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Role of Civil Element of the Department

The primary role of the civil element of the Department is to support the Minister as head of the Department and in particular to provide policy advice and support on Defence matters, including assistance with policy formulation and the implementation of policy as directed by the Minister.

The civil element also has a number of specific roles, which include the management of legal, regulatory and litigation and lands policy and related matters on behalf of the Minister; the management of the Department’s human resources and industrial relations; and the coordination of the delivery of security, emergency and community services by the Defence Forces. In addition, the civil element provides liaison between the Defence Forces and other Government Departments, public authorities, the EU and public representatives. Policy in respect of overseas operations, in furtherance of Ireland’s commitments in the area of international security and peacekeeping, is also coordinated by the civil element which, jointly with the military, has an important strategic responsibility in relation to emergency planning coordination and oversight.

Civil servants discharge financial management and audit functions in connection with the Secretary General’s role as Accounting Officer and provide administrative support services to the Defence Forces, including payroll, the management of major procurement and infrastructural programmes and the management of lands used by the military. 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.

Finally, the civil element is responsible for the administration of military pensions and has a range of responsibilities in relation to Civil Defence, and the Irish Red Cross Society.

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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

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