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Corporate Governance Framework

The Corporate Governance arrangements for the Department of Defence are set out in the document available HERE.


The Department has civil and military elements and was established by the Ministers and Secretaries Act, 1924, which assigns to it “the administration and business of the raising, training, organisation, maintenance, equipment, management, discipline, regulation and control according to law of the military defence forces”. The Act provides that the Minister is head of the Department and the Secretary General is the “principal officer” of the Department. As such, the Secretary General is the Minister’s principal policy adviser. The Secretary General is also the statutory Accounting Officer for all defence expenditure. In that context, there has been a significant degree of delegation of financial authority to the Defence Forces in recent years, particularly in the area of the procurement of goods and services.

The Department is responsible also for the administration of military pensions and has a range of responsibilities in relation to Civil Defence, the Irish Red Cross Society and Coiste an Asgard.

Following the events of September 11, 2001, the Government decided on the establishment of an Office of Emergency Planning (OEP) in the Department which would:

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take the lead role in emergency planning to meet the new threat from international terrorism and from any escalation in international tensions, including coordination of the responses by the various agencies involved;
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exercise an oversight role in relation to peacetime planning in order to ensure the best possible use of resources and compatibility between the different planning requirements.

It was also decided that the lead responsibilities for specific emergency planning functions would remain with the relevant Government Departments and that all Government Departments and agencies would give their full cooperation to the OEP.

Mission Statement
The mission statement reflects fully the mandate given to the Department. That mission is:

“To provide for the military defence of the state, contribute to national and international peace and security and fulfil all other roles assigned Government”.

Organisation Structure
The Defence organisation is made up of civil and military elements, which have quite different but complementary roles. It is important to note that the combined effort of both is required to ensure organisational success.

A key focus of the modernisation process has been on ensuring that Defence organisation structures and roles, both civil and military, are better aligned with our mandate and our mission.

That ongoing modernisation process has been carried forward by the White Paper on Defence, the Programme for Government and detailed in successive Strategy Statements and Annual Reports.

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Department of Defence
Station Road
Co. Kildare
W12 AD93

Tel 00 353 45 492000
Fax 00 353 45 492017
* loCall 1890 251890
** Or call 0761 001 607

* Note that the rates charged for the use of 1890 (LoCall) numbers may vary among different service providers
** 0761 numbers are charged as a national number from landlines and mobiles and are often included in bundle deals offered by phone operators