Browse

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 215 items for :

  • Public Sector, Public Private Partnerships, Public Administration x
Clear All
Open access

Lucie Sedmihradská

Abstract

Budget transparency innovations bring new extent and forms of transparency. The aim of the article is to explore the diffusion of budget explorers, that is, a budget transparency innovation extremely popular in the Czech Republic, and to evaluate their impact on voluntary budget information disclosed.

Careful mapping of the diffusion using a survey of budget explores in 72 former Czech district towns and media analysis shows that the key success factor was its convenience for politicians, as it is attractive, easy to implement and up-to-date demonstration of their transparency. Budget explorers are nowadays a standard extension to accounting software, and their usage is evaluated in several government transparency competitions.

The major benefit of the budget explorers is that they made for the first time publicly available detailed public financial information, changed the standard of best practice and drew some public attention. At the same time, they, unfortunately, narrowed the scope of the budget transparency debate by omitting the importance of the draft budget and introduction of performance measurement.

Open access

Marta Postuła and Jacek Tomkiewicz

Abstract

This article focuses on the effects of corrections to the budgetary policy in eurozone economies. The goal of the text is to check if advancement in implementing modern tools of public management is helpful in the time of fiscal adjustment. We assume that the most important role of a performance approach in conducting fiscal policy is the ability of government to implement active policy meant as structural changes in the composition of public expenditures. In the case of the need to cut general levels of public spending, public sector managers who have knowledge of performance effects of public policies should be able to conduct fiscal adjustment in such a way as to minimise negative outcomes of spending correction on society. The structure of the text is as follows. First, we present some insights on the economic effects of fiscal adjustment. Then, we discuss the concept of performance management presented in the theory and policy agendas of international institutions such as the European Union or the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development). Finally, we present the result of an empirical exercise that is designed to combine the level of advancement in implementing performance budgeting (PB) and the social cost of fiscal adjustment in eurozone economies. The most important finding of the research is that PB tools seem to have very limited usefulness in a time of fiscal adjustment. There is no statistical evidence that countries advanced in utilisation of PB tools conduct more active fiscal policy – approach of cutting all expenditures across the border by given percentage rather than looking at priorities and social outcomes of fiscal adjustment dominates in all cases.

Open access

Stephan Köppe and Muiris MacCarthaigh

Abstract

The creation of Intreo as a one-stop shop for jobseekers in Ireland occurred during the financial and sovereign debt crisis period of 2010–16. The organisational merger was the product of an extensive programme of successful administrative reorganisation and service integration that deserves attention. This article begins with an overview of the policy to merge insurance-based unemployment benefit, discretionary social welfare payments and labour market activation measures, as well as the various political and institutional rationales that led to this development. Drawing on the special issue framework concerning how the interaction of ideology, institutions and interests comes into play during policy change, we consider the contextual factors that facilitated the rapid implementation of the programme and its overall successful execution. Whilst focusing on the success, we also critically point out the inhibitors in the implementation chain, some of which predated the crisis, as well as problems during the implementation process, such as delays in the national rollout and back-office supports. We identify the main contributing factors for successful implementation of a one-stop shop for activation and unemployment services as (a) a high problem pressure, (b) a small and agile implementation team, (c) changing labour relations (e.g. binding arbitration, weakened unions) and (d) a modern communication strategy.

Open access

Fiona Kiernan

Abstract

Policies fail or succeed for many reasons. These reasons include the decisionmaking process, which depends on the interplay of interests, as well as ideology and information. While bearing in mind that perception is often allimportant in deciding if a policy is a success or failure, this paper examines the policy failure of the 2012 decision to reduce salaries for new entrant consultants in Irish public hospitals. This salary reduction resulted in difficulties recruiting and retaining hospital consultants in the public sector. Firstly, the timeline and context of the decision are explored, taking into account the financial crisis at the time. This leads on to an examination of why this decision was made. It appears likely that self-interest on the part of the Minister for Health was a factor, and that self-interest on the part of the medical unions prevented reasonable discourse. The ideology of austerity was a predominant theme of government budgets in 2012; however, this ideology was also influential in creating an environment that allowed blame for public sector pay to be focused predominantly at public hospital consultants. Finally, I find problems with the information used in decision-making for the policy. This is evident from the irrational beliefs held by policymakers on the likelihood of recruiting consultants with lower salaries.

