1. Establishment of PAS
Recruitment to the civil service and a range of other public bodies is handled under the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Acts 2004 to 2013 which established the Public Appointments Service (PAS) as a central recruitment agency for this purpose. The 2004 Act provides for a modern and efficient framework for public service recruitment which allows for increased flexibility, while maintaining high standards of probity. It empowers Government Departments and other public service bodies to recruit staff directly under licence, as well as through the centralised recruitment system provided by PAS.
2. Roles, Responsibilities and Functions
PAS activities are primarily focused on the sourcing of candidates for roles in the Civil Service, the most senior roles in Local Authorities, leadership positions and Hospital Consultant roles within the HSE, trainees for An Garda Síochána, and a range of Heads of Office and specialist roles across the civil and public service.
PAS vision is through our professionalism and excellence, to work in partnership with our clients, attracting and engaging great people to the Irish public service.
PAS complies with the CPSA Codes of Practice/PAS Guidelines (whichever is applicable) in ensuring a fair and open process for all applicants, and also comply with relevant Equality, Employment Law, Freedom of Information and Data Protection legislation in its recruitment and selection processes.
Classes of Records in PAS
- Campaign files (for each recruitment campaign held)
- Clearance Files (for candidates under consideration for a position)
- Records of candidates registered with publicjobs.ie/gradpublicjobs.ie/stateboards.ie and their applications for campaigns (if any)
- Regrading files
- Internal Administration
- Parliamentary Questions and Responses
- Reports of Job Analyses
- Financial Records
- Enquiries from the public pursuant to the Data Protection Acts
- Enquiries from the public pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act 2014
- Requests for Review and Responses to these
- Procurement files
- Competency information on particular roles
- Assessment techniques development
- Assessment Techniques – Materials
- Assessment Techniques – Training
- General Liaison with Clients
- General Liaison with External Bodies
- Policy Files
- Files on Accommodation Matters
- Files on Health and Safety
- Office Equipment Records
- Internal Human Resources Files
- Internal Personnel Files
- Audit Files
- Minutes of Meetings (Board, Management Board, Senior Management Meetings, HEO Weekly Meetings, Audit Committee Meetings, Risk Management Group Meetings)
3. Governance and Management Arrangements
The Board of PAS
The Board of PAS was established in 2004 under the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004). The Code of Practice for the Board was drawn up in accordance with “The Combined Code of Corporate Governance” and “The Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies”, published by the Department of Finance. It reflects the legislation governing this Office (i.e. the 2004 Act). The Code of Practice was revised in 2015. The Board is provided with reports at each meeting covering operational activity levels, finances and risk. The CEO also provides an update on the main strategic issues arising in the period.
Members of the Board
Mr Tom Moran, former Secretary General, Department of Agriculture and Food
Ms Shirley Comerford, Chief Executive, Public Appointments Service
Mr Paul Lemass, Assistant Secretary, Department of the Housing , Planning, Community and Local Government
Dr Eddie Molloy, HR Consultant
Ms Anne-Marie Taylor, HR Consultant
Ms Mary Connaughton, CIPD Ireland Director
Mr John O’Callaghan, Assistant Secretary, Department of Justice and Equality
Ms Rosarii Mannion, National Director of HR, HSE
Mr David Cagney, Chief Human Resources Officer for the Civil Service, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
The Corporate Senior Executive team known as the Management Board meet formally on a fortnightly basis to discuss matters with a strategic focus. The meetings are chaired by the Chief Executive. In addition to these meetings, the management board, and senior managers, meet on a weekly basis to consider operational recruitment matters and a range of other day-to-day corporate aspects of the business on alternative weeks.
Members of the Management Board
Ms Shirley Comerford, Chief Executive, Public Appointments Service
Mr John Keegan, Head of Corporate Affairs and Press Officer
Mr Niall Leavy, Head of Strategic Projects
Ms Áine Gray, Head of Assessment Services
Ms Margaret McCabe, Head of Recruitment and Selection
Ms Mary Flynn, Head of Garda and Prison Officer Recruitment
Ms Michelle Noone, Head of Executive Search, Marketing and Communication and State Boards
Ms Lisa Keyes, Head of Client Relations and Internal Operations
Ms Catherine Dobbins, Head of HR and Compliance
Ms Rosemarie O’Mahony, Head of Project Services Unit
Responsibilities of each member of the management team are set out at http://www.whodoeswhat.gov.ie/root/pas/
The Recruitment and Selection Services Unit (RSSU) carries out the core business functions of the Public Appointments Service. RSSU consists of nine recruitment teams and two specialist clearance and assignments team, each headed up by a Recruitment Manager. Each team has a niche speciality but the structure is flexible enough to focus resources where demand is greatest at any given time. A specialist team has also been established with responsibility for the State Boards process.
