The Implementation Body, which is charged with driving the implementation of the Public Service Agreement, is required to assess the savings being facilitated under the framework of the Agreement on an annual basis. As part of this annual review process, savings returns are completed and returned to the Body in respect of every sector, Department and Office.
The Body has carried out two annual reviews of the Agreement to date. The two Annual Progress Reports published on foot of these reviews show that the Agreement has delivered on the objectives of facilitating significant savings and reform in a climate of industrial peace. For example, approximately €1.5bn in savings has been facilitated by the Agreement during its first two years, comprising of €810m and €678m in sustainable pay bill and non-pay (efficiency) savings respectively.
The reports of the Body also show that significant reforms have been delivered across the sectors of the public service, including for example:
1. Extensive redeployment and reassignment of staff, for example in the health and education sectors
2. Progress on rationalising structures and office requirements, for example Department of Agriculture and Revenue local offices, court venues and Teagasc offices
3. Introduction of revised rosters, for example in An Garda Síochána and health service locations to better match resources with demands
4. Local authorities have changed structures, the way in which services are delivered and the way staff are organized and deployed in order to manage the significant reduction in staff in the sector, as approximately 8,500 have left the sector since 2008.
The Implementation Body is currently undertaking the third annual review of the Agreement which will assess the level of savings achieved and progress on implementing the reform commitments under the framework of that Agreement during the relevant period. I expect that the Body’s review will be completed in the coming weeks and its third annual report will be published soon after.