The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D., and Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin T.D., today (25 May 2015) announced the formal establishment of the Accountability Board for the Civil Service.  Establishing the Board is one of the priorities for the first phase of delivery of the actions in the Civil Service Renewal Plan.

Speaking at the announcement the Taoiseach said:

“This is the first time that such a Board has been set up to strengthen accountability and performance across the Civil Service and I look forward to working with the other members to ensure the Civil Service delivers the highest standard of service to the State and its people”.

Minister Howlin said:

I am very pleased to announce the establishment of the Accountability Board. This is a very important development for the Civil Service and all of its stakeholders and for the Government’s reform agenda.  The Board will serve to bring greater oversight of delivery in the civil service system and will help provide assurance on how the Civil Service is performing”.

The new Board, which will operate on a non-statutory basis, includes independent members who are not part of the Civil Service who will bring an external perspective to the role of the Board.  The independent external members have been appointed following an open process by the Public Appointments Service.  The appointees have held senior leadership roles at the highest levels in large and complex organisations, have promoted and led on the achievement of high levels of corporate governance practice and have significant successful career records at senior levels.

The independent members who have been appointed are:

  • Paul Farrell, GBS Leader for the UK and Ireland, IBM Europe
  • Dr Dorothy Scally, Chairperson, Top Level Appointments Committee, Professional Development Consultant
  • Shane Bissett, Director, The Royal Mint, UK
  • Bernie Gray, Partner, Better Boards

Commenting on the work of the Accountability Board Minister Howlin also said:

I am looking forward to working with my colleagues on the Board.  I believe that the Board can play a very constructive role in supporting the development of the Civil Service and helping to ensure that it is geared up for all of the challenges it faces.  The terms of reference for the Board clearly shows the added value role which the Board can bring to the Civil Service.  In particular I have no doubt that the high calibre independent Board members will bring their senior executive experience and insight to the Board’s role”.

Arrangements are being made for the first meeting of the Board which is expected to take place in July 2015.

ENDS

 

Note for editors:

The Accountability Board has been provided for under the Civil Service Renewal Plan following on from a recommendation of the Independent Panel on Strengthening Civil Service Accountability and Performance. The Board is chaired by the Taoiseach and balanced with ministerial, civil service and independent external members.

The membership of the Board is:

  • An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D. (Chair)
  • Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton T.D.
  • Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin T.D.
  • Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan T.D.
  • Martin Fraser, Secretary General, Department of the Taoiseach
  • Robert Watt, Secretary General, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
  • Seán Ó Foghlú, Secretary General, Department of Education and Skills
  • Niall Cody, Chairman, Revenue Commissioners
  • Paul Farrell, GBS Leader for the UK and Ireland, IBM Europe
  • Dr Dorothy Scally, Chairperson, Top Level Appointments Committee, Professional Development Consultant
  • Bernie Gray, Partner, Better Boards
  • Shane Bissett, Director, The Royal Mint, UK

The Terms of Reference for the Accountability the Board are:

  • to have an overall governance role across the Civil Service and advise on and support the development of the capacity and capability of the Civil Service;
  • to provide oversight and review of proposals for a new performance management system for Secretaries General and the effective implementation and operation of the system across the Civil Service;
  • to provide oversight and review of the new programme of Organisational Capability Reviews including implementation of recommendations arising out of them; and
  • to oversee Civil Service capability in implementing cross-cutting priorities set by Government or other system wide issues;  this may involve considering individual case studies to promote learning and highlight best practice.