The State of the State in Northern Ireland

What next

The State of the State 2018-2019 Northern Ireland: What next report, a supplementary report to the wider UK State of the State 2018-19 report, was commissioned to provide analysis of some of the opportunities that may exist to fundamentally rethink how public services are delivered.

Northern Ireland’s public sector is facing huge financial challenges and bold decisions are needed now to change patterns of spend and ensure the future sustainability of public services.

The report notes that the public sector is operating in a challenging environment, one where the NI Executive has not met in almost two years and the ability to make decisions has been severely constrained due to the absence of Ministers.

The cost of delivering public services is also rising more quickly than the budget available, while growth in the Northern Ireland economy has stalled. Without cohesive political leadership and strategic direction, Deloitte expects the situation will continue to deteriorate.

This report looks at some of the major challenges that need to be addressed in the big spending areas. Drawing on work already carried out by the NI administration and case studies from around the world, using Deloitte’s global network, it suggests some interventions for debate and consideration by future decision makers.

The case studies show what is possible with strong leadership, an innovative approach and determination to materially improve the quality and sustainability of public services. Some of the interventions that have been identified will be more publicly and politically acceptable than others.

The intention of the report was to bring together a menu of possible options based on how other regions have successfully addressed similar challenges. It also considers how other governments are responding to the fast-moving pace of emerging technologies and opportunities that digital service provision and transformation creates.

The global direction of travel – the locations of case studies included in the State of the State NI report

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