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The Permanent G0vernment

  • 15-06-2021 10:43am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 129 ✭✭ biddyearley


    I've been fascinated by the top civil servants who appear to run the state and make huge decisions that impact all of us. Now this is not a bashing-thread;I look to the terrific education system, a welfare system and health system which frankly withstood the massive pressures of COVID, and a myriad of other public services without which we would be lost.
    When a policy is clearly wrong and causing damage, when the politicians know that change is undoubtedly required, yet the civil servant in charge deflects and bull****s and the damage continues, with no fear of a P45 or sanction, what is to be done? Is the club so self-serving and protective of its own that it just battens down the hatches with a silent fcuk you to elected officials?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,761 ✭✭✭ Sheeps


    I've been fascinated by the top civil servants who appear to run the state and make huge decisions that impact all of us. Now this is not a bashing-thread;I look to the terrific education system, a welfare system and health system which frankly withstood the massive pressures of COVID, and a myriad of other public services without which we would be lost.
    When a policy is clearly wrong and causing damage, when the politicians know that change is undoubtedly required, yet the civil servant in charge deflects and bull****s and the damage continues, with no fear of a P45 or sanction, what is to be done? Is the club so self-serving and protective of its own that it just battens down the hatches with a silent fcuk you to elected officials?
    That's a very naive view of how the civil service works.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 129 ✭✭ biddyearley


    Sheeps wrote: »
    That's a very naive view of how the civil service works.
    Enlighten me please. Seriously interested. No family background in it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,644 ✭✭✭✭ snoopsheep


    theres a serious study/discussion to be had in how the apparatus of state works within a democratic system, as either a brake, an advisor, a professional service and a custodian of the operations of government

    i predict this will not be that discussion

    Yes minister is still instructive, and part of the brilliance of the show is that nobody gets away without being nailed- civil service, elected reps, unions, lobbyists, the voting populace

    Catch the full few seasons and come back with questions and mardhea we might see whether the tone of your last paragraph has changed sufficiently that anyone might wish to engage with a suddenly-flaring years old account- ive me doubts tbh


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,688 ✭✭✭ Loueze


    Sheeps wrote: »
    That's a very naive view of how the civil service works.

    I completely agree.

    While the most senior level civil servants can and do have influence in that they can offer their experience to steer and influence on policy, ultimately the final decisions and ultimately the buck, begins and ends with the Minister (and cabinet).


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,761 ✭✭✭ Sheeps


    Enlighten me please. Seriously interested. No family background in it.
    Policy is set by government, not by civil servants. They may advised on matters of how policy decisions can be implemented within their departments which may shape how a policy is formed, however this is usually a limitation of process/resources rather than the civil service attempting to influence policy.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 129 ✭✭ biddyearley


    So you're suggesting that responsibility rests with the politician to see that government policy is carried out? But do they not make policy and recommend it to government?


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,644 ✭✭✭✭ snoopsheep


    Id say responsibility rests with the voters, that's democracy baby


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 129 ✭✭ biddyearley


    snoopsheep wrote: »

    Catch the full few seasons and come back with questions and mardhea we might see whether the tone of your last paragraph has changed sufficiently that anyone might wish to engage with a suddenly-flaring years old account- ive me doubts tbh


    I agree with some of what you say, but that last part is unfair and smacks of defensiveness. Is this mandarin disdain at work?


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,874 ✭✭✭✭ noodler


    So you're suggesting that responsibility rests with the politician to see that government policy is carried out? But do they not make policy and recommend it to government?

    Suggesting?

    No, the poster is enlightening you.

    Every policy document is anchored in commitments setout in Government manifestoes and/or the Programme for Government.

    Civil Servants provide options on how to proceed, usually within a relatively narrow focus, and definitely make a recommendation. However, the recommendation is not always followed and ultimately the Minister/Cabinet make the decision.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,305 ✭✭✭✭ jimmycrackcorm


    Enlighten me please. Seriously interested. No family background in it.


    Have you any concrete examples of how the civil service is operating the way you are suggesting?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,644 ✭✭✭✭ snoopsheep


    I agree with some of what you say, but that last part is unfair and smacks of defensiveness. Is this mandarin disdain at work?

    Ive never been adequately diagnosed tbh


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 129 ✭✭ biddyearley


    Have you any concrete examples of how the civil service is operating the way you are suggesting?


    Cannot say that I do.



    Of interest to me is the collapse of the forest industry in the country because of very extreme measures implemented by the DAFM.
    A standard applied to major infrastructure has been applied to all forest works-15k radius- with massive detrimental knock-on effects right across the board. There is nothing like this anywhere in the world. It's the proverbial sledgehammer to crack the nut.

    Lobbying of politicians and senior civil servants has effected nothing, although the Agriculture Committee has questioned DAFM officials 3 times, which is unprecedented. The policy is clearly wrong, and it is a reaction to DAFM officials taking their eye off the ball.

    Whether it is a fear having to admit to a mistake, or an arrogant viewpoint that "we know more than you" is unclear.



    It represents a major fcuk-up, and can be resolved by a sensible, practical and pragmatic approach. Everyone can move on and focus on other issues. i do wonder from some comments if ultimately responsibility rests with a minister who has responsibility in the area and who is either hell bent on breaking the industry, or just plain incompetent.


