Transforming Public Services • www.onegov.ie
SUMMER– 2010 – ISSUE 3
Public Service Agreement
2010 – 2014
IN THIS ISSUE
Minister of State Dara Calleary, T.D.
The Croke Park Agreement
Reports from the Sectors
Please recycle this
Win an iPod Touch or iPod Nano! copy of OneGov
2 The Public Service Agreement 2010-2014 has recently been ratified by the ICTU Public
3. Setting the Pace Services Committee. The Agreement, also known as the Croke Park Agreement, provides a
platform for a faster pace of Public Service transformation and will involve radical change in
the way we do our business. Implementation of the Agreement will be covered regularly in
4. Moving Forward
OneGov in the coming months.
5. Perfecting Processes The coming weeks will see the presentation of the Taoiseach’s Public Service Excellence
Awards and the next OneGov will be a special edition celebrating the considerable
5. Better Procurement achievements from across the Public Service. Since 2004, when the Awards were first
presented, the number of applications has increased considerably. More importantly, the
6. Nifty Fifty quality of those submissions seem to get better and better. The Awards are an important
opportunity to recognise the commitment and dedication of people working right across
6. Learning Points the Public Service. Those qualities will be essential supports to the Public Service and to the
citizen in the months and years ahead.
6. Not So Taxing
Mr. Dara Calleary T.D., recently appointed Minister of State for Transforming Public
Services, opens this edition (page 3) by setting the scene for the next phase of Public Service
7. Improving Health transformation. A related article on page 4 addresses the Croke Park Agreement.
7. Stopping Violence The citizen-centred TPS programme places firm empahasis on excellent service and value for
money. Two recent seminars addressed different aspects of this commitment (page 5): one
7. Most Excellent encouraged the careful examination and redesign of business processes to ensure excellence
in administration and service delivery; the other focused on the efficient and effective
8. Operation Cooperation procurement of goods and services.
8. Competition As ever, OneGov reports on the achievements and activities of colleagues across all sectors
of the Public Service. In this edition, we cover news on work to make improvements in
the Health Sector; a Justice Sector strategy to combat domestic, sexual and gender-based
violence; a customer-friendly means for Local Authorities to collect charges for second
residential properties; and developments in the Education Sector.
We also take a look at some of the joint initiatives with Departments and agencies in
As ever, there is an opportunity to win an iPod Touch or one of two iPod Nanos in our
easy-peasy quiz – the answers to all of the questions are scattered throughout this newsletter.
They are a great accessory for your holidays and time off!
As already mentioned, the next edition of OneGov will be devoted to celebrating the success
of those twenty projects that have earned this year’s Taoiseach’s Public Service Excellence
Awards. In the meantime, take care of yourselves.
Any comments? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Setting the pace 3
The importance of engaging with Public Service transformation, by Dara Calleary, T.D.,
Minister of State for Public Service Transformation
THE TRANSFORMATION OF our Public Managing and Leading Change
Service is a key challenge facing us in the This will mean a fresh approach to the
months and years ahead. It is our shared design and delivery of public programmes
article the pace
priority and will require the commitment and the management of the organisations
– Setting name
and energy of all of us who work in the responsible for them. I believe that the
Public Service. Public Service has the capacity, commitment,
and knowledge for such transformation
The goal is a Public Service which is leaner, and innovation.
more agile, affordable and effective, and more
focussed on the needs of citizens. The To strengthen this capacity, a number of
programme of change agreed by management senior appointments, including a Chief
and unions as part of the Public Service Information Officer, will be made to bring
Agreement sets out how this will be achieved greater expertise to the leadership of change
– and what it will mean for individual public in the critical areas of e-government, shared
servants. The Agreement provides us with an services and public procurement. In addition,
unprecedented opportunity to transform our the Government will re-constitute the Top
Public Service for the benefit of citizens and Level Appointments Committee with more
public servants alike. outside members, and establish a new Senior
Public Service which will initially involve the
There is plenty that is positive about the assignment and development of all
Public Service and, in transforming how we Secretaries General and Assistant Secretaries
do things, we must be careful to hold on to I know the vast majority of public servants are and equivalents in Government
those traditional positives, including fairness, up for this. Departments.
