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The Register of Public Sector Bodies provides the basis for the preparation of Government Finance Statistics (GFS) and Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) reporting for Ireland.  It lists all organisations in the State which are considered to be in the general government sector for the purposes of GFS and EDP.  It also lists organisations which, while under public control, are not part of the general government sector. It should be noted that this document should be viewed as a living document and will be subject to updates as the CSO receives more up to date information and is supplied with new guidance from Eurostat.

Historical versions of the Register of Public Sector Bodies are available on the CSO website. 

A complete list of the Register in alphabetical order is available here  P-RPBI2020H2TBL1.1 (XLS 58KB) .

A CSV file is also available here P-RPBI2020H2TBL1.1CSV.


The Central Statistics Office (CSO) have published Guidelines on the provision of methodological advice on statistical classifications for Government Finance Statistics and Excessive Deficit Procedure

Legal basis

Under Council Regulation (EC) No. 479/2009 as amended by Council Regulation  (EU) No 679/2010, and Commission Regulation (EU) No 220/2014 the CSO is responsible for the official reporting of Ireland’s General Government Balance (GGB), Debt (GGDebt), other Government Finance Statistics (GFS) and Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) statistics. This requires the CSO to define the scope of the general government and public sectors in Ireland.

The legally binding Accounting Regulations (EU) 549/2013 which must be used by all EU member states for producing these statistics are those of the European System of Accounts 2010 (ESA 2010). The Manual on Government Debt and Deficit (MGDD 2019) provides further guidance on the implementation of ESA 2010 when reporting GFS and EDP. 

Defining government control

ESA2010, paragraph 20.18 defines control as "the ability to determine the general policy or programme of that entity". Paragraphs 2.38 and 2.39 of ESA 2010 set out, respectively, indicators of control for corporations and non-profit institutions (see Table 1 below). They also note in each case that while a single indicator may be sufficient to establish control it may be necessary to assess a combination of indicators to determine control of the entity. Control can be a sufficient condition for an entity to be classified into government. For example, the MGDD gives specific guidance for control of non-profit institutions and educational units, see section paragraphs 36 to 42.

If an entity is determined to be under public control (but the level of control itself is not deemed sufficient to bring it automatically into government), it must then be established whether it should be classified in the general government sector or in the commercial public sector. This is done by using the market test. The market test states that if the entity covers at least 50% of its’ costs on an ongoing basis (the criteria used is a rolling three-year period) then the entity is classified into the commercial public sector. If it fails the market test, it is deemed to be non-commerical and is therefore placed into the general government sector.

The concept of “control” in national accounts terms does not mean that an organisation has no independence of action or decision-making function, or that it is what is traditionally thought of as a government body in national terms. Rather it means that any type of organisation, which may be established by government or by civil society, who is assessed, under the criteria listed in Table 1, to have a relationship with government that can be considered “control” as defined under ESA 2010.

Table 1 Indicators of government control

Corporations  (ESA 2010 para 2.38) 

  • Government ownership of the majority of the voting interest;
  • Government control of the board or governing body;
  • Government control of the appointment and removal of key personnel;
  • Government control of key committees in the entity;
  • Government possession of a golden share;
  • Special regulations;
  • Government as a dominant customer;
  • Borrowing from government.

Non-profit institutions (ESA 2010 para 2.39) 

  • Appointment of officers;
  • Provisions of the enabling instruments;
  • Contractual agreements;
  • Degree of financing;
  • Degree of government risk exposure.                       

Defining an institutional unit

ESA 2010 defines an institutional unit using four criteria:

  • Ability to own goods or assets in its own right and to exchange the ownership of goods or assets in transactions with other institutional units;
  • Ability to take economic decisions and engage in economic activities for which it is itself held to be directly responsible and accountable at law;
  • Ability to incur liabilities on its own behalf, to take on other obligations for further commitments and to enter into contracts; and
  • Ability to draw up a complete set of accounts, covering all transactions carried out during the accounting period, as well as a balance sheet of assets and liabilities.

An entity which fails the criteria of an institutional unit is classified in the same sector as the body which controls it. Therefore, publicly controlled units which are not institutional units are classified in general government. For example, most extra-budgetary funds are not categorised as institutional units. 

Extra Budgetary Funds

Most Extra Budgetary Funds (EBFs) are not treated as institutional units as they generally have no autonomy of decision.  A government department, or in some cases the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), manages the EBFs. Budgetary data in respect of these funds are reported in either the Appropriation Accounts, the audited accounts of the fund in question or the NTMA Annual Report.  

