Published on in Public SectorReshaping Business

Last week we launched our pre-budget submission to Government ahead of the announcement of Budget 2021 in October.

We have done so after careful consideration and in the hope that the tragedy which is unfolding around us through the COVID-19 pandemic can act as a catalyst for positive and sustainable change. To that end we have called on Government to take incremental and achievable actions across three key which we believe will result in a more efficient civil service; a greener economy and a workforce that is prepared to take advantage of the inevitable change driven by digitisation.

We have focussed our attention on supporting a green recovery; investing in digital services including eGovernment; and targeted education and skills. There exists an opportunity now where we can make positive changes in these areas, that if done correctly will have huge positive benefits in supporting a Just Transition from fossil fuels; improving people’s work life balance; and freeing up civil servants time to deliver better services for citizens.

Remote working is something that Fujitsu is a recognized world leader in. We’ve seen first-hand how employees can benefit from a more flexible approach and reducing the amount of physical contact hours employees have with the office.

Lockdown has provided us real evidence that reduced travel can lower our carbon output which we know is a key driver of climate action. Not only that we now know that the air we breathe is failing to meet basic international standards. The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) most recent annual air quality report found that while Ireland’s air quality was generally good last year, there are concerning localised issues. Shockingly, there are 1,300 premature deaths in Ireland per year which can be attributed to air pollution, according to latest estimates. The key determinant in this in Dublin lies in traffic levels in the capital, specifically in the City Centre and M50. We must reverse our air pollution and carbon output.

One of the main reasons people travel by car is for work. When we provide people the option to work remotely in a flexible working environment their travel understandably reduces. I view this as a win-win-win. Remote working gives employees back the time spent commuting, reduces the strain on critical transport and housing infrastructure and decreases the carbon output.

That’s not to say that working remotely even a few days a week is for everyone. We know that isolation and harmful home environments are just some of the reasons working remotely isn’t for everyone. But if we can reduce the overall trend there will be significant benefits.

These benefits are why we have called on Government to support more remote working through increasing tax relief for remote working, ramping up broadband infrastructure investment, investment in remote hubs and a public information campaign to mitigate against the heightened cyber threat landscape,

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Tony O'Malley

Tony O’Malley is CEO of Fujitsu Ireland and Chairman of the Fujitsu Ireland Limited board. He is leading the delivery of Fujitsu’s innovative ICT services to the public and private sectors.

As CEO, Tony is committed to creating value for customers and putting into practice Fujitsu’s vision to create a Human Centric Intelligent Society.

He also oversees significant research programmes in Ireland in collaboration with Fujitsu Laboratories Japan, in particular addressing Data Analytics and Healthcare systems for assisted living.

Tony sits on the Dublin Chamber of Commerce Council and is a member of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics Advisory Committee.

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