Innovation not just cuts for public sector reform

Finance Minister Simon Hamilton
Finance Minister Simon Hamilton

Innovation is needed both in finance and politics to help reform the public sector, Finance Minister Simon Hamilton has claimed.

Addressing the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) international public sector conference in London as the keynote speaker, Mr Hamilton said financial information set the context and underpinned political decision-making for the Northern Ireland Executive’s Ministers.

“The tightening public spending environment provides an opportunity for radical change and reform of public services,” he told the gathering.

“Redesigning and restructuring our public sector will not be quick or easy, but it is necessary and needs up-front investment that will garner long-term benefits.

“Partnership is key to reform and we must combine all resources available, across all relevant sectors if we are to succeed in meeting the varying needs and expectations of our diverse range of service users.”

The Minister added: “The work of finance professionals in the public sector ensure financial probity, regularity and value for money in procurement and commercial activities.

“They play a vital role in delivering savings to help reduce the deficit, whilst continuing to deliver operational and policy priorities to the public.”