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The Sunday Times 24.04.2016. Reproduced here with kind permission of the Sunday Times newspaper.


Assessing value for money is nowstandard practice for government departments and agencies. These bodies, including the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor- General, evaluate the economy and efficiency with which state bodies acquire, use and dispose of resources. This is a positive step in a state system that isn’t very keen on post-hoc evaluation. Since 2009, the Department of the Taoiseach has insisted that all legislation be subject to a regulatory impact assessment—to identify likely positive and negative outcomes of projects. To date, very little legislation has been subject to such an assessment. Evidence is still a dirty word in Ireland.