Ireland Civil Service
The Civil Service (Irish: An Stát-sheirbhís) of Ireland is the collective term for the permanent staff of the Departments of State and certain State Agencies who advise and work for the Government of Ireland. It consists of two broad components, the Civil Service of the Government and the Civil Service of the State. Whilst these two components are largely theoretical they do have some fundamental operational differences.
The civil service of the Irish Free State, as the predecessor of Ireland, was not formally established by law. The Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 did however provide that the Government of the Irish Free State became responsible for those who where discharged or retired from the civil or public services in the new state, except a few exempted personnel recruited in response of the Anglo-Irish War. The exact status and compensation of such people was further codified in law by the Civil Service (Transferred Officers) Compensation Act, 1929. This had the effect that the state became responsible for essentially all former British civil servants based in the new state.
The first attempt at formally regulating the civil service was the Civil Service Regulation Act, 1923 which was essentially a transitional arrangement and in 1924 was replaced by the Civil Service Regulation Act, 1924.
The result of these acts was the Civil Service Commissioners (later the Office of the Civil Service and Local Appointments Commissioners), a commission of three persons charged with determining the standards for entry to the Civil Service of the Government of Saorstát Éireann. Entry to the civil service was generally by competitive examination, and a number of qualifications such as ability, age, character, health and knowledge could be predefined. Applicants also had to meet nationality requirements.
The Civil Service of the Government (Stát-Sheirbhís an Rialtais in Irish) is the body of civil servants which advise and carry out the work of the Government, through the Departments of State, of which there are fifteen; one for each Minister of the Government. The permanent head of a department is known as the Secretary General (equivalent to a Permanent Secretary in the British Civil Service). The head of the civil service is the Secretary General to the Government, who is also Secretary General of the Department of the Taoiseach. It is the direct descendant of the Civil Service of the Government of Saorstát Éireann, as provided for in Article 56, of the Constitution of Ireland; one of the Transitory Provisions intended to ensure continuance of institutions of the state. The grading structure is heavily based on that of the British Civil Service. Traditionally the Administrative Officer grade was the highest grade at which one could join the civil service, with higher grades filled by internal promotion. Entry positions are recruited openly by the Public Appointments Service (formerly the Civil Service and Local Appointments Commission).
The Civil Service of the State (Stát-Sheirbhís an Stáit in Irish) is a relatively small component of the overall civil service, and its members are expected to be absolutely independent of the government, in addition to normal political independence which is expected. Civil servants in the offices of the Office of the Revenue Commissioners, Office of Public Works, Comptroller and Auditor-General, Courts Service of Ireland, Director of Public Prosecutions, Garda Síochána, Garda Síochána Complaints Board, Legal Aid Board, Houses of the Oireachtas, Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service, Information Commissioner and Ombudsman are all considered to be part of the Civil Service of the State. Certain other offices are also prescribed under the Civil Service of the State.