From Personnel Management to HRM: Key Issues and Challenges examines why government department personnel functions should re-orient their activities to take a more strategic and developmental approach to human resource management (HRM). Currently, human resource (HR) policies are, in the main, centrally determined and developed. There is a commitment to decentralise and devolve HR responsibilities. Allied with this more strategic focus is the concept of devolution of HR responsibilities has been given particular emphasis by the recent publication of the fifth national social partnership agreement, the Programme for Propserity and Fairness in the public sector (2000). This programme identifies the need for a more strategic approach to HRM issues in the public sector, with greater involvement by line maangers in the management of their staff.