Departmental Staff Redeployment

Question No. 150 answered with Question No. 6.

Questions (149)

Derek Nolan

Question:

149. Deputy Derek Nolan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will outline the public services procedure, terms and conditions for offering employees access to the redeployment scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10507/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

The Public Service Agreement 2010-14 (Croke Park Agreement) provides for agreed redeployment arrangements to apply in the Civil Service and in other parts of the public service. Under the Agreement, redeployment generally takes precedence over all other methods of filling a vacancy and supersedes any existing agreements on the deployment of staff. It sets out the agreed redeployment arrangements within the Health, Education, and Local Authority sectors and within and between the Civil Service and Non-Commercial State Sponsored Bodies (NCSSB). It also provides that cross sectoral redeployments will follow the arrangements agreed for the NCSSBs.

The Public Appointments Service (PAS), which has day-to-day operational responsibility for the implementation of redeployment, has put in place a system of Resource Panels of Civil Service and State Agency staff to support the redeployment processes in those sectors agreed under the Croke Park Agreement. Posts to be filled by redeployment are offered in the first instance to the relevant panel or panels. It is a matter for the employer to identify the number and grades of posts to be redeployed in the first instance and to upload the posts onto the PAS panels. Employers can do this early in the redeployment process to maximise the opportunities to place their staff. There is no set time-limit within which individuals awaiting redeployment must be redeployed.

A “Redeployment Toolkit” which gives full details on each stage of the redeployment process has been agreed with the staff unions. It includes a section setting out responses to Frequently Asked Questions and is available on my Department’s website at http://hr.per.gov.ie/files/2011/09/here28.doc .

Question No. 150 answered with Question No. 6.

Croke Park Agreement Issues

Questions (151, 152)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

151. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if, in the context of cost-cutting throughout the public sector arising from the memorandum of understanding entered into by his predecessors, it is possible to take account of those public sector employees who are currently working the longest hours and in some situations under stressful conditions and currently under review in the context of the Croke Park agreement; if cognisance will be taken of the particular needs of such public servants in front-line services with a view to ensuring the continuity of the service in so far as is possible; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10708/13]

View answer

Bernard Durkan

Question:

152. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if in the context of cost-cutting measures arising from the memorandum of understanding entered into by his predecessors, he and his Department will endeavour to maintain the integrity of frontline services throughout the public sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10710/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 151 and 152 together.

The Government is making good progress on achieving all of our targets and priorities, as articulated in the Government Programme. We are bringing public expenditure back to a sustainable level and driving forward the public service reform agenda to ensure that efficiencies and reformed work practices play a full part in contributing to the overall budgetary consolidation effort.

The medium-term expenditure management process began with the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure (CRE) exercise in 2011, which was carried out by all Departments to identify ways of reducing expenditure, in line with commitments under the Joint EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support for Ireland, while minimising the impact on service delivery.

In recent weeks, extremely difficult and complex discussions have been underway between public service management and public service staff representatives seeking agreement on a series of measures that will secure an additional €1 billion saving from the public service pay and pensions bill by 2015.

Following intensive engagement in recent days between the parties which was facilitated by the Labour Relations Commission (LRC), the LRC has developed and recommended a set of proposals for consideration and agreement that seeks to secure the savings required by the Exchequer while ameliorating the impacts on public service staff to the greatest extent possible.

All sectors of the public service have been asked to make a significant and proportionate contribution to the overall savings. It is very clear that the impact of measures proposed in this Agreement will affect all public service workers and not just front line workers.

Public servants will be able to consider the full set of proposals by the LRC. The public service staff representatives who remained in negotiations have indicated that these proposals will be subject to ballot by members in the coming weeks.

Departmental Staff Retirements

Questions Nos. 154 and 155 answered with Question No. 19.

Questions (153)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

153. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of persons that have left the public service in each of the past five years to date either by way of natural retirement or redundancy; the extent to which the national pay bill has been affected as a result; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10711/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

The historical data the Deputy has requested on public service pay and numbers is available on my Department’s website (http://databank.per.gov.ie/). This data is regularly updated and I would urge all Deputies to utilise this resource.

Questions Nos. 154 and 155 answered with Question No. 19.

Public Sector Reform Implementation

Questions Nos. 157 to 159, inclusive, answered with Question No. 19.

Questions (156)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

156. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the Government Department or bodies under their aegis that have shown the least progress in terms of public sector reform in the past five years; the way this compares with those Departments that have achieved most in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10714/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

The Government’s Public Service Reform Plan, published November 2011, sets out an ambitious range of actions and timescales for comprehensive reform across all areas of the Public Service. In addition, all Departments and major Offices have developed their own high-level Integrated Reform Delivery Plans, which set out the key actions required to ensure the successful delivery of the priority reform initiatives set out in the Programme for Government, the Public Service Reform Plan, the Comprehensive Review of Expenditure and the Public Service Agreement, as well as sector-specific reform initiatives.

Departments and Offices are required to produce regular reports on progress under these plans to the Cabinet Committee on Public Service Reform, via the Reform and Delivery Office in my Department, which is overseeing and driving the reform programme.

I am satisfied with the progress that all Departments, Offices and Sectors are making in this area. This is reflected in the statement of progress on the implementation of the Public Service Reform Plan, published last September, and also in the reports of the Implementation Body overseeing progress on the Public Service Agreement.

Questions Nos. 157 to 159, inclusive, answered with Question No. 19.