Minister Donohoe publishes the Second Progress Report on Civil Service Renewal

12th July, 2016

Plan supports improved performance for a better run Civil Service and more rewarding workplace for staff


The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, today (Tuesday) published the Second Progress Report on the Civil Service Renewal Plan.  The report details the significant progress achieved in implementing this Plan.


Commenting on the positive developments in the Report the Minister said: ‘The ambitious programme of change in the Civil Service is very visible and I am pleased to note the significant progress made during the second phase of implementation.  The focus over the last number of months has been on ensuring that the priority actions are delivered and I am pleased to see that measures are now having a positive impact on stakeholders and staff in particular’.


“The Civil Service Renewal Plan aims to create a more unified, responsive, professional, open and accountable Civil Service with a vision to provide a world-class service to the State.  I am pleased to report that all 25 actions in the Plan have now been initiated.”


Phase 1 of implementation focused on establishing governance structures, creating momentum and initiating a number of actions in the Plan.  The challenge for Phase 2 was to translate this progress into tangible impact.


The actions prioritised for the second phase of implementation are on track for successful delivery as follows:

  • Implement a Common Governance Standard for the Civil Service (Action 3)
    The Government agreed a common governance standard for the Civil Service this year.  All Departments have published their governance frameworks in accordance with the Standard. This strengthens the accountability of the Civil Service as a unified organisation.
  • Strengthen performance management for all civil servants (Action 11)
    A new performance management policy has been developed with the introduction, in 2016, of a new 2-point rating format for the Performance Management and Development System (PMDS) which identifies satisfactory and unsatisfactory performance. It provides an opportunity to review and develop high performance and to address underperformance where it occurs.
  • Enhanced reviews for Assistant Secretaries (Action 12)

An enhanced performance review process for Assistant Secretaries, which includes 360 degree feedback (from line manager, direct reports, peers and external stakeholders) is being implemented this year following a successful pilot in 2015.

  • Recognise staff excellence and innovation (Action 13)
    In December 2015 the inaugural Civil Service Excellence and Innovation Awards ceremony was held in Dublin Castle. A total of 94 projects were submitted, with 32 shortlisted from nearly 30 Departments and Offices across the Civil Service. The awards showcased best practice and innovation in 10 award categories. Preparations are underway for this year’s awards.
  • Expand career and mobility opportunities for staff (Action 15)
    An interdepartmental Principal Officer Mobility Policy was implemented in July 2015. Guiding principles for the development of a Civil Service-wide staff mobility scheme have been approved by the Civil Service Management Board (CSMB). Plans to pilot this scheme for Clerical Officers and Executive Officers are well advanced.
  • Implement a programme of Organisational Capability Reviews (Action 20)
    A new programme of Organisational Capability Reviews has commenced with a pilot review of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
  • Improve internal Civil Service communications (Action 23)
    A programme of engagement and communications with over 36,000 staff has been framed around the results of the first ever Civil Service Employee Engagement Survey along with Townhall meetings at various locations across the country, other renewal-related events and regular updates on our website.


The Minister concluded that: ‘All of the priority actions identified for Phase 2 are on track for delivery and significant progress has been made on other actions in the Plan. I am looking forward to seeing momentum being maintained into the next phase of implementation of the Plan.  The actions in the Plan will help to future proof the Civil Service and support improved performance of Departments and Offices, making for a more efficient Civil Service and a more rewarding workplace for staff’.




Notes to editors:

  • Key messages on the Second Progress Report are available here
  • Details on the Civil Service Employee Engagement Survey are available here