Written Answers. - Border Duty.

Donal Carey

Question:

32 Mr. Carey asked the Minister for Defence if he intends dealing with the problems created for members of the Defence Forces on Border duty as a result of the long hours of duty served on a regular basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

I announced recently that the Government has decided that a radical overhaul of the structures and systems of the Defence Forces is to be carried out. In reaching that decision the Government took into account a preliminary study of aspects of administration in the Defence Forces which had been undertaken by the Efficiency Audit Group.

The group's findings suggest that there are serious imbalances in the distribution and deployment of military personnel with the result that a disproportionate number of Army personnel is employed on administration and clerical duties; in the running of stores; on cooking and mess duties; and on maintenance work. The findings are in line with the results of a survey undertaken earlier by the Gleeson Commission to establish the proportion of personnel employed on various military activities.
A fundamental review of the Defence Forces will be undertaken by the efficiency audit group which will be tasked with recommending such changes as are necessary to prepare the Defence Forces to fulfil the roles assigned to them by Government as effectively and as efficiently as possible.