Non-commercial semi-state bodies (non-market agencies)

Bodies which are neither government departments nor EBFs that are subject to government control and/or  which receive a majority of their funding from the general government sector  are referred to as non-commercial semi-state bodies. Examples of such bodies which are classified in the central government subsector include Enterprise Ireland, the Industrial Development Authority, Teagasc, voluntary hospitals, voluntary schools, Irish Rail and RTE. These bodies are deemed to be non-commercial as they cover less than half of their operating costs through sales of goods or services. Commercial semi-state companies, though publicly controlled, are not classified in the general government sector because they are commercial  entities. (See the defining government control paragraph for further details).

Defining commercial/non-commercial units

ESA 2010 (paragraph 20.29) states that the classification of “core government units engaged in the provision of goods and services on a non-market basis and/or in the redistribution of income and wealth, is straightforward.” This refers to what are typically thought of as government units – in Ireland’s case these would include Departments of State and their associated offices and local authorities.

However (as we have described earlier), other units may also be classified to the general government sector if they are controlled by government and/or if they are classified as “non-commercial producers”. The general government sector thus encompasses both central and local government, non-commercial state-owned bodies and extra budgetary funds as well as the Social Security Funds.
Other bodies (i.e. those who do not have a sufficient level of government control to bring them straight into the general government sector) are also considered commercial institutional units that are controlled by government (e.g. ESB, AIB) and are classified in the ‘commercial Public Sector’. These bodies would be classified as either being in the Non-Financial Corporations Sector (S.11) or the Financial Corporations Sector (S.12).

To determine that a publicly controlled producer is a commercial unit (assuming the level of control by government has been dealt with separately) it must charge “economically significant prices”, that is prices which substantially influence the amount of the good or service which the producer is willing to supply and the consumer is willing to purchase. If the publicly controlled producer is the only supplier to government of goods or services* it must do so on the basis of competition with private producers (e.g. through a tendering process) in order to be considered a market producer. It must also have a profit-based incentive to adjust supply and must be able to operate in market conditions and to meet its financial obligations. The ability to undertake a market activity is checked via a quantitative criterion which measures whether the entity is covering at least 50% of its production costs through sales (as defined in ESA 2010 paras 20.30-20.32) over a rolling three-year period.

*Providers of "ancillary services" such as transport, financing, purchasing, computer services etc. who provide services exclusively to a parent unit are classified in the same sector as their parent unit.

Compilation and update of the Register of Public Sector Bodies

The Register is based on a number of sources including government publications, annual reports, academic databases and data collection undertaken by the CSO.  The CSO conducts annual joint surveys of all:

  • Central government departments - with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; and
  • Local authorities - with the Department of the Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

These surveys confirm or revise existing data and obtain further information as needed on all bodies under the aegis of these government units to ensure their correct statistical classification. 

The composition of this Register is not static. Government controlled bodies are established, closed and merged over time.  Also the commercial/non-commercial (market/non-market) status of bodies must be continually reviewed.  Consequently the Register of Public Sector Bodies is up-dated twice a year in April and October. The Register also includes statistical classification reviews completed by the Government Accounts Classifications Division throughout the preceding 12 months.

Local government

The Local Government Reform Act 2014 provided for the abolition of Town Councils and the introduction of municipal districts making structures rather than corporate entities (with effect from 1 June 2014). Following this and the merger of specific city/county councils the number of local authorities in Ireland was reduced to 31, comprising single county-wide executive and operational structures.

The CSO survey local authorities annually to gather information on entities owned by the local authorities. Each entity is reviewed in terms of their statistical classification. The Register lists those entities deemed to be controlled by government for statistical purposes. The ESA 2010 statistical criteria are applied in making the classification decisions. The non-commercial (non-market) entities are included under the local authority agency list. The commercial (market) entities are on the public corporations list.

Regional assemblies

The Local Government Reform Act 2014 provided for the existing 8 regional authorities and 2 regional assemblies to be replaced by 3 new regional assemblies. The membership of a regional assembly consists of members of the local authorities within the region. The main function is to draw up regional spatial and economic strategies.

