Written Answers. - Competition Authority.

Proinsias De Rossa

Question:

60 Proinsias De Rossa asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she has concluded her consideration of the consultants report on staffing requirements in the Competition Authority; the plans there are to address staff shortages in the authority in the interim; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7101/01]

I take it the Deputy is referring to the final report dated 9 October 2000 of Deloitte & Touche Management Consultants entitled Review of the Competition Authority which was released on my Department's web site on 6 February 2001.

The report is a wideranging one dealing with the structure, operations, resource requirements, business processes and IT systems of the Competition Authority.

In relation to staffing levels, the authorised staffing complement of the authority prior to the review was 24. Following an interim report by the consultants, I increased this to 29 by the creation of two senior economist posts and three legal adviser posts. The final report of the consultants recommends a significant further increase which would bring the total staff complement to 44. This recommendation is under consideration by me at present.

There are currently four vacancies in the Competition Authority. One is for a legal adviser and three are at administrative level and work is in hand to fill these posts. A competition will be held for the legal adviser position and the administrative staff will be assigned to the authority in the normal way by internal transfer within the staffing complement of my Department as soon as possible. Currently my Department and other Departments are experiencing some delays in filling positions at administrative level.

I am committed to ensuring that the staffing resources of the authority are sufficient to enable it to discharge its important responsibilities.