honesty and a real commitment to public
service. But there is also a need to change, to New technology will be applied to boost the A Public Service Advisory Board will be
modernise structures and processes. The productivity and effectiveness of public established shortly. Its role will be to provide
Government is committed, in partnership servants. Information will be shared more independent advice to the Government on
with key stakeholders, to overseeing a widely across our systems and, in the process, the ongoing transformation of the Public
comprehensive programme of transformation this will reduce the burden on businesses and Service, drawing on private sector and
in the Public Service. This transformation citizens of providing information repeatedly. international best practice.
means removing barriers between different
branches of the Public Service and different These initiatives will help maximise the
organisations. Individual public servants will
“The agreement provides us with potential of the Public Service to meet our
need to increase their flexibility and work an unprecedented opportunity to current and future challenges. Now, more
together across sectoral, organisational and transform our Public Service for than ever, we need to embrace change in our
professional boundaries. It means re- own organisations. My role is to strengthen
engineering the way we do business so that the beneﬁt of citizens and public the political leadership of the transformation
the various components of our services are servants alike.” process and, in doing so, I look forward to
delivered in the most efficient way possible. working with you in all sectors.
On 23rd March, 2010, the Taoiseach, Mr. Brian Cowen, T.D., announced the
appointment of Mr. Dara Calleary, T.D., as Minister of State at the Departments of
the Taoiseach and Finance with special responsibility for Public Service
Transformation (in addition to his existing responsibility for Labour Affairs).
4 What the Croke Park Agreement means
– justice/education/civil service
THE CROKE PARK AGREEMENT was work practices etc. Overall, the terms of the The full text of the Public Service
recently ratified by the Public Services Agreement provide a basis for stability and Agreement is available on the Transforming
Committee of ICTU. It includes a progress to the benefit of public servants and Public Services website – www.onegov.ie -
programme of modernisation and change citizens alike. and future editions of OneGov will include
in the Public Service, and a structure for updates on its implementation.
how public service pay will be determined The management / union Implementation
over the period to 2014. It is an agreement Body, which is provided for in the
between Public Service management and Agreement, will be established shortly. This
unions, and will require both to work Body will play an important role in driving
together to deliver on its potential. It covers the change process, and ensuring that any
a range of important transformation issues difficulties encountered are resolved in a
across all of the main sectors of the Public fair and speedy manner. In addition, the
Service including Health, Education, Local Body will independently verify the savings
Government, Justice, Defence, the Civil derived from the implementation of the
Service and State Agencies. Agreement in the individual sectors of the
The objective of this Agreement is to
ensure that the Public Service continues The Government has instructed senior “The objective of this Agreement
its contribution to the return to economic management across the entire Public Service
growth and prosperity, while at the same to accord the highest possible priority to
is to ensure that the Public Service
time delivering excellence in its service to implementing the change agenda set out continues its contribution to the
all citizens. in the Agreement. To this end, substantial return to economic growth and
preparatory work has already taken place
Under the Agreement, Public Service across the Public Service and progress on prosperity, while at the same time
management and unions have given a range detailed implementation plans will be delivering excellence in its service to
of commitments in relation to issues such as reviewed by the new Implementation Body
pay and pensions, redeployment, changes to in due course.
TPS Seminar on re-designing Business Processes 5
Agriculture, Fisheries & Food), Leo Stronge
(Health Service Executive), John O’Connor
(Kerry County Council) and two speakers
from the Refugee Appeals Tribunal, Niall
Colgan and Chris O’Donohoe. All shared
– health/local government
their unique experience of the benefits of the
various aspect of business process redesign
Feedback from the event was positive and the
TPS Programme Office is looking forward
to organising similar events in the future –
good news, in particular, for those that had
to be turned away from this seminar due to
The CSTDC (Civil Service Training &
PUBLIC SERVANTS ACROSS all sectors is important, in pragmatic terms, to identify Development Service) operates a course on
attended a free seminar, hosted by the where changes would be beneficial and Business Process Improvement (BPI).