Approved Housing Bodies

Section 6 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1992 allows for the designation of certain non-profit entities as Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs). This status allows a voluntary housing body to access funding for the provision of social housing under schemes established by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The current conditions to become an AHB under Section 6 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992 state that an organisation seeking such status may take the form of:

• Limited companies formed by guarantee of their members and not having a shareholding, registered under the Companies Act 2014;
• Societies registered under the Industrial & Provident Societies Acts, 1893 – 2014;
• Trusts incorporated under the Charities Acts.

Furthermore such a body must:

• Have as its goal, the relief of housing needs, to assist with cases of poverty or hardship, including the welfare of Travellers, and the delivery and management of housing;
• Have in its Memorandum and Articles of Association or registered rules, provisions preventing the distribution of any surplus, profit, bonus or dividend to its members;
• Ensure that its assets are applied solely towards its objects.

Following a statistical classification review of Tier 3 AHBs in 2017 (comprising around 80% of the total housing stock of the sector) the CSO reclassified 16 AHBs to the local government sector.

During 2020, the Government Accounts Classifications Division completed a statistical classification review of 52 Tier 2 AHBs who own or manage approximately 5,500 housing units.  The review classified 30 Tier 2 AHBs into the local government sector, giving a total of 46 AHBs classified in this sector. These AHBs are listed in the Register.

It was also noted that 15 of the 52 Tier 2 AHBs were involved in the provision of additional services, such as disability services.  These additional services are funded by the Department Health/HSE and other government departments.  These 15 bodies were further reviewed in the context of the provision of their housing and other services.  This review classified 13 of these bodies into the central government sector (see Table 2 below).  The remaining 9 Tier 2 AHBs that were reviewed remained in the Non-Profit Institutions Serving Household sector.  

Organisations providing health and personal social services

During 2020 a classification review was undertaken of HSE Section 38 organisations that provide health and personal social services.  Of these, 10 were classified in the central government sector under the aegis of the Department of Health/HSE. Table 2 lists the organisations reviewed during 2020, in alphabetical order. It should be noted that the Government Accounts Classifications Division work is ongoing. The prioritisation of reviews depends on criteria, such as, existing work requirements for the CSO, Eurostat and other government departments as well as the material impact on the government accounts. 

Table 2 Organisations providing services classified into central government

1.   Ability West
2.   Brothers of Charity Services Ireland
3.   Carriglea Cairde Services Ltd
4.   Central Remedial Clinic
5.   Cheeverstown House CLG
6.   Cheshire Homes Ireland
7.   Cope Foundation
8.   Daughters of Charity Disability Support Services CLG
9.   Gheel Autism Services
10. Irish Wheelchair Association Ltd
11. Kare, Promoting Inclusion for People with Intellectual Disability
12. Kerry Parents and Friends
13. Leopardstown Park Hospital
14. Muiriosa Foundation
15. Saint John of God Community Services CLG 
16. Saint Michael's House
17. Saint Patrick's Centre (Kilkenny)
18. SOS Kilkenny Housing Association Ltd
19. Stewarts Care Ltd
20. Sunbeam House Services
21. The Children's Sunshine Home
22. Threshold, National Housing Organisation
23. Western Care Association

Please note that all of the above entities are under the aegis of the Department of Health with the exception of Threshold who are classified under the aegis of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

Changes to the Register of Public Sector Bodies

Social Security Funds (S.1314)

In 2014 the sector classification of the Social Insurance Fund (SIF) was reviewed as part of ESA2010 implementation. As it did not meet the institutional unit criteria it was reclassified from S.1314 to S.1311. As only one other Member State did not present S.1314 in GFS and EDP, Ireland was requested by Eurostat in the 2019 Excessive Deficit Procedure Dialogue Visit to reflect on reporting the SIF in S.1314 in order to harmonise practices with other Member States. The CSO is in agreement with Eurostat that presenting the S.1314 sub-sector facilitates harmonisation and comparability with other Member States.  Therefore, from September 2021 Social Security Funds (S.1314) are listed separately in the general government sector (S.13).  S.1314 includes the Social Insurance Fund (SIF), Eircom No.2 and Coillte No.2 pension funds.

Changes to local government sector

The Register of Public Sector Bodies 2020 - Final includes the May 2021 survey results of local government.  Due to data availability, the survey of local government is for reference year 2019. The next survey of local government will take place in May 2022 and the Register published in October 2022 will reflect a full listing of 2020 local government entities. 

