The Department of Ffinance structures were revised in May 2012. The principal divisions are as follows:
- the budget taxation and economic division,
- the financial services division,
- the sectoral policy division dealing with public expenditure,
- civil service management and staffing.
Budget Taxation and Economic Division
The budget, taxation and economic division deal with overall budgetary and forecasting, policy formulation, advice on taxation policy in the EU and domestic context, the annual Finance Bill, coordination of EU policy, EU budget and EU financing, servicing EU and OECD committees on budgetary and economic cooperation, servicing membership of IMF, World Bank and other multilateral banks, financial management and government accounting policy, accounting, payroll, banking and financial services for various departments.
The fiscal policy team includes groups dealing with budgetary policy, indirect taxes, business tax team, income tax policy, capital, corporation pensions and savings tax.
The economic division comprises an economic division and an economic analysis forecast division. The corporate office consists of a number of units including the freedom of information unit, a corporate communications project management office, press office, corporate service, and accommodation unit.
Sectoral Policy Division
The sectoral policy division ensures that departments adhere to their budget allocations. They managed reductions in expenditure. They are involved in the introduction of reform to the budgetary framework.
The Exchequer capital and PPP section manage the formulation of exchequer capital allocations for the government. It reviews multi-annual investment allocation. It manages policy in relation to PPPs.
The central expenditure evaluation unit promotes the application of best value for money practice in public expenditure programs and projects. Its role has evolved to include the provision of analytical research and support for the department and others.
The Department of Finance is responsible for cooperation with the Department of Finance and Personnel in Northern Ireland and the special European Union program body. This is a North-South body under the Good Friday agreement. Previous programs are co-funded by the United Kingdom/Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland on fixed percentages.
The climate change unit provides the Department of Finance with inputs into the economies of climate change policies. It participates in a number of inter-departmental and EU groups which formulate policy with significant financial implications.
The national procurement policy unit is responsible for procurement policy and rules within the public service. It represents Ireland’s EU level in relation to procurement law issues.
The EU structural funds unit is responsible for policy development, management and implementation of the EU structural fund program under the national strategic reference framework. This includes coordination of EU funds and the promotion of Ireland’s interest in the context of the EU Cohesion policy.
The financial control unit audits European Regional Development Fund, co-funded expenditure and co-finance expenditure under the national and European cooperation programs under its remit, as well as programs co-financed by the Cohesion Fund. Many of these are historical.
Financial Service Division
The financial services division is responsible for financial stabilization measures, bank guarantee scheme, recapitalization agreements, NAMA, promotion of financial stability and development of an internationally competitive financial services sector, best practice in the treatment of customers, ensuring legislative framework and financial services regulatory structure meet government objectives for competitiveness, development of EU policy and legislation of financial services.
The public services management division deals with public service modernization, pay policy and industrial relations in the public sector, public service pensions, non-pay conditions, recruitment, HR policy, administrative budgets, staff mobility, equality and diversity; ethics, freedom of information, e-government information technology, civil service training centre, languages training.
The Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland regulates financial services. It was established in 2003. It re-merged into the Central Bank in 2010.
The Commission for Public service appointment sets standards for appointments to the public service. It grants licenses to other bodies to approved agencies. It is regulated under the Public Service Management Recruitment and Appointment Act 2004.
The Public Service
The public service management and development group formulate and promote policies that drive effectiveness and efficiency across the public service and support national income and pension developments.
The personnel remuneration division manages industrial relations, develops a pay and pensions policy across the public sector, promotes industrial peace and continuity of services and manages staffing levels in the civil service. It supports the aims of social progress through appropriate policy, pay and working conditions. It seeks to enhance the connection between pay and performance.
The Minister of Finance is responsible for the regulation and control of the civil service. This includes numbers, salary and terms of employment under the Civil Service Regulations Act 1956. Changes in the pay of public servants require the approval of the minister in almost all cases.
The Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2009 reduced the pay of all public servants and applied very strict ongoing controls on pay increases. There was very limited scope for pay increase while the legislation is in force. The Minister had power in exceptional circumstances to grant pay increases or modify pay reductions.
Budget Tax & Economic
Budget taxation and economic division deals with
- servicing EU and OECD committees on policy, budgetary and economic cooperation,
- North-South cooperation,
- membership of international financial institutions,
- financial management and government accounting policy,
- implementation and management information framework,
- accounting, payroll, banking and financial services for various departments.
NTMA & NPRF
The department liaises with National Treasury Management Agency and the National Pensions Reserves Fund. The National Treasury Management Agency is an asset and liability management arm of the government. It borrows and manages the national debt. It provides the national treasury service for taking deposits and lending to local government bodies.
The NTMA also acts as the State Claims Agency, managing personal injuries and property damage claims against government departments and other authorities. The National Development Finance Agency performs its functions through it. It also supports the National Assets Management Agency with business and support services. It manages the social insurance fund and the dormant account funds as well as HFA borrowings.
Under the National Pension Reserve Fund act, the NPRF Commission is responsible for managing and investment the assets of the fund which belong to the Minister for Finance. The NPRF Act required 1% of GNP to be paid to it each annual year. Further funds were paid into the fund in 2009 to assist in the capitalisation. Further contributions were made under the legislation.
Under the IMF/ EU program of assistance, the NPRF was directed to invest €3.5 million in each of Bank of Ireland and AIB in 2009 together with a further €3.7 million in December 2010.
The external program compliance unit dealt with the issues concerning the EU IMF program for Ireland in 2013. It monitored various actions under it. The program was also monitored by the EU, ECB and IMF “Troika”.
The EU and international policy unit deal with the permanent stabilization program, the ESM and EFSF issues in relation to Ireland.
The Minister for Finance attends ECOFCIN and the EU finance Council
The international financial institutions and EU budget section deal with participation in a number of international financial institutions and matters related to the EU budget.
The financial services division works closely with the central bank and NTMA and is responsible for advising the government on the strategy regarding the global financial position. It has responsibility for the legislative and policy framework for financial services and financial regulation in Ireland. It is to secure financial stability and an effective financial sector while promoting and developing financial services.
A key objective includes the banking guarantee scheme and the government’s recapitalization program of banks. It seeks to ensure NAMA operates within its statutory framework.
Financial services Division 1 and 2 comprises the EU financial services policy and legislation division, EU financial services markets market fund securities division.
The banking division comprises of the following: credit and lending policy, project work, credit and lending, financial services and consumer issues, credit union reform strategy, central bank policy and legislation.
Financial services 4 comprises the shareholding management unit, including NAMA restructuring and deleveraging compliance, operations and administration, core pillar engagement.
The banking policy division was established in 2012 to focus on banking and related issues. It manages the government’s interest in institutions receiving state support. It advises the minister and on government objectives and strategies in the banking sector.
The banking division comprises a number of units. The financial stability unit contributes to the maintenance of financial and economic stability. The shareholding management unit manages the state’s interests in restructuring and deleveraging the banking sector. The EU policy on banking and international unit contributes to the development of EU policy and legislation on banking matters. The bank sector (lending) develops and implements a national framework for credit and lending policy for banks.
The divisions are as follows.
- Fiscal policy division,
- financial services division,
- EU and international division,
EU affairs divisions include
- EU external program compliance unit,
- EU budget and multi-annual framework,
- EU strategy and coordination unit,
- EU permanent representatives Brussels,
- international financial institutions.