This second Annual Progress Report on the Public Service Reform Plan 2014-16 sets out the significant progress that has been made over the last year in implementing the cross-cutting reform actions set out in the Plan. I am very pleased with this progress, which builds on our achievements on Public Service Reform since 2011, and which further embeds reform as a key role for all of those involved in designing and delivering public services.
Looking back to the publication of the first Public Service Reform Plan (2011-13) in late 2011, I am very proud of the progress that has been made since then. We have seen strong progress at a central, cross-cutting level and also in the complementary reform programmes underway at organisational and sectoral levels across the Public Service, which have been led by the relevant Ministers and their Departments.
Progress has been made in terms of improving services, including by delivering more services digitally; enhancing openness and transparency; reducing costs and improving productivity; developing new approaches to shared services, public procurement and property management; and strengthening leadership and human resource management, to name just some areas and details of these are set out in this report.
As part of the overall Public Service Reform programme, a Civil Service Renewal Plan was published in late 2014. The implementation of this ambitious three year plan is leading to major changes right across the Civil Service, with a separate progress report on this to be published shortly.
Ireland has a long and proud tradition of service to the public and the State and, looking to the future, I believe that Public Service Reform should continue to have an important role. The challenges faced may be different to those in 2011, but ongoing reform should be central to meeting increasing customer expectations and demographic challenges.
Finally, I would like to commend public servants for the role which they have played in delivering what I consider to be the most significant programme of reform in the history of the State.