Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (161)

Thomas Pringle


161. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of temporary clerical officers who have been employed by his Department over each of the past three years; the number of those who have been retired public-civil servants; his views on whether his Department should employ retired staff in these positions in view of the level of youth unemployment here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31574/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

My Department engages Temporary Clerical Officers (TCOs) primarily to assist the Passport Service during the annual peak passport demand period. A small number of additional TCOs were also recruited in 2012 to assist the Department in the lead up to and for the duration of Ireland’s EU Presidency in the first half of this year. Details of the numbers of TCOs engaged over the past three years are set out in the table below. TCOs are recruited through selection processes conducted by the Public Appointments Service (PAS) and FÁS / Department of Social Protection on behalf of my Department. With the exception of officers who retired under the Incentivised Scheme for Early Retirement (ISER) or the HSE voluntary retirement scheme, there is nothing to prevent retired civil or public servants from participating in competitions held by these bodies or from being appointed if qualified, eligible and successful. In cases where retired public or civil servants are occasionally re-employed by the Department, this is generally on a pension abatement basis which means in effect that they continue to receive their pensions and are paid correspondingly reduced salaries by the Department.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Recruitment of Temporary Clerical Officers (TCOs)


Number of TCOs


Duration of contracts

Number who were

retired public/civil




Between 3 and 6 months




12 (EU Presidency)

Between 3 and 6 months

September 2012 – July 2013




Between 6 and 7 months