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Press Release

Minister Donohoe welcomes publication of the First Progress Report on Our Public Service 2020

Published: 3 October 2019
From: Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

The Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, and Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan TD today published the First Progress Report on Our Public Service 2020 – the framework for development and innovation for the public service to 2020 and beyond.

Our Public Service 2020 provides the framework for continuous transformation across the public service, new innovative leadership and governance structures to drive reform, shared responsibility for reform, and shared ownership of actions. The report also outlines the range of initiatives highlighting how our public services are working to increase customer satisfaction, greater use of digital tools, better quality services, better effectiveness, a culture of innovation and greater public and employee engagement.

Our Public Service 2020, first published in December 2017, is built across three pillars:

  • Delivering for Our Public
  • Innovating for Our Future
  • Developing Our People and Organisations

These three pillars encompass new initiatives as well as building upon the many reforms already in place, or in development, at the time of publication. The framework also provides a pathway for future developments beyond 2020 underpinned by an innovative governance structure that sees responsibility for reform being shared across the entire public service together with a shared ownership of actions.

In launching the Progress Report, Minister Donohoe said:

“I am very pleased to launch the Progress Report representing as it does, the clear and continuing commitment within the public service to embrace innovation and change."
"Transformation across the diverse sectors that make up our public service in Ireland is a continuous process – and the Our Public Service 2020 framework builds on our achievements under two major programmes of reform since 2011. The case studies and variety of initiatives showcased in the report give the public an insight into both the breadth of activities being undertaken by our public servants and their openness to innovation and change."

Digital delivery, innovation, communications, and collaboration are key themes within Our Public Service 2020.

Initiatives undertaken, or underway, in these areas include:

  • implementation of the Digital Services gateway – gov.ie
  • development of best practices in citizen engagement and communications
  • establishment of networks (Innovation; Communications; Customer Service; Strategic HR; Programme & Project Management) to facilitate sharing of best practices across the public service
  • establishment of a new Public Service Innovation Fund to support innovative projects from across the public service

A total of 17 case studies are outlined in the report – including:

  • Rating Digital Services for Citizens
  • Citizens Assembly – Department of the Taoiseach
  • An Garda Siochana – Active Mobility Service (AMS)
  • Blockathon: World first Blockchain (Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)) Hackathon for public services – Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and Department of Finance
  • Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation – Innovation Week
  • HSE – Inaugural Strategic Workforce Planning Conference
  • Property Registration Authority – Diversity and Inclusion

Minister of State O’Donovan said:

“It is important to acknowledge that the public service does many things very well while operating in a very complex environment with ever growing expectations from citizens. We need to build on these strengths and learn from experience."
"The three pillars underpinning Our Public Service 2020 - delivering for our public – innovating for our future – developing our people and organisations - are the foundations upon which a more responsive public service is being built. Shared ownership and shared knowledge is a key component in ensuring that the framework will have a real impact."


Notes to the Editor:


Our Public Service 2020, published in December 2017, is the framework for continuing development and innovation in the public service.

The framework builds on achievements under two major programmes of reform since 2011 - Public Service Reform Plan 2011; Public Service Reform Plan 2014-2016. It also reflects the considerations of the OECD regarding the next phase of public service reform in Ireland arising from the OECD’s assessment of the 2014-2016 Plan.

Our Public Service 2020 sets out six high level outcomes for the Public Service with the framework itself being built on three key pillars:

  • Delivering for Our Public
  • Innovating for Our Future
  • Developing Our People and Organisations

The three pillars are themselves underpinned by eighteen headline actions (see below).

Specifically a strengthened and innovative governance structure has been established under Our Public Service 2020 spearheaded by a Public Service Leadership Board (PSLB), with representation at Secretary General/CEO level from across the public service, to provide overall leadership of, and commitment to, ongoing public service development and innovation.

Our Public Service 2020 builds on reforms in place or in development prior to the launch of the framework that align with the framework. New initiatives and policies will also be commenced on an on-going basis over the lifespan of Our Public Service 2020.

The Progress Report provides a snapshot of a range of activities underway across the wider public service and/or within individual sectors- with particular emphasis on the six headline actions selected by the Public Service Leadership Board as priority actions for 2018.