RSSU is assisted by the Office’s key support units: Assessment Services, Executive Search and Marketing, Information Technology, Finance Unit, Customer Relations and Operations Support, Human Resources Unit, Compliance Unit, Business Support Unit and Business Operations Analysis.
The report of the Working Group on the Accountability of Secretaries General and Accounting Officers (Mullarkey Report) was endorsed by the Government and published in January 2003. This report outlined a number of recommendations to ensure that all departments/offices have efficient management and governance systems.
In response to this report and in order to reflect good business practice, the organisation has put the following measures into practice:
- Internal Audit Function
- Audit Committee
- Risk Management Function
Internal Audit Function
A three-year strategic audit plan was approved by the Accounting Officer, the Board and the Internal Audit Committee in 2018 (for 2019-2021). The Internal Audit function is responsible for ensuring the Strategic Audit Plan is implemented and that all recommendations made following audits are implemented.
The Audit Committee
The Audit Committee carries out functions in relation to the following areas:
- Internal Control
- Governance and Risk Management
- Internal Audit
- External Audit
- Financial Management
- Reporting Functions
Members of the Audit Committee
Ms Clare McGrath, former Chair, OPW
Mr Tom Young, Former Director BNY Mellom
Mr Paul Lemass, Assistant Secretary, Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Board Nominee)
Ms Geraldine Kelly, Former Director Carbon Solutions, ESB International
The Audit Committee Charter and Terms of Reference, outlining the responsibility and role of the Audit Committee, were amended in line with audit committee guidance published by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in September 2014 and is reviewed annually.
The Corporate Risk Register is reviewed every quarter by the senior management team and is reviewed by the Board twice each year.
PAS has a Code on the Protection of Personal Data (which was reviewed in 2018); Data Protection training is provided for all staff.
4. Corporate Plans and Strategies
PAS prepares a Statement of Strategy every three years (or within six months of a new government being established). The most recent Statement of Strategy is available at:Strategy_Statement_2017_2019.pdf
Implementation of the strategic goals is achieved through the business planning process which involved the annual development of a Corporate Business Plan and Operational Business Plans by each senior manager.
5. Annual Reports
Annual Reports are prepared each year to report on progress in achieving the strategic goals over that period. All recent annual reports are available at:www.publicjobs.ie/publicjobs/about/publications.htm
6. Organisation and Pay/Grading Structures
All PAS staff are paid the agreed civil service rates and are in line with the civil service grading structure, consisting of:
- 1 Chief Executive Officer (Assistant Secretary Scale)
- 4 Principal Officers
- 8 Assistant Principal Officers (Higher and Standard Scales)
- 26 Higher Executive Officers (Higher and Standard Scales)
- 3 Administrative Officer
- 51 Executive Officers (Higher and Standard Scales)
- 13 Staff Officers
- 96 Clerical Officers (Higher and Standard Scales)
- 2 Head Service Officers
- 1 Service Officer
- 1 Professional Accountant Grade I
- 1 Principal Psychologist (Principal Officer equivalent)
- 1 Senior Psychologist (Principal Officer equivalent)
- 4 Psychologist Grade II
- 1 Translator (Administrative Officer scale)
The current pay scales for these grades are available at: http://peoplepoint.gov.ie/hr-staff/pay-remuneration-hr/
The high level organisation chart is set out below:
7. Locations and Contact Details
PAS is located in ChapterHouse 26-30 Abbey Street Upper, Dublin 1.
General information may be accessed at www.publicjobs.ie; or obtained by e-mailing info@publicjobs; or by writing to The Public Appointments Service, Chapter House, 26-30 Abbey Street Upper, Dublin 1, or by telephoning 01 - 8587400.
How to make a request:
Requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act, 2014 must be made in writing and addressed to Sínead Dolan, The Public Appointments Service, Chapter House, 26-30 Upper Abbey Street, Dublin 1.
Your request should include the following:
- a statement to indicate that the request is being made under the FOI Act.
- as much information as possible to enable the speedy identification of the record(s) concerned. If you have difficulty in identifying the precise records that you require, the staff of the Office will be happy to assist you in preparing your request. It may be helpful to include a contact telephone number so that you can be contacted, if clarification in relation to the records being requested is needed.
- The desired format in which the record should be provided e.g. photocopy, e-mail etc.
- The appropriate fee (if applicable).