TPS Programme Office on 21st May. The increase efficiency. In some cases, this might Visit their website for more information on
Coach House, Dublin Castle was the packed even mean breaking with certain “traditions” the course: www.cstdc.gov.ie.
venue for a half day event on Redesigning and age-old practices.
The seminar, chaired by David Feeney of
The redesign of back-office business the Department of the Taoiseach, included
processes can make huge differences to contributions from high calibre speakers, For more information on
the quality of the service enjoyed by including Tim Duggan (Department of the seminar, and on the
the customer. The redesign process can Finance), Tom O’Driscoll, (Stratigos), Transformation programme
provide valuable opportunities to assess and Niamh O’Donoghue (Department of Social generally, visit www.onegov.ie
streamline existing processes and practices. It Protection), Seán Keevey (Department of
TPS Seminar on Effective Public Procurement
ST. PATRICK’S HALL, Dublin Castle, involved, Christine Comiskey and Elizabeth
on 6th May was the venue for the seminar, Neary from the Office of the Chief State
Effective Public Procurement: Key Solicitor explored the implications of the
Challenges for 2010. The event, jointly new EU “Remedies Directive” that governs
hosted by the Transforming Public Services procurement matters.
(TPS) Programme Office and the National is, now more than ever, an important issue
Procurement Service (NPS), was offered to Leo Stronge, Head of Procurement in the for the Irish Public Service and, indeed, for
participants free of charge. Health Service Executive (HSE), gave the taxpayers.
HSE perspective on the public procurement
Martin Bourke (NPS) chaired the busy event challenge. The seminar was wrapped up FURTHER INFORMATION
which was opened by Philip Kelly, Assistant by Patrick McGovern of Arthur Cox
Secretary at the Department of the Taoiseach. Solicitors, with a presentation on the
He underlined the importance of effective crucial need for openness and transparency in Presentations from the seminar
public procurement to the TPS agenda. The public procurement. and related information
NPS Director, Vincent Campbell, described can be downloaded
the detailed role of the National Procurement This event stimulated a great number of at www.opw/en/seminar
Service. Covering the complex legal issues questions from the floor, highlighting what
Nifty fifty A happy milestone for the Quality Customer Service
The Quality Customer Service (QCS) year) to discuss matters of common interest areas in which the Network has made
6 Officers’ Network reached a happy milestone in relation to the delivery of excellent important progress over the past 10 years
at its most recent meeting on 26th May: it customer services. The Network provides an include equality/diversity issues, the Official
was the group’s 50th meeting. important platform for members to discuss Languages Act, customer consultation/
new initiatives and share experience and best surveys, the Taoiseach’s Public Service
The QCS Officers’ Network was set up practice on all aspects of Customer Service. Excellence Awards, customer feedback
in October, 2000. It comprises customer management and the use of emerging
service representatives drawn from all While the Network has been instrumental in technologies in service delivery.
Government Departments and Offices. supporting and promoting all facets of the
Since its inception, the Network has been QCS Initiative at local level, perhaps its most OneGov congratulates the QCS Officers’
chaired by Bryan Andrews, Chief Executive obvious achievement has been the successful Network on its many achievements
– article name
of the Public Appointments Service. The implementation of the Customer Charter and wishes it continued success in its
Network meets regularly (4-5 times every and Action Plan Initiative. Other important ongoing work.
Learning points providing services more effectively and
efficiently to the benefit of the citizen.
Working groups have been established to
• A high tech Geographical Information
System for planning school
Education Sector progress the agenda – such as improved • A “one-stop shop” website providing
procurement of goods and services. Nine information on student finance;
THE TPS AGENDA is progressing education agencies have come together • An electronic primary school pupil census
in the education sector. Promotion, to exploit the buying power of the group return obviating the paper forms/mailing/
communication and facilitation of TPS are for various services - including audit copying and other administration work,
the key elements. Seminars, communications services, superannuation advice and for the over 3,000 schools involved;
and presentations made at staff networks recruitment services. • An electricity procurement initiative
all are aimed at promoting TPS activity in involving a group of third level colleges
the sector. While some projects, such as larger ICT with projected savings of 17%; and
initiatives, may only be in the preliminary • Bluebrick – a web portal for part-time
The various parts of the sector – VECs, stages, there are many smaller concrete learners allowing them to search, compare,
Universities, Institutes of Technology examples of how the TPS approach is and apply on-line for courses in the
(IOTs), for example – are working on delivering practical benefits. They include: Institutes of Technology.
