Our Public Service 2020 is the framework for development and innovation in Ireland’s public service. It was preceded by two public service reform plans beginning in 2011. These plans have embedded a range of new approaches to governance, people management and service delivery, and have made the work of the public service more transparent, decision-making more accountable, and service delivery more effective.
Our Public Service 2020 was published in December 2017 and is built on three pillars:
The framework has 18 headline actions spanning the three pillars and representing cross-cutting strategic reforms that are being implemented across the public service. The objective is that, by 2020, these actions will be significantly advanced across the public service.
Civil Service Renewal
The Civil Service Renewal Programme Management Office co-ordinates and drives the Civil Service Renewal plan. The office works with project managers and Secretary General sponsors to implement the actions under the programme. It also has a key role in supporting the Civil Service Management Board (CSMB) which has a collective responsibility to deliver the actions in the Civil Service Renewal Plan.
It takes a lead role in developing and managing communications and engagement activities to support the implementation of the Renewal Programme. This includes maintaining a renewal portal for all civil servants. It also has lead responsibility for communications on the implementation of the Civil Service Renewal Plan, including the management of the annual Civil Service Excellence and Innovation Awards. The awards are hosted nationwide, at town hall meetings for civil servants. The programme also manages the running of a series of Civil Service Employee Engagement Surveys. Further information can be found on gov.ie, here, or at the Civil Service Renewal portal, here.
Our Public Service 2020 Pillars and Actions
Strong governance is key to successfully implementing the actions in Our Public Service 2020. Shared ownership of the framework and committed leadership are essential to sustain momentum over the duration of the framework and to ensure actions are prioritised within public service organisations and across sectors. (For more information on Our Public Service 2020 governance structures, please click here.)
Action teams established for prioritised actions under each pillar are made up of experts from the six main public service sectors – Civil Service, Health, Local Government, Education, Justice and Defence. Membership can be supplemented by others, if considered appropriate, to include an expert from an additional area, who works in an area of the action as part of their official position.
- Collaborate with other sectoral experts, through the action team, to recommend pathways to advance their action generally, in addition to specific sub-actions
- Seek opinions and advice from others within their sector in relation to the progression of their action
- Provide a perspective on the implementation of actions and sub-actions, and the potential impact within their sector
- Identify enablers, barriers, risks and opportunities in relation to the action and related sub-actions
- Where agreed, take a leadership role in coordinating a particular initiative/project resulting from the action
- Monitor and report to the Our Public Service 2020 governance structures
- Inform the relevant sectoral project management office of progress
The Reform and Delivery Office (RDO) in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform oversees implementation of this latest phase of public service reform.
Our Public Service 2020 builds on previous progress with a citizen-centric approach that emphasises outcomes. This framework focuses on supporting sustainable and continuous improvement to build a stronger public service and deliver better quality services to the public.
As well as innovation and working collaboratively across the whole of Government, the framework emphasises the importance of digital delivery and using data to achieve greater efficiency. It has a strong focus on organisations and people, with actions in areas such as strategic human resources, employee engagement, diversity and inclusion, and culture and values.
Our Public Service 2020 has a strengthened focus on achieving tangible change and outcomes. To support this, the recently established Reform Evaluation Unit (REU) in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, is working collaboratively with stakeholders to identify appropriate indicators to measure the successful implementation of actions in the framework, as well as to create stronger links between the reform programme and public expenditure processes.