Minister Donohoe welcomes positive findings of Public Sector Trends 2016 report

5th December, 2016

Ireland tops the poll for most professional & least politicized public service in EU


The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, today (Monday) welcomed the publication of the Institute of Public Administration’s (IPA) report on Public Sector Trends 2016.


The report, which has been published annually since 2010, is part of the IPA’s State of the Public Service series of research papers. It examines trends in public sector development, aggregating data from a number of sources – such as the World Economic Forum, the World Bank and the OECD – and compares Ireland’s performance against other European countries*.


Welcoming the report, Minister Donohoe said: ‘I am pleased to see that there are many positive messages in this assessment of how Ireland’s public services perform across a range of indicators. I am particularly pleased with the finding that Ireland comes first in the EU28 as having the most professional and least politicised public administration. The report reflects well on the programme of Public Service Reform which has been underway since 2011. With a new Public Service Reform Plan now being developed, it is timely to reflect on these findings to ensure we maintain a focus on further improvement of our public services to continue delivering for the Irish people’.


The report found that for quality and efficiency of public administration, Ireland continues to perform very well in terms of how it is perceived by business users. For instance:

  • Irish public services are still considered one of the least bureaucratic in Europe, with only Denmark and Sweden ahead;
  • Ireland is fifth in the EU28 for the quality of its public administration; a relatively steady score over the last three years;
  • Ireland remains sixth in the EU28 in upholding public service values (independence from political interference, corruption, transparency, fairness and equality); and
  • Ireland remains fourth in the EU28 in the rating of perceptions that Government decisions are effectively implemented.


Business uptake of eGovernment services remains among the highest in Europe and Ireland continues to have the highest take-up of electronic procurement in Europe.


Looking at public trust and confidence in public administration, this is an area where Ireland had been performing poorly in comparison with the rest of Europe since the onset of the economic crisis. However:

  • Although levels of trust continue to remain low, the position has improved across most of the indicators in 2016;
  • Trust in the Army is particularly strong at 85%, which puts Ireland forth in the EU28. Trust in An Garda Síochána is also strong at 71%; a few points above the EU average;
  • Trust in Government has slowly increased since 2013, with 28% saying they tended to trust the Government, just above the EU average of 27%; and
  • Trust in Parliament has also gradually increased and, at 29%, is just above the EU average.


The report can be found on the Institute of Public Administration’s website:




* The report assesses performance across the following areas:

  • The size and cost of the public sector;
  • The quality and efficiency of public administration;
  • Sectoral performance; and
  • Trust and confidence in public administration