Ireland Has Relatively Strong Infrastructure With Some Sectoral Weaknesses
A recent IMF Assessment evaluating Ireland’s public investment in infrastructure finds that infrastructure levels and management practices are generally well developed, but areas where improvements can be made have been identified. A number of recommendations have been made by the IMF and the process of addressing these recommendations is being implemented.
During July this year, an expert team from the IMF was invited to assess Ireland’s public investment institutions to evaluate the design and effectiveness of the institutions that shape decision-making at the three key stages of the public investment cycle: planning investment; allocating investment to the right sectors; and implementing investment.
The PIMA (Public Investment Management Assessment) for Ireland report concludes that overall, Ireland manages its public infrastructure relatively well. The report highlights both strengths and weaknesses and contains a number of recommendations to improve future performance in terms of the efficiency of public capital investment.
The publication of the PIMA is very timely against the backdrop of the Government’s plans for a substantial increase in public capital investment over the next ten years – a requirement confirmed by the PIMA report.
The Assessment includes a focus on:
* A review of our planning and delivery mechanisms, and the mechanisms for co-ordinated planning of infrastructural provision across sectors.
* A benchmarking of Ireland’s infrastructure by reference to that of other comparable developed countries, drawing on the relevant IMF data; and
* An assessment of PPPs and public investment management in State owned entities’.
The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, said: “The PIMA will play an important role in identifying how institutions and public governance systems in Ireland who are responsible for planning, allocating and delivering public capital infrastructure might be further strengthened. Following the publication of the review of the Capital Plan and against the backdrop of the preparation of the 10 year National Investment Plan and the National Planning Framework, the analysis contained in the IMF PIMA can play a very helpful role in informing and guiding debate on public capital investment planning in the future.”
The key findings of the report are that:
* Ireland has relatively strong infrastructure, with some sectoral weaknesses;
* management of public investment is generally good, but with scope for improvement; and
* there appears to be significant scope for strengthening the efficiency of public investment to match the best-performing advanced economies.