Not so taxing
SINCE THE INTRODUCTION of the
Local Government Sector
to register their property. A high percentage
NPPR (Non Principal Private Residence) of payments have taken place online with
charge, local authorities have successfully each local authority also accepting personal
collected just over €100 million – a payments to accommodate the digital divide.
combination of monies paid for 2009
and 2010. In 2009 the deadline for payment of the
charge was 30th September with penalty
The Local Government (Charges) Act of charges of €20 accruing from 31 October. This demonstrates the capacity of the
2009 requires owners of residences in Ireland, The liability date for 2010 and subsequent Local Government system to provide an
which are not their main home, to pay a years is 31st March. Late payments of €20 per efficient, effective, citizen-friendly shared
€200 charge to the local authority in which month will accrue from 1st July. payment and information system within a
the residence is based. The onus is on the very tight timeframe. It is a real example of
individual to declare their liability to the By the end of October 2009, over 199,000 TPS in action.
relevant local authority. properties had been registered on-line and
over €39.8 million collected. This figure FURTHER INFORMATION
From the outset, the County and City continued to grow, surpassing stakeholder
Managers Association (CCMA) adopted a expectations. Compliance in 2010 has been
Visit www.nppr.ie for more
national approach to collecting the charge. strong but has not yet reached that of 2009.
The website, www.NPPR.ie, was quickly A sustained media campaign continues to information on the charge
developed to provide information, accept inform the public of their requirements to and/or to make online payments.
online payments and make it easy for people maximise compliance.
Improving health Health Sector
THE HSE NATIONAL SERVICE PLAN, hours childcare, as well as disability, mental • the percentage of primary care teams that 7
approved by Minister for Health & Children health and addiction services. A minimum of are implementing structured diabetes
Mary Harney, T.D., in February outlines how €17m will fund innovation in service delivery. care and structured asthma prevention
the HSE plans to deliver health and personal and care;
social services. Within its budget of over Service level improvements • waiting times for assessment following a
€14 billion and staff of around 109,000, the The further development of cancer services referral of child abuse or neglect;
projected service activity levels for 2010 are nationally – including urgent referrals for • elder abuse measures;
broadly in line with 2009 levels. cancer control – will also be supported. • waiting times from GP referral to
The implementation of the Ryan Report attendance at outpatient departments and
From cost savings being made, the recommendations is also catered for. from outpatient departments to admission;
– article name
Government can now make additional • waiting times for lung, prostate and rectal
resources available to assist the HSE to Key targets for Acute Hospitals and cancer treatment.
respond to priority needs and to support Emergency Departments have been set.
ongoing reform. Similar attention is being given in the areas
of Primary Care, Children and Families,
These measures will allow for an important Older People, Disability Services and
range of financial supports across the health Mental Health Services.
services. Home Care packages, the growth in
the number of people qualifying for Fair New performance measures
Deal, medical card cover and GP visit cards • The Plan also commits to the
will all benefit. development and reporting
of additional performance
New service needs will be supported in the measures in 2010 including:
areas of haemodialysis, transplants, paediatric • a range of measures in the
transport, adult critical care, paediatric quality and clinical care
neurosurgery/critical care, neonatal hearing, area, including antibiotic
childcare and fostering, immunology, out-of- consumption rates;
Stopping violence Justice Sector
Cosc – an Irish word meaning ‘stop’ or launched last March by the Minister for and, on the other, to respond effectively to
‘prevent’ – is the name given to the office Justice and Law Reform. such violence. Ultimately the impact of the
established by Government in June 2007 to strategy will be fewer victims of domestic
ensure co-ordinated and effective whole-of- The strategy is a clear statement of the and sexual violence, better services for those
government action on domestic, sexual and Government’s priority actions to address who are victims and increased accountability
gender-based violence against women, men domestic, sexual and gender-based violence by perpetrators.
and older people in Irish society. in Ireland in the five-year period from 2010
to the end of 2014. The strategy will provide a clear focus
The National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and common direction for the many
and Gender-based Violence, developed by The main focus of the strategy is, on the organisations working in the area over the
Cosc following public consultation, was one hand, to prevent the violence concerned next 5 years.
