Written Answers. - Civil Service Political Activity.

Michael P. Kitt

Question:

57 Mr. M. Kitt asked the Minister for Finance the current position on the conditions for State employees and civil servants relating to political activity; the conditions applying to each grade; if it is proposed to make any changes for an officer who wishes to stand for election to either House of the Oireachtas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17319/95]

My responsibility in this area relates to the Civil Service and the arrangements relating to civil servants and political activity are as follows:

(a) Civil servants are not permitted to stand for election to either House of the Oireachtas or the European Assembly. This restriction applies to all categories of staff.

(b) Civil servants in the industrial categories and the manipulative, subclerical and manual grades are free to engage in political activity, subject to the general restriction in relation to parliamentary elections.

(c) Members of the clerical grades in the Civil Service and civil servants in non-manipulative grades with salary maxima equal to or below the clerical officer maximum may apply for permission to engage in politics on the same basis as the staff referred to at (b) but officers employed on particular types of work may have their applications refused.

(d) All civil servants above clerical level are totally debarred from engaging in politics. However, personal assistants and special advisers in Ministers' offices are exempt from the present arrangements covering State employees and politics.

These restrictions are in place for what I consider to be good and valid reasons and I have no plans to make any changes in this area.