The 2023 robotic process automation (RPA) – software, training and support services incorporating artificial intelligence



Policy areas

Organisation name Department of Public Expenditure NDP Delivery and Reform

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Contact person: John O'Donoghue


The 2023 Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Framework Agreement is an initiative from the Department of Public Expenditure, NDP (National Development Plan) Delivery and Reform. It allows for the easy procurement of RPA services, products, training and support for public and civil entities, removing the need for each entity to initiate a procurement competition. It builds on the success of the 2019 RPA Framework Agreement, though this latest iteration includes the possibility of procuring AI RPA add-ons, services, training and consultancy. Currently, 14 civil and public service organisations have adopted RPA to increase efficiency in service delivery.

This initiative builds on the strategy document Our Public Service 2020, which focused on implementing efficiencies throughout the Irish Civil and Public service, and specifically recommended the exploration of emerging technologies to drive efficiencies. Similarly, the new framework agreement reflects the aspirations of the government’s strategy for Better Public Services, which outlines the transformational aims of the Civil Service reaching out to 2030. One of the key elements of this new strategy is the professionalisation of the Irish Civil and Public Service through upskilling.


The 2023 RPA Framework Agreement responds to the government’s strategies, which have been heavily focused on digital transformation, including the goal of having 90 per cent of public services available digitally by 2030. In addition, the initiative also focuses on upskilling public servants, so they can engage with and take responsibility for the systems deployed. To enable this, extensive training options and skills transfer mechanisms were built into the new agreement.


The 2023 RPA Agreement was written completely in-house by staff members of the Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform, and the Office of Government Procurement. In total, two members of staff worked full time on the agreement and two others worked part time.

Through automation, the participating public and civil organisations saved more than 95 000 work days and, on average, generated a 3:1 financial return on invested funds. The 2023 RPA agreement also includes extensive training and skill transfer options building on the 2019 agreement, which saw over 60 public servants engage in RPA analysis and development courses.

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