Minister Donohoe and Secretary General Watt welcome new survey showing 83% of general public happy with their interaction with the Civil Service in 2017

5th April, 2017

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, T.D., and the Secretary General for the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Robert Watt, today published the results of a survey of general public customers of the Civil Service commissioned by their Department.


The purpose of the survey was to ascertain satisfaction levels with services received, as well as more general perceptions of, and attitudes towards, Civil Service Departments and major Offices. This series of 7 surveys began in 1997 with the most recent previous survey undertaken in 2015.


The main findings are:

  • Overall satisfaction levels for service delivery and outcome are the highest recorded to date. 83% of customers were satisfied with the service received (up from 76% in 2015). 82% were satisfied with the outcome of their most recent contact (also up from 76% in 2015), and 87% said service levels are mostly meeting or exceeding expectations (up from 83% in 2015). 
  • The service delivered by Civil Service staff continues to rate favourably, while interactions in person show particularly strong improvements.
  • The public’s perceptions of civil service efficiency, trust, independence and equality have all increased.

Speaking today, Minister Donohoe said: “I am very pleased by the results of this survey. The very positive results, for example in terms of overall satisfaction with services and outcomes, reflect the commitment of civil servants to the provision of quality services. I note that interactions with Civil Service staff were rated very well and civil servants, particularly frontline staff should be proud of this achievement.


“I strongly believe that the customer should be at the heart of everything we do. Indeed, I have asked that the customer be a key focus of the new Public Service Development and Innovation Framework.  The Framework will focus, first and foremost, on our customers – the Irish public. It will focus on increasing access, enabling better delivery and engagement with them using new tools such as increased digitisation, increasing accessibility and better data-sharing.”


Secretary General Watt stated that: “I am glad that perceptions of Civil Service, particularly among customers, have improved since the last survey in 2015.


“The results of the survey will inform ongoing developments in service-delivery across Government Departments and Offices. The results will inform future delivery of services, particularly more digital delivery of services. There will always be room for improvement in any organisation. But we will strive to maintain the very high levels of satisfaction recorded here as well as addressing any aspect of our services that need attention”.




Notes to Editors:


The survey was carried out to meet a commitment in the Government’s Public Service Reform Plan 2014-2016 to “Run regular surveys of Civil Service customers to more fully understand user experiences, expectations and requirements”.  The survey also delivers on a commitment in the Civil Service Renewal Plan to “Run regular surveys of Civil Service customers to more fully understand user experiences, expectations and requirements”.


The survey was undertaken by Ipsos MRBI on behalf of the Reform Delivery Office in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, following an open tendering process.


The fieldwork was carried out in Q1 2017 with over 2,000 face-to-face interviews conducted nationwide. Quotas were applied to ensure the sample was representative of age, gender, region and social class. This is the seventh such survey which allows for benchmarking against previous results.


The full results of the survey, and an accompanying infographic, can be seen here.


It is also intended to publish the data sets underpinning the survey on the Open Data Portal. This reflects the Government’s commitment to promote innovation and transparency through the publication of Irish public sector data in open, free and reusable formats.


The survey examined 3 main areas:

  • The interaction that the general public has with the civil service;
  • Levels of satisfaction with the service provided; and
  • Overall satisfaction with the civil service.

This survey complements the Civil Service Business Customer Survey 2016 which was published by DPER in January 2017. This was a survey of 534 business conducted by telephone by Perceptive Insight. That survey found that 82% of businesses were satisfied with the service they received during their last transaction and 82% were satisfied with the outcome of this interaction. Perceptive Insight is a market research firm based in Belfast which was selected following an open tender process.