Public Consultation on “Commissioning Human, Social and Community Services”

Issued 18 December 2015

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr. Brendan Howlin T.D., has today (18th December 2015) established a public consultation on how we allocate resources and how we can improve outcomes for those who use human, social and community services. The aim of these services is to provide supports and enhance the quality of life for individuals, families, communities and society as a whole. Many of the services concerned are in areas such as disability, care for the elderly, children’s services, mental health services, community employment and social inclusion, amongst others. These services are funded by the State and generally provided by the community and voluntary sector, social enterprises and for-profit entities.

Four Government Departments, Public Expenditure and Reform; Health; Children and Youth Affairs and; Environment Community and Local Government, have worked together in progressing this work and have jointly prepared a consultation paper “Commissioning Human, Social and Community Services”.

The aim of the consultation is to agree a common understanding of ‘Commissioning’ in an Irish context and provide guidance on how best to allocate resources when providing human, social and community services. Many of the services subject to this consultation have been funded on the basis of historical allocations – i.e. service providers receive a sum of funding based on what they received in previous years.

The consultation will enable policy-makers, funders and service providers to understand the key stages and features of this new approach and to agree principles to underpin a Commissioning framework. This consultation will also inform Government on the correct pace of, and prerequisites to, transitioning to a Commissioning model.

Commenting on the publication of this consultation, the Minister said:

“Following on from key reform commitments this Government has set out in the Public Service Reform Plan 2014-16, I am pleased to announce this public consultation which is designed to improve outcomes for those who use our public services. How we use taxpayers monies to tackle the needs of the public is an important task faced at every level of Government. Creating a common understanding of, and framework for, how we can make better funding decisions, will provide better outcomes for those who need and use public services”.

Copies of the consultation paper, details of the consultation process, background information and further supporting documents are available on the Department’s website Anyone wishing to submit their views on this consultation may do so by forwarding them to close of business on Friday 12th February, 2016. All submissions will be considered and will be published on the Department’s website. Submissions will also be subject to Freedom of Information legislation.