-2010
At the outset I would like to state that none of the comments and opinions expressedin this submission should be taken as a reference to any individual civil or publicservant, whether past or current. They should be interpreted as referring exclusively to(a) the Department (or other relevant organisation, as appropriate) as a corporateentity, or (b) the senior management cadre, broadly conceived. This is not to implythat individual civil and public servants did not make very serious mistakes in the runup to, and in the aftermath of, the fiscal and banking crises, but merely to clarify thatthis submission makes no pronouncement – good, bad or indifferent – in relation toany individual.
The key players in the fiscal/banking débâcle are those normally identified in publicand media discussion of the issues in recent months, plus one group which isordinarily never mentioned, as follows:The Ruling Elite: This is not the cartel of bankers and developers, noreven a combination of the cartel and other influential interests, but thequasi-dynastic consortium which has ruled Ireland for generations.
Even though I was an Assistant Principal in the Department for 26 years (1984-2010)– a rank which does not normally have close regular contact with senior management– I enjoyed exceptional proximity to the higher management tiers of the Departmentsince 1994 when I was assigned, firstly to the programme of reform of the publicservice, and then to strategic management co-ordination within the Department. I wasalso secretary during that time to both the Assistant Secretary Group and the PrincipalOfficer Group, as well as the Departmental Partnership Committee. I was thusunusually well placed over a period of fifteen years to observe the inner workings of the Department, its management dynamics, its decision-making processes and itschanging organisational structure.