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20 May 2022

Independent TD slams "jobs for the boys" culture

“A guaranteed role for life only encourages complacency and only acts to protect the under-productive.”

Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice (Ind).

Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice

Levels of anger and frustration have skyrocketed in government and opposition circles as a result of controversies over “jobs for the boys,” according to Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice.

The lack of accountability and transparency with respect to how the top jobs in the civil service are handled has drawn the ire of the Roscommon-Galway TD.

Deputy Fitzmaurice said: "There's only one way to make top civil servants accountable; we must make their roles acting positions, starting and ending their roles when a new government is formed."

He continued: "Unless Ministers can choose their top team, the chances of them implementing their policy commitments are slim. All positions from the Assistant Principal Officer grade to the Secretary-General grade should be filled at the sole discretion of the Minister of the day, by suitably qualified candidates."

Defending productive civil servants, Fitzmaurice explained: “Don’t get me wrong, there are some capable and well-intentioned people in the top jobs and the reality is that these people, who are doing their jobs well and are on top of their game will be retained in their roles or promoted, why wouldn’t they be?”

“A guaranteed role for life only encourages complacency and only acts to protect the under-productive.”

Deputy Fitzmaurice said that procedures for oversight could be developed and strict rules around nepotism could be implemented: "I'm not suggesting a free for all in terms of political appointments, short-lived and all as they may be, but Ministers need the flexibility to appoint people they trust in order to effect change."

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