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Policy Information

Civil Service Renewal

Published: 31 October 2014
From: Department of Public Expenditure and Reform


The Civil Service serves the State and the people of Ireland by carrying out the work of Government and delivering public services efficiently and effectively. There are approximately 40,000 civil servants working in a range of Government Departments and Offices.

The central role of the Civil Service means it is uniquely placed to support the other sectors of the Public Service to achieve their objectives, progress reform and deliver quality outcomes. The Civil Service is committed to ensuring that it has the capacity and capability to support the social and economic development of the country.

The Civil Service Renewal Plan sets out a programme of reform for the Civil Service. The next Civil Service Renewal Plan, expected in 2019, will align with the programme of reform for the wider Public Service under Our Public Service 2020 .

Renewal Plan

In October 2014, Ireland's first ever Civil Service Renewal Plan was launched. It identifies actions to take in four key areas, which will strengthen capacity, capability, accountability and leadership throughout the Civil Service.

This involves:

  • managing the civil service as a single organisation
  • maximising the performance of all civil service employees and organisations
  • changing the culture, structure and processes within the civil service for increased flexibility and responsiveness
  • continuing to learn and improve by being open to external ideas


The Renewal Plan was the culmination of over 12 months work by an independent panel on strengthening civil service accountability and performance, as well as a taskforce of civil servants from all departments.

Contributions were also obtained from the general public, 2,000 staff members, Ministers and members of both Houses of the Oireachtas, heads of departments and offices, international parties, and expert bodies.

Periodic reports on the progress of the 2014 Renewal Plan can be found here .

A new Renewal Plan is expected to be launched in 2019.

There is a Civil Service Renewal Programme Management Office which oversees this operation.