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Assignment of Responsibilities under the
Public Service Management Act 1997




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Department of Public Expenditure and Reform logo  Department of Public Expenditure and Reform



David Moloney

Secretary General

E-mail: David.Moloney@per.gov.ie

David Moloney

Responsibilities of the Secretary General

Under the Public Service Management Act 1997 (No.27 of 1977), the Secretary General of the Department has the following responsibilities:

  • managing the business generally of the Department;
  • implementing Government policies appropriate to the Department;
  • monitoring Government policies that affect the Department;
  • delivering outputs as determined by the Minister;
  • providing policy advice to the Minister on all matters within the remit of the Department;
  • preparing Statements of Strategy for submission to the Minister;
  • providing progress reports to the Minister on the implementation of the Statement of Strategy;
  • ensuring proper use of resources and the provision of cost-effective public services;
  • preparing an outline of how specific responsibilities are to be assigned to other officers down
  •      through the Department; and
  • managing matters relating to appointments, performance, discipline and dismissal of civil servants below the grade of Principal or its equivalent.


Section 4(1) of the Act empowers the Secretary General to assign to other officers of the Department (or grade or grades of officer) responsibility for the performance of his or her functions.  The revised framework, as set out in this document, constitutes a consolidated statement as at October 2017 of all assignments under the Act by the Secretary General of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.


Interpretation of this document and the assignments herein should have due regard to the factors which from time to time affect the distribution and discharge of responsibilities across the Department, such as the exigencies of work in a particular area, the alignment of activities spanning or involving more than one area, and the co-ordination of shared or contiguous responsibilities.  It should also have regard to the assignment of functions in respect of appointments, performance and discipline of personnel under the Civil Service Regulation Acts 1956-2005, which are made from time to time by the Secretary General under separate regulations.


Part 3 of this framework document shows the assignment of responsibility for the performance of functions to each individual officer down to and including Principal level.  The responsibilities so assigned shall be articulated through the Department's system of Divisional business plans to reflect the priorities and objectives of the Department, as set out in its Statement of Strategy.  The assignment of responsibility for the performance of functions by individual officers, or grade or grades of officer, below Principal level shall be handled administratively on the basis of the personal (or team) work objectives identified under or associated with the Department’s Divisional business plans.  The latter, which are rolled over on an annual basis to keep pace with changing needs and priorities, are informed both by the Department's Statement of Strategy and by its Performance Management and Development System and provide a practical means of prioritising and managing the day-to-day work of the Department at section, team and individual level.


Subject to overarching budgetary provisions, officers to whom responsibilities have been assigned under this framework will receive the appropriate resources and infrastructural support to enable them to fulfil their obligations under the Act.


Assignments under Section 4(1) of the Public Service Management Act, as specified in this framework document, will continue to be amended from time to time, in writing, by the Secretary General and the framework will be deemed to have been updated accordingly.


The Department's Mission

As stated in the Department's Statement of Strategy, the Department has a central role in implementing Government policy and in advising and supporting the Government in managing public expenditure at more sustainable levels in support of economic performance and social progress of the State, and the overall management and development of the Public Service.  In formulating this advice, the Department is guided by its mission which is:


to serve the public interest by supporting the delivery of well-managed, well-targeted and sustainable public spending through modernised, effective and accountable public services.