Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Civil Service Salary Scales.

17.

asked the Minister for Finance how the present practice of paying higher salary scales to officers in certain higher grades in his Department is reconcilable (a) with the principles laid down in the Civil Service Regulations Acts providing for the classification and remuneration of civil servants according to general service classes, and (b) with the evidence, submitted by the Department of Finance to the Commission of Inquiry into the civil service, that the general service classes are the classes recruited for the performance of the administrative, executive, clerical and semi-clerical work, of types common to all Departments, that throughout the various Departments there are certain kinds of work capable of being graded according to a common standard, and that the work in all Departments (apart from what is professional or technical or what is covered by the Departmental classes) is readily assignable to one or other of the common classes.

18.

asked the Minister for Finance whether, having regard to the implication in a reply of 7th March, 1961, that the duties performed by officers in higher grades in his Department are deserving of higher salary scales than the scales attached to corresponding grades in outside Departments, he will state (a) the procedure followed in selecting officers for these higher grades, (b) whether such procedure enables all officers in the grades of higher executive officer and administrative officer throughout the civil service to compete for vacancies in the assistant principal grade in the Department of Finance, and (c) whether the principle of higher salary scales for the Department of Finance officials compared with other Departments applies to the post of Secretary of the Department of Finance and to the post of Minister for Finance (over other Ministers) and, if not, why.

19.

asked the Minister for Finance the maximum of the married salary scales, including percentage additions, for principals and assistant principals in (1) the Department of Finance and (2) the Departments of Industry and Commerce, Local Government, Health and Agriculture.

I propose with the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, to take questions 17, 18 and 19 together.

The Civil Service Regulation Acts contain no reference to general service classes. Departures from pay related to the general service common standard occur in a number of Departments and are in no way in conflict with those Acts nor, indeed, with the evidence referred to by the Deputy.

The promotion procedure in my Department is the same as in other Departments. Normally the officer serving in the Department who is most suitable and best qualified is selected; exceptionally, an officer from outside the Department is appointed.

The principle of higher salary does apply in relation to the Secretary of the Department of Finance and remains valid even though certain heads of Departments are at present on equivalent pay. The salary of the Minister for Finance is not related to the salaries of civil servants and is determined by reference to entirely different considerations.

The salary maxima sought are set out in the current Estimates volume.