As the Deputy will be aware, recruitment to the civil service is undertaken under the terms of the Public Service Management (Recruitment Appointments) Acts 2004-2014, and is subject to the Code of Practice set down by the Commission for Public Service Appointments (CPSA) and is open to audit by them if they see fit.
Departments may obtain a recruitment licence from the CPSA and conduct their own recruitment competitions, and are obliged to ensure that "standards of probity, merit, equity and fairness" apply to all of its recruitment and selection processes.
A licence holder may seek the assistance of a listed approved recruitment agency in respect of some of the tasks connected with the selection of persons by virtue of that licence. The licence holder concerned shall have sole responsibility for the final selection of candidates for appointment or for placing candidates on a panel for appointment. It is the duty of a licence holder to ensure that the terms and conditions of the recruitment licence are complied with by any listed recruitment agency that they seek the assistance of in respect of the task of selection.
It is important to note that recruitment agencies that are approved to conduct civil and public service recruitment complete an application process with the CPSA. This ensures that they have the necessary structures, safeguards, policies and qualified personnel to conduct recruitment consistent with the Codes of Practise. These agencies are also audited to ensure that their campaigns continue to be compliant.
The campaign/competition is still ultimately the responsibility of the licence holder/public body. The responsibility for adhering to the codes including the review procedures also lies with the license holder. If an individual has a complaint about a campaign then the normal review procedures under the Code can be directed to the Public Body involved and then to CPSA if not satisfied.