Most excellent were received) and shows quite clearly
that a huge amount of work is going on
which the Awards-winning projects
will be featured. The successful projects
Thursday, 8th July, will see the in the Public Service to improve services, are drawn from all sectors of the Public
presentation of the Taoiseach’s Public processes and administration. We have Service.
Service Excellence Awards 2010. A total of all experienced the somewhat negative
208 applications received from right across perceptions, so it’s good to be able to Details of the winning projects will
the Public Service, has been whittled down identify and recognise the good work that’s feature in a special issue of OneGov
to just 20 recipients. taking place in the Public Service. Newsletter that will be dedicated to
The 208 entries represent an increase of The Awards ceremony in Dublin Castle
12.6 % from 2008 (when 183 applications will be preceded by a special conference, at Publication is expected in mid-July.
1st prize: iPod Touch
2nd and 3rd prizes: iPod Nano
8 Answer the following:
1. Where was the May seminar on Business Process Improvement
2. Who is the Minister of State for Public Service Transformation?
3. What is the name of the office established to ensure a
coordinated response to domestic and sexual violence against
– article name
women and men?
4. What do the initials NPPR stand for?
Operation 5. When was the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly restored
(month and year)?
Cooperation 6. How many meetings have the QCS Officers’ Network had to date?
IN THE CURRENT challenging economic circumstances, agreeing
joint initiatives with Departments and agencies in Northern Ireland – How to enter: Send your answers to email@example.com. Send
and saving money together by eliminating duplication in the provision your hard-copy entries to ONEGOV Newsletter, TPS Programme Office,
of services – is likely to achieve higher priority than ever before. Department of the Taoiseach, Dublin 2. The closing date for the receipt of
entries is Friday, 13th August 2010.
The period since the restoration of the Northern Ireland Executive
and Assembly in May 2007 – and the famous day when Ian Paisley Name:
and Martin McGuinness came together on the steps of Stormont – Address:
has been an unprecedented one in terms of cross-border cooperation
between Departments North and South. Officials in the Department
of Transport have worked closely with the Department of Regional
Development in Northern Ireland to oversee support for the soon-
to-be upgraded A5 road to Derry and Letterkenny and for the City
of Derry Airport. The Department of Communications, Energy & Email:
Natural Resources has worked closely with its counterpart in Northern
Ireland and the various regulatory authorities to deliver a Single OneGov Issue 2 winners
Electricity Market for the island and, with EU support, to improve 1st Prize: Teresa Walsh, Department of Finance, Dublin
broadband connectivity for the North-West through Project Kelvin. 2nd Prize: Carol O’Dwyer, Department of the Taoiseach, Dublin
These exciting developments have been replicated in important areas 3rd Prize: Jacqueline Gallagher, Property
like health and education, with patients in certain border areas now Registration Authority, Roscommon
able to access GP and radiotherapy services in the other jurisdiction and
strategic cooperation deepening in higher education, including between
Letterkenny IT and the University of Ulster.
These initiatives complement the activities of North/South Bodies
like Tourism Ireland, InterTradeIreland and Waterways Ireland in
showcasing the island, ensuring it fulfils its economic potential, and
helping it return to a path of sustainable growth. This important
work is being delivered through the North/South Ministerial Council
and through a range of other contacts between key decision-makers
North and South. Cross-border relations on the island have never been
better and the determination will be to ensure that this momentum
is maintained – and that officials explore new opportunities for
cooperation as they arise – over the months and years to come.