Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Questions (121)

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

121 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the total number of jobs lost in the public services due to savings imposed in the wake of the memorandum of understanding and through natural wastage in each of the past two years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32809/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Expenditure)

The Government is committed to reducing public service numbers to 282,500 by the end of 2015 as part of its Reform Agenda. The overriding objective is to have a more customer focused, leaner, more efficient and better integrated public service which delivers maximum value for money. The following table sets out the public sector numbers at end 2010, end 2011 and end Quarter 1 in 2012.

Public Service Numbers

2010

2011

2012

Qtr4

Qtr4

Qtr1

Civil Service *

35,984

36,177

35,763

Defence Sector

10,313

10,131

9,553

Education Sector

93,827

90,946

90,830

Health Sector

107,972

104,392

102,811

Justice Sector

14,722

14,238

13,622

Local Authorities

30,703

29,506

28,576

NCSA

11,992

11,500

10,772

Total

305,512

296,891

291,927

* In 2011 over 1,000 Community Welfare Service staff transferred to the Department of Social Protection.

In Q1 2012 over 700 FÁS staff transferred into the Department of Social Protection.

Significant progress is being made in reducing the numbers employed in the Public Service. The numbers working in the public service have continued to fall, with the provisional outturn for Quarter 1 2012 now standing at 291,927, which means that we are now close to the 2005 staffing levels. Of course, such a reduction in public service numbers will pose challenges. It will require a refocus on business processes and adjustments to the way all public bodies use available resources. It will also require changes to the way individual public servants go about their daily work and greater flexibility in the way services are provided, for example, with greater use of technology and shared services.

The Strategic Workforce Planning Groups in each sector, including my own Department, are currently ensuring that sectoral employers develop plans to deal on an ongoing basis to deal with the operational and strategic consequences arising from the reductions in public service staffing numbers. The moratorium will continue with certain limited exceptions for example in relation to some frontline posts, or statutory positions, etc. where a sufficiently strong business case is made. In the Health and Education sectors in particular special arrangements are in place for exemptions to the moratorium on recruitment for specified grades or positions. However, I wish to make clear that, it is part of the day to day function of the Boards and Management of all public bodies to assess, budget and plan for current and ongoing staffing requirements within existing resources.