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FOI Publication Scheme

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION PUBLICATION SCHEME

FOR THE

COMMISSION FOR PUBLIC SERVICE APPOINTMENTS

A.Information about the Commission for Public Service Appointments

 Who we are and what we do

The Commission for Public Service Appointment’s role is to establish and oversee standards for the recruitment and selection of appointees to (i) all established and most unestablished positions in the Civil Service; (ii) positions in An Garda Síochána subject to the remit of the Act; (iii) the Health Service Executive; (iv) the Health Information and Quality Authority; and (v) certain managerial, professional and technical positions in local authorities and vocational education committees to which the Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act (1926) applies. The Commission’s remit may be extended to other public sector bodies at a future date.  

Establishment

The Commission for Public Service Appointments was established on 19 October 2004 under the terms of the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004.

Roles and Responsibilities

The role and responsibilities of the Office are outlined in Part 2 of the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004 (the Act).

The purpose of the Act is to provide a modern and efficient framework for public service recruitment while maintaining high standards of probity and fairness. The Commission is responsible for establishing and safeguarding standards in the recruitment and selection of appointees and for licensing recruitment activity by Public Bodies.  The Act permits the Commission to grant, amend or revoke Recruitment Licences.  It also empowers the Commission to make recommendations, issue advice and give instructions to Licence Holders.

Functions of the Commission 

The main functions of the Commission are as follows:

  • Publish and maintain Codes of Practice which set out the standards to be observed in relation to appointments to certain public service bodies;
  • Audit recruitment policies and practices employed by these public service bodies;
  • Grant, amend the terms of or revoke Recruitment Licences;
  • Issue instructions and advices to licence holders
  • Establish appropriate appeal and complaint procedures;
  • Investigate complaints from complainants regarding recruitment processes held under licence;
  • Grant orders to exclude certain positions as per Section 8(2) of the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004;
  • Report to the Oireachtas and the Government, and provide information to ministers on the operation of recruitment and selection processes.

Records held by the Office

The range of records held in the Office fall within the following broad categories (some overlap may occur)

Internal Business Administration Records

  • Formal Complaint files including correspondence with Public Bodies, Complainants and the Commission. Each formal complaint file holds records received relating to the appointment process concerned together with draft/final reports on the particular complaint.
  • Audit files which contain background papers, correspondence with the Public body and draft/final reports on the Audit in question
  • Excluding Order files which contain background papers, correspondence with the Public Body and Commission and the Excluding Order for issue to licence holder (a complete list of excluding orders issued throughout the course of a calendar year are published by Iris Oifiguil).
  • Papers for Commissioners for Commission Meetings including Agenda, briefing notes to accompany draft audit reports and draft complaint reports and notes on any other agenda items
  • Minutes of Commission Meetings
  • Records in relation to issuing Recruitment Licences including guidance documents, application forms and applications for licence from Public Bodies
  • Records relating to publication of reports e.g. the annual report, including records relating to translation and designing same
  • Management of the website of the Commission
  • Statistics relating to recruitment activity by Licence Holder
  • FOI requests for access to records held by the Commission
  • Data Protection Act requests for access to records held by the Office
  • Correspondence with Commissioners
  • General enquiries and correspondence including informal complaints
  • Statement of Strategy and Business Plans

Policy

The Commission publishes the following Codes of Practice on its website www.cpsa.ie.

  • Code of Practice for Appointments to Positions in the Civil and Public Service
  • Code of Practice for Emergency Short Term Appointments to Positions in the Health Service Executive
  • Code of Practice for Atypical Appointments to Positions in the Civil Service and Certain Public Bodies
  • Code of Practice for Appointment to Positions where the Garda Commissioner has statutory responsibilities
  • Code of Practice for Appointment of Persons with Disabilities in the Civil Service and Certain Public bodies

Legislation and related matter

  • Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004 and associated correspondence and records

Staff Instructions/Guidelines

  • Procedures, Protocols and Guidance Notes for managing the statutory responsibilities of the Office of the Commission for Public Service Appointments

Governance and Management arrangements

The Commission is committed to best practice structures, processes and systems that support the successful operation of duties in an ethical, accountable, transparent and effective manner.  Details of the Office's governance arrangements can be found in its Corporate Governance Framework document (insert link once agreed), which sets out the systems, principles and processes by which the Office is directed and controlled.

