Minister Donohoe welcomes new survey showing 82% of business customers satisfied with civil service interaction

12th January, 2017

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, T.D., today (Thursday) published the results of a survey of civil service business customers commissioned by his 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. The last such survey was undertaken in 2009.


The main findings are as follows:


  • 97% of businesses have interacted with the civil service within the last 12 months;
  • The satisfaction of business customers with the service they received is up over 10% since 2009, with satisfaction levels improving from 71% in 2009 to 82% in 2016;
  • Satisfaction with the outcome of the interaction has also improved from 70% in 2009 to 82% in 2016;
  • The way in which businesses interact with the civil service has changed since 2009 – with 83% of businesses now interacting via online services compared to 33% in 2009, a 50 percentage point increase;
  • The majority of respondents (61%) agreed that the service provided by the civil service has improved in the last 5 years.


Speaking today, Minister Donohoe said: ‘The results of the survey are very positive, particularly when one considers the difficult years from which we are emerging. These results reflect the commitment of civil servants to the provision of quality services. They also provide assurance as to the consistently high standard of service delivery’.


The Minister added that “The results of the survey will inform ongoing developments in service delivery across Government Departments and Offices. These results also highlight the trend toward online delivery of services and show the strong demand from the business community to continue to interact with the civil service through online methods in the future.


“While these results are reassuring, there are some results that give pause for thought. While around 7 in 10 of those surveyed (71%) agreed that the civil service deals with business in a fair and equal way, just over half (51%) agreed that the civil service serves all segments of society equally (24% disagreed and 25% were neutral). This suggests a disconnect between how the civil service performs and how it is perceived and that further work needs to be done to improve how the service promotes our values and gets positive messages across. It is our intention to address this challenge in the forthcoming Public Service Reform Plan.”


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 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.” It also demonstrates the civil service’s commitment to improving the quality of service delivery to its business customers at a central level. The survey was undertaken by Perceptive Insight on behalf of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.




Note to Editors:

The survey was undertaken by Perceptive Insight 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 September and October 2016 through telephone interviews with over 534 businesses nationwide –

  • 300 businesses with 0 to 9 employees;
  • 134 businesses with 10 to 49 employees; and
  • 100 businesses with more than 50 employees.


The survey examined 3 main areas:

  • The interaction that businesses have with the civil service;
  • Levels of satisfaction with the service provided; and
  • Overall satisfaction with the civil service.


The full results of the survey, and an accompanying infographic, can be seen at:


The role of the Reform and Delivery Office (RDO) in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is to drive and oversee the implementation of the Government’s Public Service Reform Plan 2014-16.  The Reform Plan and other information related to public service reform can be seen at:


As part of this role, the RDO is responsible for the development, promotion and implementation of the Quality Customer Service (QCS) Initiative in the Civil Service, including the promotion of best practice in customer service and the use of more efficient channels for service delivery. Details of the QCS Initiative can be seen at:


Perceptive Insight Market Research is a market research firm based in Belfast. It was established in 2006 to meet the market and social research needs of both public and private sector clients across the island of Ireland. They have extensive experience working with Government Departments and Agencies.


Ipsos MRBI have been commissioned by the Reform and Delivery Office to undertake the 2017 survey of Civil Service General Public Customers. Fieldwork for this survey will take place in January and February 2017, with a view to publication later in the year.