A request must be acknowledged within 2 weeks and, in most cases, a decision must be conveyed within 4 weeks of receipt of the request.
The Acts provide for exemption from the release of certain types of information in some circumstances. Where these provisions are invoked to withhold information, the decision may be appealed. Decisions in relation to deferral of access, charges, forms of access, etc. may also be the subject of appeal. Details of the appeals mechanism are set out below.
You may seek an internal review of the initial decision within 4 weeks of notification of the decision, if you are dissatisfied with the initial response, or if you have not received a reply within 4 weeks of your initial application. The internal review must be completed within 3 weeks of receipt of the request.
Requests for internal review should be submitted in writing to Catherine Dobbins, The Public Appointments Service, Chapter House, 26-30 Upper Abbey Street, Dublin 1.
Review by the Information Commissioner
Following completion of internal review, you may seek an independent review of the decision from the Information Commissioner. If you have not received a reply to your request for internal review within three weeks, this is deemed to be a refusal and you may appeal the matter to the Commissioner. An application for an independent review must be made within 6 months, directly in writing to:
The Information Commissioner,
18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2.
Telephone (01) 6395689
Internal Review Fee for non-personal information (€30) (or €10 for medical card holders) Appeal to the Information Commissioner in relation to non-personal information €50 (or €15 for medical card holders) If you are claiming a reduced application fee, the request must be accompanied by the Medical Card registration number and the issuing Health Board name and consent to the verification of these details with that Health Board.
Search and Retrieval and Copying Fees
Fees may also apply in respect of the time spent searching and retrieving records that are released to you on foot of your request and in respect of the copying of any records released. Such fees are unlikely to arise if your request is for personal information only.
The rates of these fees are as follows:
€20 per hour for search and retrieval
€0.04 per sheet for a photocopy
€10 for a CD-ROM containing copy documents
€6 for a radiograph (X-ray) containing copy documents
A deposit is payable where the estimated cost of search and retrieval of records sought is estimated to exceed €100. In such a case, every effort must be made to assist the requester to amend the request so as to reduce or eliminate the amount of the deposit.
Reductions and Waivers
A fee in respect of search and retrieval and copying of records will be waived, where the cost of collecting and accounting for the fee would be less than €100; A fee in respect of search and retrieval and copying of records or a deposit may be reduced or waived, where the information in the record would be of particular assistance to the understanding of an issue of national importance. Further information on FOI is available at http://foi.gov.ie/
All requests for advice and assistance on data protection issues within the organisation should be directed to Ciarán Oman, Data Protection Officer.
Applying for Access to Personal Data
Requests for personal data should be made in writing to John Keegan. When a request is received, it will be acknowledged within one week. Research will be conducted by Mr Keegan(or a person nominated by him) and all data held by PAS in respect of the applicant will be identified. A response will be prepared for the applicant, providing all requested data stored by PAS on them, within the appropriate timescales.
8. Service Level Agreements
PAS has service management agreements in place with some major clients and with other organisations that provide a shared service to PAS (PeoplePoint, Payroll Shared Service). PAS also agree project plans with clients for a large number of its recruitment and selection campaigns.
9. Customer Charter
PAS has a Customer Action Plan in place for the period 2017-2019, which sets out our commitment to deliver a recruitment, assessment, redeployment, consultancy and advisory service of the highest standard for our clients and candidates and aims to provide a supportive and learning environment for all staff members. As part of this, PAS has developed a Customer Charter. These documents are available at: Customer_Action_Plan_2017-2019.pdf
10. Codes of Practice/Guidelines
Recruitment to the civil service and a range of other public bodies is handled under the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Acts 2004 to 2013. PAS operates under licence from the Commission for Public Service Appointments (CPSA) and is independent in its operations. Recruitment under licence is subject to the codes of practice drawn up by the CPSA. The codes are available at: www.cpsa.ie/en/Codes-of-Practice/.
From time to time PAS is requested to conduct, or assist with, recruitment and selection processes which do not fall under the remit of this Act. Guidelines have been prepared to provide guidance in respect of these processes. The Guidelines set out the requirements in relation to the conduct of candidates in the selection process. The Guidelines also set out the framework for such appointment processes and centre on the five recruitment principles that have been set out in the Codes of Practice prepared by the CPSA for appointment to positions falling under the remit of the Act. The Guidelines are based on the CPSA Codes of Practice thereby ensuring that a standardised approach to recruitment is adopted in all campaigns conducted by PAS. These guidelines are available at: www.publicjobs.ie/publicjobs/about/codes_practice.htm.