Written Answers. - Civil Service Examinations.

Mary Flaherty

Question:

85 Miss Flaherty asked the Minister for Finance the reason the Civil Service Commission require successful candidates in Civil Service examinations to provide letters of verification from either clergymen, priests or Oireachtas Members to the effect that they have not worked or received social welfare benefit during specific periods; and his views on whether this system has any value other than nuisance for all concerned.

The Civil Service Commission, in common with other employers, take up references from former employers of appointees to the Civil Service. In addition, the Civil Service Commission verifies that all the information provided by applicants in support of their application is correct. Where candidates state that they were employed or unemployed for a period of longer than three months, they are asked to provide documentary confirmation of that fact. Confirmation of periods of unemployment is normally obtained by the candidate from the employment exchange. It is to cater for the small number of cases where information is not available from that source that the alternative sources listed in the question are suggested to the candidate.

I am assured by the Civil Service Commission that where candidates have any difficulty in responding to requests for information or any other matter connected with their appointment, the commission are only too happy to discuss these problems with them.