    As I said in my first post, this is not a civil-service bashing attempt. Just trying to find who ultimately calls the shots.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,688 ✭✭✭ Loueze


    As I said in my first post, this is not a civil-service bashing attempt.

    While you then proceed to bash civil servants.
    Just trying to find who ultimately calls the shots.

    The Minister and cabinet of the day ultimately call the shots.

    Asked and answered.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 129 ✭✭ biddyearley


    Loueze wrote: »
    While you then proceed to bash civil servants.


    .


    Guilty conscience?

    The attempts to shut this down suggests I'm asking all the right questions.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,688 ✭✭✭ Loueze


    Guilty conscience?

    The attempts to shut this down suggests I'm asking all the right questions.

    No, it means you are unable to accept a straight answer, because its not the one you wanted.

    Enjoy your afternoon, and think very carefully when voting, next time.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,874 ✭✭✭✭ noodler


    Cannot say that I do.



    Of interest to me is the collapse of the forest industry in the country because of very extreme measures implemented by the DAFM.
    A standard applied to major infrastructure has been applied to all forest works-15k radius- with massive detrimental knock-on effects right across the board. There is nothing like this anywhere in the world. It's the proverbial sledgehammer to crack the nut.

    Lobbying of politicians and senior civil servants has effected nothing, although the Agriculture Committee has questioned DAFM officials 3 times, which is unprecedented. The policy is clearly wrong, and it is a reaction to DAFM officials taking their eye off the ball.

    Whether it is a fear having to admit to a mistake, or an arrogant viewpoint that "we know more than you" is unclear.



    It represents a major fcuk-up, and can be resolved by a sensible, practical and pragmatic approach. Everyone can move on and focus on other issues. i do wonder from some comments if ultimately responsibility rests with a minister who has responsibility in the area and who is either hell bent on breaking the industry, or just plain incompetent.


    As I said in my first post, this is not a civil-service bashing attempt. Just trying to find who ultimately calls the shots.

    I'd urge you to consider the fair accompli position you have taken on the issue in your posts.

    Can you see the other side of the argument? Conflicting government policies and ambitions?


  • Administrators, Social & Fun Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 62,365 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Beasty


    The attempts to shut this down suggests I'm asking all the right questions.
    Please report any posts you have a problem with and leave the mods to deal with it as they see appropriate

    Any questions, PM me - do not respond to this post in-thread


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Of interest to me is the collapse of the forest industry in the country because of very extreme measures implemented by the DAFM.
    A standard applied to major infrastructure has been applied to all forest works-15k radius- with massive detrimental knock-on effects right across the board. There is nothing like this anywhere in the world. It's the proverbial sledgehammer to crack the nut.

    Lobbying of politicians and senior civil servants has effected nothing, although the Agriculture Committee has questioned DAFM officials 3 times, which is unprecedented. The policy is clearly wrong, and it is a reaction to DAFM officials taking their eye off the ball.

    Whether it is a fear having to admit to a mistake, or an arrogant viewpoint that "we know more than you" is unclear.

    It represents a major fcuk-up, and can be resolved by a sensible, practical and pragmatic approach. Everyone can move on and focus on other issues. i do wonder from some comments if ultimately responsibility rests with a minister who has responsibility in the area and who is either hell bent on breaking the industry, or just plain incompetent.

    As I said in my first post, this is not a civil-service bashing attempt. Just trying to find who ultimately calls the shots.

    Forest Service putting manners on the sector is too late, damage has been done in many cases with river siltation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,503 ✭✭✭✭ AndrewJRenko


    Cannot say that I do.



    Of interest to me is the collapse of the forest industry in the country because of very extreme measures implemented by the DAFM.
    A standard applied to major infrastructure has been applied to all forest works-15k radius- with massive detrimental knock-on effects right across the board. There is nothing like this anywhere in the world. It's the proverbial sledgehammer to crack the nut.

    Lobbying of politicians and senior civil servants has effected nothing, although the Agriculture Committee has questioned DAFM officials 3 times, which is unprecedented. The policy is clearly wrong, and it is a reaction to DAFM officials taking their eye off the ball.

    Whether it is a fear having to admit to a mistake, or an arrogant viewpoint that "we know more than you" is unclear.



    It represents a major fcuk-up, and can be resolved by a sensible, practical and pragmatic approach. Everyone can move on and focus on other issues. i do wonder from some comments if ultimately responsibility rests with a minister who has responsibility in the area and who is either hell bent on breaking the industry, or just plain incompetent.


    As I said in my first post, this is not a civil-service bashing attempt. Just trying to find who ultimately calls the shots.

    Some common misconceptions coming through here...

    Your issue here is not 'government policy'. Policy is high level, strategic, sets out key priority areas, key legislative requirements.

    Your issue here is an operational decision by public servants (not civil servants) in Coillte. I'm not too familiar that that particular body, but generally such bodies have a degree of independence from Government, and rightfully so. They set out a 3 year or 5 year strategy and implement that.

    If you think they are on the wrong track, questioning at a Dail committee is indeed the way to go. If this has already happened on this issue, it sounds like it's not that big an issue or they're not too far off the mark.


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