This matter is being considered in the context of overall proposals for reform of the public service generally which are currently being prepared by the Co-ordinating Group of Secretaries set up to oversee the Strategic Management initiative. Earlier this year the Government mandated the co-ordinating group to prepare for its consideration such proposals. I understand that the group will submit its proposals to the Government very shortly.
Pending completion of the Government's consideration of the group's proposals, I am not in a position to say what the outcome will be in relation to the matter raised by the Deputy. However, as I stated previously in reply to a question put down by the Deputy on 28 June last, I am positively disposed to the removal of the traditional promotion barriers in the Civil Service and would hope that progress can be made in this area on this occasion. The Deputy will appreciate that existing promotion arrangements have been agreed with the staff side and any proposed changes will be a matter for discussion with staff interests generally.