Minister Launches Third Progress Report on Civil Service Renewal

30th June, 2017

Ambitious Action Plan is delivering major change


The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D., today (Friday) published the Third Progress Report on the implementation of the Civil Service Renewal Plan. This large-scale transformation programme supports a more unified, professional, responsive, open and accountable civil service.


Speaking at an event to mark the launch of the report the Minister commented: ‘I am very pleased to see the significant progress that has been made during the latest phase of implementation of the Civil Service Renewal Plan.  We are seeing the real impact of the changes throughout the civil service which is focused on developing the capability and capacity of the civil service. This is being achieved through a number of actions to enable a more unified, professional, responsive, open and accountable civil service.’ 


The Minister further added: “If we are to meet future challenges effectively, we need the civil service to deliver policy objectives through modern processes and systems and also through innovative ways of working within and across Government Departments. The actions that are being delivered under the plan are helping to achieve this”.

Robert Watt, Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform said that: ‘The Civil Service has gone through an enormous period of change, and this latest progress report on the implementation of the Renewal Plan reflects very positively on the civil service around a whole suite of issues. Staff are critical to achieving the ambition in the plan. Departments are implementing various initiatives in response to the first-ever Civil Service-wide Employee Engagement Survey. The development of a new Civil Service People Strategy is an example of the new HR initiatives that support high levels of performance, to meet current and future business needs’.

The Plan itself represents a very comprehensive and ambitious change programme for the civil service and its staff. The Minister highlighted his appreciation for the support that has been shown for the agenda across the wider civil service saying: “I would like to acknowledge the continuing engagement of staff on the Renewal Plan and their willingness to embrace the actions in the plan.  I also want to commend the Civil Service Management Board (CSMB) for collectively overseeing the delivery of the plan and their strong leadership on this agenda”.

Notes for Editors

The Third Progress Report includes details on the priority initiatives that have been progressed and the progress made since the commencement of the Renewal Plan in late 2014. The actions prioritised for the third phase of implementation were:

  • Whole-of-Government pathfinder learning outcomes (Action 5)

Three pathfinder projects are piloting new ways for delivering Whole-of-Government work.

  • Develop strategic HR capability (Action 7)

A Civil Service People Strategy has been finalised and approved by the Civil Service Management Board (CSMB). This strategy will strengthen strategic HR capability across all civil service organisations and sets the strategic HR agenda for 2017 to 2020.

  • Establish a new shared model for delivering learning and development (Action 9)

Significant progress has been made in preparing for the introduction of the new shared Learning and Development model.

  • Introduce talent management programmes (Action 10)

Pilot executive leadership programmes for Senior Public Service and Principal Officer levels were introduced as part of a new talent management initiative.

  • Improve project management capacity (Action 17)

The Civil Service Project Management Leaders and Advisory Service (PMLAS) and a Project Managers’ Network was established to improve project management capacity.

  • Strengthen policy-making skills (Action 22)

Work is advancing on the development of a guidance framework for policy-making to support Departments. This will provide support for Departments on the fundamental stages of policy-making and will ensure a consistent approach to policy-making is embedded throughout the civil service.

Key Messages on the Third Progress Report are available here. The remaining action points will be implemented during the fourth (and final) phase of delivery, which will bring the cycle up to end December 2017.