Minister Howlin publishes first Progress Report on the Civil Service Renewal Plan showing 23 of 25 actions in the Plan underway within the ‘first 200 days

Issued 8 July 2015

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Mr Brendan Howlin T.D. today (Wednesday 8 July 2015) published a progress report on the Civil Service Renewal Plan. This marks the commitment to deliver 6 priority actions within the ‘first 200 days’ of implementation of the Plan.

Remarking on the extent of progress achieved to date, the Minister said: “I am very pleased to see that the Civil Service is embracing the Renewal Plan and is making solid progress on achieving the programme of change in the Plan. The progress achieved in the ‘first 200 days’ shows that the Plan is on track to deliver transformational change across the Civil Service. I look forward to its continued success”.

The Taoiseach also commended the progress achieved in the ‘first 200 days’: “Rebuilding a sustainable enterprise-led economy will require a dynamic and forward looking Civil Service that is capable of meeting the challenges of recovery. The progress of renewal to date is a clear demonstration that the Civil Service is serious about implementing the actions set out in the plan to better serve the Irish people."

Key facts since publication of the Plan in October 2014:

· Of the 25 major actions in the Plan, 23 have been initiated

· Of the 104 specific sub-actions in the Plan, 14 have been completed and 54 are underway

Projects to implement all 6 priority actions are underway and on track for successful delivery. Significant progress to date includes:

· An Accountability Board has been established to bring together Civil Service, Ministerial and external perspectives on Civil Service performance for the first time (Action 1).

· The Civil Service Management Board (CSMB) has been established for the first time to bring together all Heads of Departments and major Offices into a cohesive whole-of-Government executive management team. All Members of the Board have been assigned responsibility to lead one or more Renewal Plan actions. The Minutes of all CSMB meetings are published on a monthly basis. (Action 2)

· A performance review process for Secretaries General has been approved and will be introduced for the next performance year, January 2016 (Action 12).

· Options to strengthen the Disciplinary Code have been identified and a revised code has been drafted which will be subject to the normal consultation processes (Action 11).

· Open recruitment campaigns have been held for Principal, Assistant Principal, Administrative Officer, Executive Officer and Clerical Officer grades in the Civil Service. This builds on the existing arrangements for open competition at top management levels (Action 8).

· The first Civil Service wide employee engagement survey has been piloted by more than 700 staff and will issue to all civil servants in Q3 2015 (Action 25).

In addition to the 6 priority actions, progress has been accelerated in a range of other areas:

· A common corporate governance standard for all Government Departments and Offices has been developed for the first time and is being finalised following public consultation (Action 3).

· An enhanced performance review process for Assistant Secretaries has been developed and will be piloted by four Government Departments in 2015 (Action 12).

· Proposed model for learning and development model to improve capability through enhanced procurement and shared delivery of training across the Civil Service has been agreed and will now proceed to business case evaluation (Action 9).

· A Civil Service Customer Satisfaction Survey was completed by 2,000 customers and published in Q2 2015, with survey results highlighting strong and stable satisfaction levels (Action 23).

· Eleven open policy debates have been held to date to involve policy networks of practitioners, academics and experts in a range of policy issues across Government including: Education Reform; The National Risk Assessment; The Labour Market Symposium; and Future Investment in Early Years Education. Nine more are also scheduled for 2015. (Action 22).

· An ICT Strategy to deliver better outcomes and efficiency through innovation and excellence in ICT was published in Q1 2015 and implementation is underway (Action 19).

· A Chief Human Resources Officer for the Civil Service has been appointed and will take up the post in Q3 2015 (Actions 7 and 14).

· Building on the existing arrangements for mobility at Assistant Secretary level, the first mobility policy for senior managers at Principal level has been agreed and the first moves are expected in Q3 2015 (Action 15).

Further detail on implementation progress including a progress report and key messages is available at

Notes to Editors:

· The Civil Service Renewal Plan is an initiative under the Public Service Plan – details available here

· The Civil Service Renewal Plan was published in October 2014. The Plan and associated documents (background data report and a report on staff engagement) are available here

· Minutes for all CSMB meetings are published and available here

· A short progress report noting achievements in the ‘first 200 days’ of the Renewal Plan is available here

· Key messages on progress to date are available here