Corporate Plans and Strategies

The Strategy Statement of the Commission can be found here.

Annual Report 

The Commission’s Annual Report is available on the website here.

Organisational Structure 

Structure of the Office

The Commission consists of ex-officio members (Commissioners) as follows:

  • Ceann Comhairle
  • Ombudsman
  • Secretary General, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
  • Secretary General to the Government
  • Chairperson of the Standards in Public Office Commission

Director General:                                Jacqui McCrum

Secretary to the Commission:             Mr Andrew Patterson (Principal Officer)

The support staff consists of one Assistant Principal Officer, one Higher Executive Officer and one Clerical Officer. The corporate services functions – human resources, finance, administration and information technology – are carried out by the Office of the Ombudsman.

Pay Grading

The Ombudsman is an ex officio member of the Commission. His salary is equivalent to that of a Secretary General III in the Civil Service. The Director General’s salary is that of an Assistant Secretary in the Civil Service.

The salary scales of civil servants can be found in Circular 08/2013.

Location of the Office

The Commission is located at 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2.

Opening hours: between 9.15 and 5.30 Monday to Thursday and 9.15 to 5.15 on Friday.

Directions to the Office can be found here.

Contact Details

Post: Commission for Public Service Appointments, 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2, D02 HE97

Telephone: (01) 639 5750  

Email: info@cpsa.ie

Customer Charter

The Commission for Public Service Appointments Customer Charter can be found here.

Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour

The staff of the Office are civil servants in the Civil Service of the State and are therefore bound by the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour.

B.Services Provided to the Public

The service we provide

The Office examines complaints relating to alleged breaches of the principles outlined in the Commissions Codes of Practice in recruitment processes which fall within its remit.

How our service can be accessed

A person seeking a review of an alleged breach of the Codes of Practice must have their complaint examined in the first instance by the Office Holder and if they are not satisfied with the outcome of the review carried out by the Office Holder they may then apply for a further review by the Commission. 

Details of the review procedures available to candidates are available on our website. Complaints can be made in writing or by email.

How much it costs to access our service

There is no fee for making a complaint to the Commission.

Right of appeal relating to the service we provide

As per Section 8.10 of the Commissions Code of Practice the decision of the Commission is final.  The outcome of the Commission’s reports may be subject to Judicial Review.

Research projects undertaken by the Office

In the course of its examination of complaints, the Commission has noted a number of recurring themes. In this regard it has published a Casebook which sets out the approach the Commission has taken in its examination of these common complaints.  The aim of the Casebook is to support Office Holders in how they might ensure they comply with the standards prescribed in the Codes and also to inform Complainants and Office Holders alike on the position the Commission takes in these particular situations.

The Casebook can be found on the Commission’s website.

C.Decision Making process for major policy proposals

How we make decisions on policies

The Commission is a review body and therefore does not make public policy. However, following the examination of an appointment process, the Commission may make recommendations to public bodies with regard to the management of future recruitment processes to ensure that they are carried out in accordance with the Codes of Practice.

D.Financial Information

The Commission is funded under the vote allocated to the Office of the Ombudsman. For the most recently published Appropriation Account, see here.

E.Procurement

The procurement policy for the Commission is available at http://www.ombudsman.gov.ie/en/About-Us/Policies-and-Strategies/Corporate-Procurement/Corporate-Procurement.html

F.  FOI Disclosure Log and Other Information to be Published Routinely

FOI Disclosure Log 

Please see the table below for a log of non-personal requests for records received by the Commission:

Request NumberDate of RequestDate of DecisionDetailsReleased/WithheldExemptions Applied
1.05/01/201502/02/2015Records relating to recruitment of Psychologists including correspondence, guidelines, minutes of meetingsPart ReleasedS15(1)(a) & S37(1)
2.21/05/15 Request for records relating to TLACForwarded to PAS as per section 12(c) of the Act 
3.22/07/201511/08/2015Request for Correspondence between HSE/CPSA re PsychologistsPart GrantedSection 15(1)(a)
4.23/11/201521/12/2015Request for record re Legal Advice received by the CPSARefusedSection 31(1)(a)
5.24/11/201522/12/2015Request for records re agenda and deferral of Commission meetingGranted 
6.16/12/1515/01/16Request for records re names of Commissioners who attended meetingRefusedSection 29(1)
7.22/01/201616/03/2016Request for Records re Section 8 reviews carried out by Revenue CommissionersPart GrantSection 37(1), Section 31(1)(a)
8.25/02/201623/03/2016Request for records re Commission meeting November 2015Part GrantSection 15(1)(a) and Section 37(1)

The Commission has received 4 other requests which concern personal information of the requester which is not recorded on the Disclosure Log.

