IBEC have been up to their usual public sector bashing calling for radical reform that cuts costs and boosts efficiency, productivity and flexibility. Perhaps its time for IBEC to look in the mirror at how some of its members have milked the public purse and seek suitable reforms?  There has been, and continues to be, a huge chunk of public purse finance spent hiring the private sector, a huge chunk of which has been squandered – think of the huge overspend on public infrastructure projects, or the massive fees paid to consultants for often quite shoddy pieces of work, or the PPP contracts that funneled huge guaranteed funds to the private companies over long periods of time.  And, just as there is excellent work undertaken in both the public and private sectors, there are slackers, jobsworths and inefficiencies in both.  We’ve all experienced poor service across the service sector; this is not something unique to the public sector.  The private sector would clearly like public sector work to be transferred to them, where it will be supposedly dealt with more efficiently and cost effectively (and certainly more profitably for those companies who would benefit).  There is clearly a wider debate needed here about whether we want vital public services privatised, and under what terms, but in the meantime perhaps IBEC should look at itself, its agenda, and the way its members have been milking the public purse during the Celtic Tiger period whilst it pushes its neoliberal agenda.  Any talk about reform of the public sector should be accompanied by significant reform of private sector contracts driven by an agenda of openness, transparency, good governance, and most importantly value for money.  It’s pretty difficult to believe that we were getting value for money during the boom.  It wasn’t called Rip-Off Ireland for nothing.  The mirror’s this way …

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