Civil Service Renewal


On 30th October 2014 the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform and the Taoiseach launched the Civil Service Renewal Plan.This ambitious plan incorporates a vision and a three year action plan to renew the Irish Civil Service.

The Renewal Plan delivers on a key Programme for Government commitment and represents a fundamental new vision and direction for the Civil Service. The Renewal Plan is the culmination of over 12 months work by two separate but related groups: the Independent Panel on strengthening Civil Service Accountability and Performance  and a Civil Service Renewal Taskforce made up of Civil servants from all Government Departments. The engagement process for the renewal programme involved face-to-face consultations with almost 2,000 staff and stakeholders to gauge their views on what works well in the civil service; and what is in need of change. Government Ministers and members of both Houses of the Oireachtas were asked for their views. In addition, the heads of Departments and Offices of State, as well as members of the public, international parties and expert bodies were also invited to contribute. The Renewal Plan focuses on driving practical change through 25 specific actions in four key areas:

  1. Unified – Managing the civil service as a single unified organisation
  2. Professional – Maximising the performance and potential of all civil service employees and organisations
  3. Responsive – Changing our culture, structure and processes so that we become more agile, flexible and responsive
  4. Open and Accountable – Continuously learning and improving by being open to external ideas, challenge and debate.

The Programme Management Office is now operational and work has started, led by the Civil Service Management Board, and good progress is being made on the following priority actions:

  • Establishing an Accountability Board, chaired by the Taoiseach
  • Developing a performance review process for Secretaries General
  • Carrying out an end to end review of the disciplinary code
  • Running open recruitment competitions in key areas
  • Developing the first Civil Service wide staff engagement survey
  • Engaging with staff through a national suite of Town Hall events

Work has also started on the development of a new shared model for Learning and Development, the recognition of staff excellence and innovation and developing a series of open policy debates.

A full copy of the plan is available to download here and the Irish version here along with supporting documents:


The Civil Service Employee Engagement Survey

In September 2015 the Civil Service carried out the first ever Employee Engagement Survey. The survey asked civil servants 112 questions about working in the Civil Service. Over 15,500 Irish civil servants worldwide took part, providing their views on areas like employee engagement, well-being, coping with change and commitment to the organisation.

This survey is a key action in the Civil Service Renewal Plan to continually improve and progress through a period  of transformational change. This milestone highlights the pace of progress in implementing the Civil Service Renewal Plan and clearly demonstrates that the Civil Service is serious about improving how it does business to better serve the Irish people.

The survey was published on 28th January, can be found here.


The Civil Service Excellence and Innovation Awards 2015

The Civil Service Excellence and Innovation Awards is a new, annual event to recognise staff excellence and innovation in the Civil Service. It implements the commitment under Action 13 in the Civil Service Renewal Plan. Every day, the Civil Service makes a vital contribution to Irish life and society. Our ability to carry out the work of Government and deliver ‘world class’ public services is dependent on the commitment we each make, often in challenging circumstances. The Awards will recognise these achievements and showcase innovations in policy and service delivery across the Civil Service.

The Civil Service Excellence and Innovation Awards – FAQ

Please see progress achieved in the first 200 days of the Civil Service Renewal Plan:


Civil Service Renewal Video

This video below captures the diversity of the Civil Service and the high calibre of work civil servants perform every day. It also highlights some of the significant historic events that have shaped how we work today. This video was created in conjunction with the inaugural Civil Service Excellence and Innovation Awards which aimed to instil a sense of pride and recognise the fantastic work carried out by civil servants across the country whilst serving the people of Ireland.


We are keen to continue hearing from all stakeholders, especially the public whom we serve. If you have any views or comments on the plan or its implementation please submit your views: By email to: Or by post to: Civil Service Renewal Department of Public Expenditure and Reform 7/9 Merrion Row Dublin 2.