Governance Forum Programme 2024

Governance Forum Programme 2020

Key Governance Topics 2020

23 January 2020


Download Event Programme

IPA, Lansdowne Road, Dublin 4

At the outset of each year, we look ahead to some of the key challenges, risks and opportunities facing public and state bodies and public benefit entities over the coming 12 months and beyond. Invariably, a key aspect amongst these is the Irish economic and fiscal outlook, particularly in the context of Brexit and recent Irish economic and fiscal performance. Whilst a general election looks likely in 2020, there are a number of key government and public service priorities, which will influence the year ahead, particularly in the context of ongoing public service innovation initiatives and digitalisation. Finally, public and state bodies and public benefit entities have done much over recent years to build and in some cases rebuild trust with key stakeholders. A key aspect of this is effective performance. We will consider Irish Public Sector Trends, including comparative performance of the public sector with other jurisdictions.

This first important Forum session will hear from three expert speakers on these three topics, with a particular focus on some of the key issues for public and state bodies and public benefit entities. The agenda will consider key questions, such as:


Robert Watt

Robert Watt is Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, a position he has held since 2011. Robert is an economist with significant experience in both the public and private sectors, including in a range of roles in the Department of Finance and as an Economic Consultant. He is a member of the Board of the NTMA and was previously a member of the Economic Management Council. 

Seamus Coffey

Seamus Coffey is Chair of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council, a position he has held since 1 January 2017 having originally become a member of the Council in 2016. He is a Lecturer in Economics in the Department of Economics in University College Cork, with his research and writing focusing on the performance of the Irish economy. In October 2016, Seamus was appointed the independent expert by the Minister for Finance to undertake a review of Ireland’s Corporation Tax Code. Seamus is a member of the external advisory board to the Irish Governmental Economic Evaluation Service, and of the council of the Irish Economic Association. 



Dr. Richard Boyle

Dr Richard Boyle is Head of Research, Publishing & Corporate Relations at the Institute of Public Administration (IPA), and has been the IPA’s lead researcher for many years, with a particular interest in public service modernisation, managing for results and developing and implementing effective performance management and evaluation systems. Richard has worked widely with Irish central and local government, the OECD and the World Bank, and has published numerous books and papers on public service management, including the annual IPA Public Sector Trends report. He is a member of the International Evaluation Working Group on policy and programme evaluation, whilst also being on the board of the European Evaluation Society (2002-2005), and chair of the Irish Evaluation Network.

Dr. Marian O’Sullivan 

The event will be chaired by Dr. Marian O’Sullivan 

Dr Marian O'Sullivan took up the post of Director General of the Institute of Public Administration on 1 October 2015. Her role, in working closely with her senior management team and the Board of the IPA, is to provide vision, strategic leadership and management to the IPA. Marian has extensive knowledge of higher education, management and leadership in Ireland and abroad. Marian has over 30 years’ experience working in the Irish University, Institute of Technology and Public Sectors. She has worked in a wide range of senior management, research and administrative positions. These include Academic Registrar and Head of Development and Research at the Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT), Registrar at NCEA (now QQI), lecturer at TCD and UCD, and research scientist at UCC and Teagasc. Marian holds a BSc (hons) and PhD in Microbiology. In 2008 Marian was awarded an MSc in Executive Leadership at the University of Ulster.