Open access

Cathal FitzGerald, Eoin O’Malley and Deiric Ó Broin

Abstract

Some policies fail to achieve their goals and some succeed. More often than not, it is unclear whether a policy has been a success or a failure, sometimes because the goal was not clear, or because there were a multitude of goals. In this introduction to this special issue we discuss what we mean by policy success and failure, and assume that policy success or failure is ultimately the result of the decision-making process: policy success results from good policies, which tend to come from good decisions, which are in turn the result of a good decision-making process. We then set out a framework for understanding the conditions under which good and bad decisions are made. Built upon factors highlighted in a broad literature, we argue that a potential interaction of institutions, interests and ideology creates incentives for certain outcomes, and leads to certain information being gathered or prioritised when it is being processed. This can bias decision-makers to choose a certain course of action that may be suboptimal, or in other cases there is an absence of bias, creating the possibility for making successful policy choices.

Open access

Sara Burke, Ruairí Brugha and Steve Thomas

Abstract

In 2002 the Irish Government announced the establishment of the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) as a means of addressing patients’ long wait times for public hospital treatment. A new health strategy published in December 2001 promised that ‘by the end of 2004 all public patients will be scheduled to commence treatment within a maximum of three months of referral from an outpatient department’. Qualitative methods, including documentary analysis and key informant interviews, were used to gain an understanding of this policy process. The findings were then analysed through the framework proposed for this special issue where ideas, institutions and politics interact. Using McConnell’s typology of policy failure, this research finds the NTPF to be an example of a policy failure because, even though tens of thousands of public patients have been treated under the NTPF, waiting times and numbers have persisted and escalated since the NTPF was established.

Open access

Stephen Weir

Abstract

This paper analyses the decision-making processes behind the reform of a policy that had caused significant controversy for over a decade. At 8 p.m. on 21 November 2000 the Minister of State for the Environment, Bobby Molloy, TD, signed S.I. No. 367/2000 – Road Traffic (Public Service Vehicles) (Amendment) (No. 3) into law. This statutory instrument provided ‘for the full resumption of taxi licensing’ and ‘the revocation of regulatory provisions involving quantitative restrictions on the licensing of taxis and hackneys’. With the stroke of a pen, Molloy had effectively ended the taxi licensees’ de facto 21-year control of public service vehicle licensing policy. The paper finds Molloy’s decision to have been a significant policy improvement as it brought about a substantially better taxi service. In addition, the paper shows that even with strong evidence of policy failure, its reform can take a considerable time. With regard to the four-factor framework of institutions, ideology, interests and irrationality, I find that the institutions of the state, while initially facilitating the regulatory capture of the policy by the taxi sector, eventually ensured that this was broken down due to the electoral system and the separation of powers. Up until the reform decision, the interests of the taxi licensees and their political supporters eclipsed the common good. Ideology played a significant role as a backdrop to the policy but ideology was not the primary reason the minister deregulated. Finally, I find that the collective irrationality of the taxi sector leads to an overestimation of their power due to an inability to process the relevant information and collectively agree a reasonable compromise. The key recommendations of the paper are that the means of policy setting should be radically and innovatively overhauled, and that it is imperative that regulators harness the vast information that taxi apps gather in order to improve regulatory outcomes.

Open access

Jonathan Arlow

Abstract

JobBridge, the Irish National Internship Scheme, was a labour activation measure launched in July 2011, during a period of extreme economic crisis, and was marketed as a chance for young people to gain career experience in quality work placements. Over 60 per cent of participants found employment after leaving the scheme but it suffered from high deadweight losses and was widely criticised as exploitative during its existence. This was quite predictable, which leaves the puzzle as to why JobBridge was designed without more regulations to protect the entry-level jobs market and the interests of the unemployed? This paper will trace the processes behind this suboptimal decision-making. First, it will show the institutional factors influencing poor policy decisions on labour activation. Then it will explain the main incentives behind an under-regulated programme, which were the need to develop a workable scheme as quickly as possible and to do this without significant funding. Finally, it will show how the decision-making process prioritised the interests of the Labour Party, government, business and the concerned parents of unemployed youth over the interests of the unemployed.

Open access

Cathal FitzGerald

Abstract

A decision not to prohibit or limit high-risk mortgage products in Ireland in 2005 reveals the extent to which three important factors – interests, institutions, ideology – impact on information processing by decision-makers, and reveals irrationality or otherwise in the process. This article summarises the events leading up to the bad decision on 100 per cent loan-to-value (LTV) mortgages in November 2005. This case reveals the nature of the interaction between government departments, regulators and banks at a critical time before the crash, and shows how a department’s interests can interact with institutional factors, and the ideological context, to prompt poor rational and irrational information processing, and lead to a bad decision. In particular, the dominance of a market ideology which raised the threshold for what information was necessary before intervention would be made, combined with the low institutional standing of the department seeking intervention, produced a suboptimal outcome. Finally, the case provides evidence of irrationality (e.g. groupthink, herding) within institutional actors, rather than between them.