Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (554)

Thomas Pringle


554. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Justice and Equality to outline the number of temporary clerical officers who have been employed by his Department in each of the past three years; the number of those who have been retired public or 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. [31577/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

A small number of Temporary Clerical Officers have been recruited over the last three years to provide cover for priority vacancies, or, additional resources for priority short term projects that could not be managed within existing resources. Officers were appointed from the open competition run by the Public Appointment Service (PAS) for temporary clerical positions in the Public Service. Appointments were for periods ranging from 9 to 12 weeks.

The competition runs in compliance with the Code of Practice for Appointment to Positions in the Civil Service and Public Service. It is broadly confined to Citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) States. Some exclusions apply, for example those who availed of the incentivised scheme for early retirement are precluded under that scheme from applying for another position in the same employment or the same sector. Civil/Public Servants in receipt of pensions other than from the above incentivised scheme pensions are not precluded from participating, however, pension abatement rules would apply.

Thirty eight appointments were made in 2013, twenty six in 2012 and twenty eight in 2011. Information on whether any of the officers appointed in 2011/ 2012 were retired Civil/Public Servants is not readily to hand. I can, however, say that only one of those appointed in 2013 is currently in receipt of a Civil/Public Service pension. Two others have preserved pensions in respect of previous service.

Pension policy is a matter for the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. It is worth noting, however, that the age profile of the thirty eight appointed in 2013 showed a broad range of ages with fourteen aged 18 to 25, thirteen aged 26 to 35, five aged 36 to 45 and six aged 46 or over. I am advised by the Human Resources Division in my Department that this would be broadly consistent with previous years.