Directorate for Public Governance

OECD Public Management Reviews - Ireland: Towards an Integrated Public Service



Executive summary | Table of contents | How to obtain this publication

Publication date: 
06 June 2008 
ISBN Number:


The key findings of this review remain relevant, even though it was undertaken before the economic crisis. The key public service reform challenge for Ireland going forward is for the different parts of the Irish Public Service to work cohesively together, with a more integrated approach at the national and local levels. This will allow Ireland to more effectively identify and achieve wider societal goals, and to deliver more coherent services to citizens.


Review series

This is the first book in the series of public management reviews. These reviews will help countries to identify how reforms can better reinforce each other in support of overall government objectives. They also examine reform strategies that have worked in other countries and provide advice as to which reforms can be appropriately adapted to a given country.


Key messages


Internal processes and structures

As with many other OECD countries that have embarked on significant public service transformation programmes, the focus of the reform efforts to date in Ireland has tended, with some exceptions, to be inward oriented, focusing on improving internal processes and structures. Initiatives, in line with those undertaken in many OECD countries, have focused on a broad range of internal processes to build capacity at individual and organisational levels, improve service delivery, develop organisational and individual performance management, establish governance procedures, create greater transparency, improve consultation and increase the use of evidence-based policy making.


On a sound trajectory of modernisation

These changes were not only significant, but necessary and the OECD recognises the value of the reforms made, particularly since the development of the Strategic Management Initiative and the publication of Delivering Better Government in the mid 1990s. While the full benefit of some of the more recent reforms, such as the production of departments’ Annual Output Statements linking annual targets to annual expenditure allocations, have yet to be fully realised, broadly speaking Ireland is on a sound trajectory of modernisation. And it can further improve the yield from reforms by renewing focus on their pace and sequencing in order to make them more mutually reinforcing.


What's inside







Edwin Lau, speaking at The Wheel conference held in Ireland in 2011,  presents data from the report and provides information on additional work done since its launch.








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