Press Release shapes

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin, T.D., today published the first Annual Progress Report on the implementation of the Government’s Public Service Reform Plan 2014-2016. The report can be viewed at the following link:

In January 2014, the Government published its second Public Service Reform Plan, covering the period 2014 to 2016. This built on the strong progress made on the first Public Service Reform Plan, published in November 2011. The new Plan placed a particular emphasis on improved service delivery, as well as maintaining the necessary focus on increased efficiency.
Just over a year on from the publication of the Public Service Reform Plan 2014-2016, and as part of a specific commitment in the Plan, Minister Howlin today published the first Progress Report on its implementation.

The Plan contains more than 230 actions and this Report provides an overview of the progress made across the 13 cross-cutting areas set out in the Reform Plan. It also provides examples of progress and good practice from across the Public Service under these 13 headings.

Minister Howlin said:

“Public Service Reform is an essential element of our overall strategy for recovery and it underpins Ireland’s success in emerging from the recession. I welcome the significant progress that has been made on the implementation of the Government’s second Public Service Reform Plan. As this report illustrates, the extent of the reform programme at a central, cross-cutting level is considerable. I also want to acknowledge the complementary reform programmes and initiatives underway at organisational and sectoral levels across the Public Service.”

He continued “While we have made good progress in terms of Public Service Reform, we still have further work to do. We must continue to drive the implementation of the Reform Programme with energy and commitment.”

The Minister also thanked all public servants for their contribution to the ongoing recovery. He commented that “their commitment, dedication and efforts have been the most important element in the progress that we have made in building a new Public Service”.


Note to Editors

The Report sets out details of some 150 concrete examples of progress made across the Public Service. Some highlights include:

  • The Public Service pay-bill has been reduced from €17.5 billion in 2009 to a provisional outturn of €13.9 billion (net of the Pension Related Deduction) by end 2014, a reduction of over 20%;
  • Overall staffing levels have been reduced by 10%, from 320,400 in 2008 to 289,600;
  • A new Public Service ICT Strategy was published in January 2015 to create a new model for ICT delivery across the Public Service;
  • 1,217,000 people have been issued a Public Services Card, 25% of the population;
  • PeoplePoint, the Civil Service Human Resources and Pensions Shared Service, services more than 26,000 employees across 21 organisations;
  • Major external service delivery initiatives are being implemented, such as JobPath and the call centre for the Local Property Tax;
  • The procurement reform programme is implementing a new centralised model for public procurement to generate significant savings in non-pay expenditure;
  • Measures for improved and better integrated property management, set out in Accommodating Change – Measuring Success, are being implemented;
  • The Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, 2014 restores Ireland to the top tier of legal frameworks internationally for facilitating access to official information;
  • Leadership is being enhanced by implementation of the Senior Public Service (SPS) Leadership Development Strategy 2013-2015;
  • Measures affecting more than 90% of the State Bodies to be merged or rationalised have been completed. When fully completed, there will be 181 fewer bodies operating in the Irish Public Service than in 2011;
  • Implementation of the Civil Service Renewal programme is underway following the publication of a vision and action plan in the Civil Service Renewal Plan (October 2014); and
  • The Haddington Road Agreement continues to play a critical role in improving productivity, reducing costs and enabling reform.

Two previous Progress Reports have been published on the first Reform Plan (of November 2011). These are available at