2013 Annual Progress Report

In accordance with the Public Service Management Act 1997, a Strategy Statement for a period of three years is prepared and presented to each Minister. The Act also requires a report to the Minister on progress in meeting the objectives set out in the strategy statement.

The Department’s Statement of Strategy for 2011-2014 tasked us with a very ambitious programme of change and reform over a short period. This took place in an environment that was never more challenging, given the imperative to regain our economic sovereignty, support economic growth, promote employment and maintain social cohesion. The 2013 Annual Progress Report sets out how this Department met its objectives under the Statement of Strategy to sustain and support the overall national recovery effort.

The end of the year saw Ireland successfully exit from the international assistance programme.  A basic foundation for the successful conclusion of the troika programme was the stabilisation of public expenditure to a level that was sustainable and supported by the revenues Government can raise. This demanding objective was met. This crucial national priority has been achieved in substantial part due to the endeavours of this Department, supported by other Departments and public agencies, over the period since 2011 and the specific achievements of 2013 set out in this report.

Key achievements, detailed in the report, were:

  • Overall expenditure targets were met
  • A significant milestone was reached on the road to a more sustainable pay bill in the Haddington Road Agreement
  • The commencement of the Single Public Service Pension Scheme in January 2013 marked a major step forward in putting the public service superannuation bill on an affordable foundation
  • The introduction of a revised public service sick scheme will also help to contain pay bill costs and increase public service outputs
  • The Reform and Delivery Office in the Department drove the implementation of the Public Service Reform Plan across the public service with a particular focus on cost reduction and efficiency measures
  • The Government Reform Unit of the Department continued to progress a very substantial body of legislation to reform our political framework, enhance greater transparency and accountability in Government and help increase public trust in State institutions
  • The Office of Government Procurement was established as a dedicated office within the Department to co-ordinate and integrate procurement in the public service to secure greater value for money
  • The National Shared Services Office was also established as a dedicated office to pull together common services for Government Departments and other public bodies in areas like human resources, payroll and financial management; this will produce economies of scale and cost savings which will help maintain public services
  • The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer was established within the Department to devise and implement an ICT strategy for the Public Service
  • The Department made a very substantial contribution to the formulation of the Medium Term Economic Strategy adopted by Government in late 2013

The Irish Version of the report is available here.