What is Our Public Service?

Our Public Service is the framework for development and innovation in Ireland’s public service, led by the Public Service Transformation Delivery team at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform(DPER).  It was preceded by, and builds on, 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.

Overall, the Public Service Transformation Delivery unit is responsible for driving and delivering the Government’s programme of public service transformation, innovation, and civil service renewal.  It oversees policy and practice initiatives that provide for the continuous positive development of public services, that include:

  • Implementation of actions contained in the Our Public Service framework, the Civil Service Renewal 2030 Strategy, and in national digital strategy;
  • Innovation funding, services and supports;
  • Networks that enable sharing of information, evaluation/analysis, collaboration and co-creation;
  • Learning and development opportunities;
  • Emerging technology tools;
  • Monthly events, and high profile initiatives such as National Public Service Innovation Week and the Future Tech Challenge;
  • The annual Civil Service Excellence and Innovation Awards;
  • Coordinating Ireland’s Open Government Partnership National Action Plan.
  • Coordinating Ireland’s Technical Support Instrument, which provides tailor-made technical expertise to EU member states.

Our Public Service Launch Video


Our Public Service Progress Dec 2020


Our Public Service was published in December 2017 and is constructed around three pillars:

The Our Public Service Summary Booklet is available to read here.

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.

The Our Public Service First Progress Report was published in October 2019.

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 Pillars and Actions

Strong governance is key to successfully implementing the actions in Our Public Service. 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 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.

Action teams:

  • 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 governance structures
  • Inform the relevant sectoral project management office of progress

The Public Service Transformation Delivery team in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform oversees implementation of this latest phase of public service reform.

Our Public Service 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 has a strengthened focus on achieving tangible change and outcomes.