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Vacancy: Secretary General, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

By 27 May 2021 No Comments

The mission of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is to serve the public interest through sound governance of public expenditure and by leading and enabling reform across the Civil and Public Service. The Department provides advice on all matters including analysis, formulation and implementation of policy as directed by the Minister and engages fully with EU and international policy.

Given its pivotal central role, the Department plays an essential part in the implementation of all aspects of the Programme for Government, working with other Departments.   It also has responsibility for a wide range of specific commitments within its own remit.


The Secretary General

The Secretary General has specific personal obligations and responsibilities in relation to accountability to the Oireachtas for the work and expenditure of the Department, including overseeing major decisions on investment for the public sector.  The Secretary General also carries a wider corporate responsibility in relation to public sector modernisation and civil service renewal, including through the Civil Service Management Board and the Public Sector Leadership Board.  S/he is also an ex-officio member of certain bodies, including the Top Level Appointments Committee and the Board of the National Treasury Management Agency.

The role of the Secretary General is to provide:

  • vision-setting for the Department and effectively implementing that vision through delivery of its strategy;
  • effective oversight, management and leadership of the Department, both in its own direct work and in its leadership role for the overall civil and public service;
  • advice to the Minister, Ministers of State and the Government on all matters within the Departments remit; and
  • strategic leadership as a member of the overall system of public administration.

The successful candidate will:

  • have a proven track record as a senior leader and manager in a multifunctional organisation of significant complexity and scale in either the public or private sector;
  • have knowledge of, or capacity to acquire quickly, a broad understanding of the Department’s wide range of responsibilities;
  • have excellent communication skills and a track record in managing relationships, providing developmental leadership and managing for results;
  • demonstrate sound judgement on complex inter-linked issues across a range of public policy areas and on the implications of different approaches;
  • demonstrate the ability to set strategic direction and vision for the work of the Department having regard to the external environment, including understanding the broader public policy and political context;
  • have the particular blend of resilience and flexibility needed to manage the challenges of the complexity of the role.

S/he will also be required to demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of relevant major issues in all of the Department’s areas of responsibility and a capacity to provide a calm and assured response to the contingencies and crises that can arise from time to time.

This is a Top Level Appointments Committee position.


If you feel you would benefit from a confidential discussion, please contact Sandra Cairns on

The closing date for receipt of complete applications is 3pm on Thursday 10th June 2021.

For more information and how to apply, visit:


We are committed to a policy of equal opportunity and encourage applications under all nine grounds of the Employment Equality Act.

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