The Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004 sets out procedures relating to the recruitment and appointments for the civil service and certain other bodies in the public service.
However as Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform, I have responsibility under these acts for recruitment to the Civil Service only as set out by Section 58(1)(a) of the 2004 Act.
As the Deputy will be aware, all general appointments to the civil service are by way of open competition, and the Public Appointments Service (PAS), which operates under licence from the Commission for Public Service Appointments, is the principal recruiter for the civil service.
PAS continues to apply the standards of probity, merit, equity and fairness, consistent with the codes of practice set down by the Commission. The codes of practice are followed by PAS in the public interest for the recruitment, assessment and selection of persons for appointments in the Civil Service and other public service bodies as was set out in Section 34 (1) (b) of the 2004 Act.
Appointments to positions of Assistant Secretary General and higher in the civil service are generally undertaken by the Top Level Appointments Committee (TLAC) with the assistance of the Public Appointments Service (PAS). The Government is again committed to ensuring a policy of open recruitment and the role of TLAC, as an independent body, is to support that and ensure that the recruitment and selection process for senior Civil Service posts is accessible to the widest pool of qualified candidates.
TLAC also operates under the Code of Practice issued by the Commission for Public Service Appointments in accordance with the principles of merit, consistency, accountability, probity, best practice and professional confidentiality.
My department has also taken a leadership role on appointments to State Boards. The Guidelines on Appointments to State Boards , 2014 provides a framework for appointments to the boards of State Bodies. The guidelines help provide for a more robust and transparent process and assist in both the good governance of state bodies, and, together with other relevant policies such as the Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies, also help in driving progress towards wider Government goals. These guidelines and the Code of Practice, are kept under ongoing review.
Finally, I understand that the Minister for Foreign Affairs has asked his department to undertake a review of the role and appointment of special envoys. The terms of reference are currently being drafted and it is anticipated that the review will be completed by mid-October 2021.