FOI Requests to the Office

Under the FOI Act, any person is entitled to apply for access to information which is not otherwise publicly available.  In general, as person has a right of:

1.      Access to records held by the Office

2.      Correction of personal information, relating to oneself, held by the Office, where such information is inaccurate, incomplete or misleading.

3.      Access to reasons for decisions made by the Office which directly affect oneself.

Other records such as those relating to the administration of the Office may be also available under the FOI Act (subject to the standard exemptions).

FOI requests relating to records of the Commission should be made in writing to:

FOI Liaison Officer

Commission for Public Service Appointments

18 Lower Leeson Street

Dublin 2

Telephone: (01) 6395750   Email: info@cpsa.ie

Requests should be made in writing and should specify that they are being made under the FOI Act.  The format in which the records are sought – e.g. photocopies/disk – should be stated in the request.  To allow identification of the records sought, requesters should describe the records in as much detail as possible.  If possible, a contact number which can be used during office hours should be provided for the purpose of clarifying the details of an FOI request.  The staff of the Office will assist in the formulation of an FOI request, if necessary. 

The Commission will acknowledge a request under the FOI Act within two weeks.  This will include notification that, in the event that the requester is not satisfied with the FOI decision issued, there is a right to request an internal review of the decision.  The decision will issue within four weeks.

Right to Internal Review of a Decision

The FOI Act provides for a right to internal review of decisions of public bodies.  An internal review may be requested where an FOI request has been refused or partially granted or where access has been deferred.  An internal review can also be requested where the form of access or the level of fees charged is disputed.  The Internal Review is carried out by an official at a higher level than the official who made the original FOI decision.  Such a request should be made within four weeks of the original decision.  The decision following internal review must issue within three weeks of its receipt. Refusal of an FOI request is deemed to have occurred where a decision has not issued within four weeks of receipt of the FOI request.

Requests for internal review of decisions of the Commission should be made, in writing, to:

Internal Reviewer

Commission for Public Service Appointments

18 Lower Leeson Street

Dublin 2

Telephone: (01) 6395750  Email: info@cpsa.ie

Information published by the Office

The FOI Act is intended to allow access to information held by public bodies which is not routinely available by other means subject to certain exemptions, procedures and time limits.  The following information about the activities and functions of the Office is available without the need to use the FOI Act.

Annual Reports

The Commission submits a report to the Oireachtas each year in relation to the Office’s activities during the previous year.  Annual reports are available from:

  • The office at 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2.
  • The website: www.cpsa.ie
  • The Government Publications Office.  This Office provides a Postal Trade Service.  Its address is Office of Public Works, Government Publications, 52 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2. Orders are accepted by telephone, email and post.  A Call Centre operates Monday to Friday 09.30 to 13.00 and 14.00 to 17.00 to assist callers and accept order payments by card, cheque or postal order.  There is also a dedicated email address, with all queries responded to on the next working day.  Tel: 01 647 6834 or email: publications@opw.ie

Other publications

The Commission also publishes a number of other documents which are available on the Commission’s website. These are:

  • Reports into Audits of recruitment and selection activity
  • CPSA Casebook
  • List of approved recruitment agencies
  • Statement of Strategy
  • Customer Charter
  • Codes of Practice

The above publications are all available free of charge from the Commission or on the website at www.cpsa.ie.

Information held by the Commission which is sought regularly

Most requests for information from the Office relation to requests for information on the complaints procedures available to candidates. Persons making such requests are assisted by support staff and are directed (if appropriate) to where further information is available such as the Codes of Practice and/or the Commission’s website.

Website

This website also contains additional information about the Office.  This includes:

  • Information about the Commission and its Role
  • Information about the membership of the Commission
  • Information on how to make a complaint
  • Information on how to make an FOI request to the Office
  • Information on the Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015
  • Contact details for the Office
  • Information on the Office, including its compliance the Disability Act and the reuse of Public Sector Information.

All information on the website appears in both Irish and English and also in accessible format.

April 2016