Office of Public Works

The Office of Public Works (OPW) (Irish: Oifig na nOibreacha Poiblí) (legally the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland) is a major Irish Government agency, which manages most of the Irish State's property portfolio, including hundreds of owned and rented Government offices and police properties, oversees National Monuments and directly manages some heritage properties, and is the lead State engineering agency, with a special focus on flood risk management. It lies within the remit of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, with functions largely delegated to a Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with special responsibility for the Office. The OPW has a central role in driving the Government's property asset management reform process, both in respect of its own portfolio and that of the wider public service.[2] The agency was initially known as Board of Works, a title inherited from a preceding body, and this term is still sometimes encountered.

Office of Public Works (formally the Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland)
Agency overview
Formed15 October 1831; 189 years ago (1831-10-15)
Preceding agency
  • Barrack Board and Board of Works / Civil Buildings Commissioners (subsumed the Office of the Surveyor General), Directors-General of Inland Navigation (subsumed the Fisheries Commissioners), Postmaster General (partly), Public Works Loans Commissioners
TypeState agency
JurisdictionRepublic of Ireland
HeadquartersJonathan Swift Street, Trim, County Meath, C15 NX36
Employeesc. 2400 (~1950 full-time, ~450 seasonal / part-time)
Annual budget424 million + 90 million (2018, last reported)[1]
Ministers responsible
Agency executive
  • Maurice Buckley, Chairman
Parent departmentDepartment of Public Expenditure and Reform
Child agency
  • Heritage Ireland, Government Publications Office
Key document
WebsiteOPW website
OPW flag

The second oldest State agency in Ireland,[3] the OPW subsumed the functions of the Commissioners and Overseers of Barracks (the Barrack Board) and the Board of Works / Civil Buildings Commissioners (which two agencies had in turn taken on the functions of the Office of the Surveyor General in 1762), the Directors-General of Inland Navigation (which had taken on the functions of the Fisheries Commissioners), and some functions of the Postmaster-General, and those of the Public Works Loans Commissioners. The OPW includes the Government Publications Office, and publishes the State gazette, Iris Oifigiúil, and also manages some aspects of the household of the President of Ireland. It for many years oversaw aspects of public procurement, including the first centralised national procurement office. Its fisheries functions later moved to more specialised departments, the inland navigation functions were largely transferred to Waterways Ireland in 1999, and many purchasing functions moved to the Office of Government Procurement in 2014.