Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Questions (84)

Frank Feighan

Question:

107 Deputy Frank Feighan asked the Minister for Finance if the Public Appointments Service has a panel or an established list of employees requiring redeployment to different Departments; if it approached the departmental offices based in counties Leitrim, Roscommon or Cavan to establish if vacancies exist in these areas, which could accommodate individuals based in Dublin which would improve efficiency and staff welfare; if a list will be made available to staff; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13360/11]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Finance)

The Public Service Agreement 2010-14 (the "Croke Park" Agreement) provides for agreed redeployment arrangements to apply in the Civil Service and in other parts of the public service. The initial focus is on redeployment within the relevant employment or sector and it is only when this is not possible, that redeployment in another sector is considered. The purpose of redeployment is to ensure that in the context of a reduction in numbers serving in the Public Service, it will be possible to move staff to certain designated priority areas in accordance with Government policy.

The Public Appointments Service (PAS) has put in place a system of Resource Panels for Civil Service and State Agency staff to support redeployment. Posts to be filled by redeployment are offered in the first instance to the relevant panel or panels. The agreed arrangements provide that staff can be moved within a 45km radius of their work or home location. Staff based in Dublin would not therefore be liable for redeployment to Leitrim, Roscommon or Cavan.

The Government is committed to reducing public service numbers by some 24,000 in the period to 2015. The moratorium on Public Service recruitment and promotion is one of the policy instruments in use to ensure that the Government targets are met. Exceptions to the moratorium require the prior sanction of the Minister for Finance. However, the moratorium does not preclude public service organisations from reorganising work or redeploying staff internally to meet operational needs.

Where it is decided to fill a post in a Department's regional office, whether for operational reasons or by way of an exception to the moratorium, redeployment options would be explored in the first instance. If redeployment is not possible, the post would generally be offered to Civil Service staff who had already indicated an interest in that location, whether directly to the Department concerned or through the Central Applications Facility for decentralisation. The appointee's post might then either be filled from the redeployment panels or suppressed as appropriate.