Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (267)

Seán Kyne


267. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if a person working in a public sector body is eligible to transfer to a civil service Department; if a central system for facilitating transfers within the Civil Service, the public sector and between the Civil Service and public sector has been considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5679/14]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The Public Service Agreements (PSAs) covering the period 2010-16 (the Croke Park and Haddington Road Agreements) provide for agreed redeployment arrangements to apply in the Civil Service and in other parts of the Public Service.  Under these Agreements, redeployment generally takes precedence over all other methods of filling a vacancy. It facilitates the movement of staff both within and across sectors as a result of the rationalisation, reconfiguration or restructuring of public service bodies or where activities have assumed lesser priority arising from changing business needs.  A "Redeployment Toolkit" setting out the background and the detailed processes involved has been agreed with the staff unions and is available at  http://hr.per.gov.ie/redeployment/ The agreed arrangements for the redeployment of staff within the Health, Education, and Local Government sectors are managed directly by those sectors.

Redeployment for the Civil Service and Non-Commercial Semi-State Bodies operates through a system of Resource Panels, operated by the Public Appointments Service, which also arranges for cross-sectoral assignments to be made, where necessary.  This is facilitated by the recently enacted Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) (Amendment) Act 2013, which removes the legislative barriers to mobility and redeployment across the various sectors in the Public Service and addresses other issues that arise on changing employer. 

Individual Departments vary in the approach they adopt in relation to the transfer of their staff and there are no centralised arrangements in place within the civil service to facilitate requests for transfers to other locations or civil service employments, except in the case of grades represented by the Civil & Public Services Union. Transfers for these (mostly Clerical and Staff Officers) are arranged in accordance with formal procedures agreed with the Staff Side at General Council under the Conciliation and Arbitration Scheme for the Civil Service. 

Transfers between all grades in the civil service can be arranged on an informal, head-to-head, basis. Such transfers are arranged between the officers seeking to move and the relevant Personnel Units and require the agreement of both Personnel Officers. The transfer of staff within the Health, Education, and Local Government sectors is  a matter for the Minister with responsibility for the sector involved. 

My Department is currently working to strengthen resourcing policy to ensure the right people are in the right place at the right time through effective workforce planning across the Civil Service. In that context it is proposed to roll-out an integrated resourcing policy in the Civil Service to address a number of areas, including staff mobility. The possibility of developing a centralised system to facilitate transfers between sectors will be examined in that context during 2014.