The Best of the Public Service



The Public Service is rich with examples of achievement and success. Every year new and significant Public Service projects and developments emerge that throw the old age stereotype of the static, antiquated Irish Public Service on its head.

As a Public Servant you could have the opportunity to contribute to, and be actively involved in, significant projects that could have a real and tangible impact on varying aspects of Irish society and culture. From technological advancements, including the inventive use of social media or apps, right through to the cutting edge developments taking place in sectors such as business, healthcare, education and agriculture, the Public Service is a broad and fertile arena for creativity and innovation.

In this section we have pulled together some introductory information on the Public Service as a whole, some useful links on how the Public Service is reforming itself to meet a range of current and emerging challenges, as well as a number of practical case studies of significant projects that have been recognised for their excellence in making a difference to our fellow citizens here in Ireland.

Click on the links below to get an insight into some of the important ways Public and Civil Servants have been making an impact in the world of Irish innovation:

About the Public Service

The Public Service is vital to the economic and social life of Ireland implementing policies and delivering a wide range of services to the public. The following chart provides a good overview of the different sectors, sub sectors, relationships and positioning in relation to Government:


Though it might look complicated, the overriding purpose of the Public Service is to provide services for the public. So whether it’s the 16 different Government departments, the agencies that make up the Irish Health Service Executive, or an Garda Siochana, the crucial function of the Public Service is to serve and assist the Irish Public. This involves working with the government, helping in the drafting of new policies and legislation, and ensuring timely and efficient implementation of policies and services. Consequently, the services delivered by and within the Irish Public Service today directly influences the ways in which the country is experienced and regulated and has a great impact on the ways in which Ireland is perceived both at home and globally.

In line with the ever changing technological and social space of Ireland today, the Public Service consequently requires a diverse, skilled and flexible workforce that can interpret, evaluate and respond to the changes taking place in our society. Working within the Public Service offers the unique opportunity to deliver crucial services to the Irish public and to assist with the vital Services that influence and shape Irish society today.

Given the widely diverse and influential nature of the Irish Public Service, it holds the promise of varied, dynamic and exciting work opportunities for graduates of diverse expertise, interests and talents. The Public Service involves itself with everyday life issues, changes and innovations constantly, resulting in developments and continuous advancements that improve the lives of the Irish people and ensure that the best possible service is delivered.

And that's why we need you! To do this work we need to add new talent to our team - committed, ambitious individuals with an interest in developing policy and improving services delivered to the Public in Ireland.

The Public Service Reform Programme

Public services are essential to the functioning of our economy and our society and a strong and effective Public Service is recognised as a source of competitive advantage for any country. The Irish Public Service has already made a major contribution to national recovery and, as the country now enters a new phase after the conclusion of the troika programme, the Public Service must continue to play a central role in our continued recovery.

The Public Service Reform Plan was first introduced in 2011, wherein the Government outlined key commitments and actions for change across the Public Service. Since the introduction of this plan, it has been established that renewed reforms should be developed, to build on the progress made to date and to re-focus and reinforce the Governments ambitions going forward. A new Public Service Reform Plan published in January 2014, highlights the specifics involved in the next phase of the reform programme and this plan particularly emphasises the need for focus on increased efficiency and openness in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for our people, our economy and our society – as per the diagram below:

Reform Plan

This plan highlights the reform required in the ways the Public Service designs and delivers services, with a prevailing focus on service users, efficiency and openness - all underpinned by a strong emphasis on leadership, capability and delivery. Therefore, what the Public Service needs from its workforce are individuals who have a capacity for forward thinking, great vision and who are ready and prepared to take on the task of putting this reform plan into action – and that’s exactly where you come in! With a career in the Public Service you could be right in the middle of this reformation of the Irish Public Service, and you could have a crucial role in the changes and developments currently taking place across the Irish Government.

Please see the links below for more information about the Public Service Reform plan:

Civil Service Renewal Plan

Something else that might be of interest is the more recent launch of the Civil Service Renewal Plan on the 30th October 2014. Full details regarding this plan are available here.

Vision One

This plan is the result of the largest consultation exercise undertaken across the Civil Service and an engagement process involving a range of stakeholders in Ireland and internationally. It is proposed that this renewal will be phased over 3 years, and will involve people working together to achieve real and tangible reform for the state and the people of Ireland, as well as creating a more sound working environment for Civil Servants nationwide. This will be achieved by ensuring that exceptional performance is recognised and celebrated throughout the Civil Service; by making sure that staff have more opportunities for continuous learning or mobility if desired; and by providing staff with the route to a structured career path in professional streams. Staff will also benefit from having more opportunities to work on cross-cutting projects and will be given clearer accountability for performance. This represents a new and exciting direction for the Irish Civil Service, and will move us forward to becoming more unified, professional, responsive, open and accountable. All in all this will make the Civil Service a more exiting and engaging area to work in, as well as ensuring that the service provided by the Civil Service to the State and to the people of Ireland is maintained at a persistently exceptional standard.

Excellence in the Public Service


There have been numerous achievements and innovations made across the Public Service in recent times. Below we have briefly profiled just a small cross section of some of the interesting projects that have, in many cases, involved teams made up of experienced individuals and more recent entrants. The projects profiled below were recognised and acknowledged for their achievements by the following adjudicating and awarding bodies:

Though by no means an extensive exploration into Public Service Excellence, the list above should give you an insight into just some of the interesting and innovative projects being undertaken across the Public Service.

We will continue to add other case studies and examples of Excellence in the Public Service that have involved or been led by recent entrants and graduates, so be sure to look out for updates.