Hamilton Discusses Public Sector Reform With OECD
FINANCE Minister Simon Hamilton MLA has met with officials from the Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) at its headquarters in Paris.
Mr Hamilton discussed a range of issues including public sector innovation with Rolf Alter the OECD’s Director of Public Governance and Territorial Development and his team, as well as conducting meetings with the United Kingdom’s Permanent Representatives at the OECD including UK Ambassador Nick Bridge.
Commenting after the meetings, Simon Hamilton said: “I held a series of extremely constructive and helpful meetings with senior officials from the OECD’s Public Governance and Territorial Development Directorate. With the assistance of the UK’s Ambassador Nick Bridge, I was able to discuss a wide range of hugely important issues with OECD officials.
“The OECD is made up of 34 member states and each of those nations are grappling with the same problems we in Northern Ireland are. The effects of the economic crisis on public spending has made it challenging for governments to adequately and fully address the needs of their citizens. The OECD has sought to address this challenge in part by embracing the need for public sector innovation.
“I was fascinated and impressed by the potential of the work that the OECD is doing in developing a database of international best practice in innovation. It is working with member states to collect and disseminate new and creative ways of delivering public services. I believe that there are huge opportunities for Northern Ireland to not only learn from this repository of best practice but also feed in what we do well.
“My meetings touched on many matters relevant not just to the Department of Finance and Personnel but the whole of Northern Ireland’s public sector – issues like budgeting, fiscal decentralisation, procurement, and public governance. I think there’s a lot we can learn from the OECD and what its member states are doing in terms of innovation in government.
“I will now carefully consider how we in Northern Ireland could better plug in to what the OECD are doing so that our public sector can much better meet the challenges we face in the future as the public expenditure environment changes,” added Mr Hamilton.