Entities added to local government sector

Non-commercial agencies:

  • Kilrush Amenity Trust CLG
  • Donegal Digital Innovation CLG
  • Letterkenny Sports Complex Development CLG
  • Malahide Castle and Newbridge House Ltd
  • Parslickstown House Facilities Management CLG
  • Athy Heritage CLG
  • Kilkenny Tourism CLG
  • Shannon Broadband Ltd
  • Meath Energy Management Agency CLG
  • Bioconnect Innovation Centre CLG
  • National Data Platform DAC
  • Hawks Well Theatre CLG
  • Sligo Tourism CLG
  • The Model
  • South Dublin District Heating CLG
  • Viking Triangle Trust CLG

Commercial corporations:

  • County Donegal Tourism CLG
  • Grand Canal Harbour Management Company DAC
  • Plato Dublin Business Support CLG
  • Shangan NC Management Company CLG
  • The Laois Arts Theatre Company CLG
  • Swimworld (Waterford) Leisure Ltd
  • Wexford Heritage Trust

Entities removed from local government sector

Non-commercial agencies:

  • Malahide Castle and Gardens Ltd
  • Newbridge House and Farm Ltd
  • Limerick City Community Safety Partnership Ltd
  • County Meath Ireland Collections Ltd
  • Tullamore Community Arts Centre Ltd
  • Nenagh Arts Centre Ltd

Commercial corporations:

  • Draíocht Ltd
  • Watergate Theatre Co Ltd

Changes to central government sector
The Register of Public Sector Bodies 2020 includes the May 2021 survey results of central government entities. The survey of central government is for reference year 2020. 

Entities added to central government sector

Non-commercial agencies:

  • Defence Forces Canteen Board – under the aegis of the Department of Defence
  • Dental Health Foundation – under the aegis of the Department of Health
  • Galway Cultural Development and Activity Ltd – under the aegis of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media

Commercial corporations:

Fourteen new subsidiaries are added to the Electricity Supply Board Group under the aegis of the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications as follows:

  • Bullstown Solar Ltd
  • Fitzwilliam Street Lower Management
  • Garravagh Solar Farm Ltd
  • Harmony Solar Dennistown Ltd
  • Harmony Solar Kildare Ltd
  • Harmony Solar Knockanoura Ltd
  • Harmony Solar Longford Ltd
  • Harmony Solar Mayglass Ltd
  • Harmony Solar Mullingar Ltd
  • Harmony Solar Ralphtown Ltd
  • Harmony Solar Smithstown Ltd
  • Shantallow Solar Farm Ltd
  • Sillahertane Energy Project Two Ltd
  • Tullamore Solar Farm Ltd

Three new subsidiaries are added to Bord na Móna PLC under the aegis of the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications as follows:

  • Cloncreen Wind Farm DAC
  • Cloncreen Wind Farm Holdings DAC
  • Bord na Móna New Business Limited

One new subsidiary is added to the Voluntary Health Insurance Board under the aegis of the Department of Health as follows:

  • Vhi Cumhdach DAC

Entities removed from central government sector

Non-commercial agencies:

  • Irish Heritage Trust – under the aegis of the Department of Housing
  • Irish Bank Resolution Corporation – under the aegis of the Department of Finance

Extra Budgetary Funds:

  • Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme – under the aegis of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media
  • Small Savings Reserve Fund – under the aegis of the Department of Finance

Commercial Corporations:

  • The Hire Purchase Company of Ireland Ltd – under the aegis of the Department of Finance
  • Irish Permanent Property Co Ltd - under the aegis of the Department of Finance 
  • Vhi Investments DAC – under the aegis of the Department of Health
  • Dublin Airport Central, Dublin Airport and Cork Airport have been removed from this edition of the Register as they are not institutional units but principal activities of daa plc.

NACE classification

NACE is a Statistical Classification of Economic Activities developed in the European Community. NACE is an acronym derived from the French title 'Nomenclature générale des Activités économiques dans les Communautés Européennes'. In compliance with EU regulations the NACE Rev. 2 classification system is used in this publication.

The NACE Rev.2 sections are:

  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing: Section A
  • Industry (excluding Construction): Sections B, C, D, E
    of which: Manufacturing: Section C
  • Construction: Section F
  • Distribution, transport, hotels and restaurants: Sections G,H,I
  • Information and communication: Section J
  • Financial and insurance activities: Section K
  • Real estate activities: Section L
  • Professional, admin and support services: Sections M,N
  • Public admin, education and health: Sections O,P,Q
  • Arts, entertainment and other services: Sections R,S,T

The  European Commission provides the most up to date information on the Nace Rev 2 classification which can be found here .

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