Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Questions (766)

Charlie McConalogue


766. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the Marine Survey Office and the Irish Maritime Administration have carried out a staffing analysis at Malin Head, Valentia and Dublin Coast Guard stations; if he has established the future staffing requirements for the Malin Head, Valentia and Dublin Coast Guard stations for the next three years taking into account impending retirements; if he will establish a recruitment panel for both the Marine Survey Office and the Irish Maritime Administration from which to fill positions that are vacated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5655/14]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Marine Survey Office has no function in relation to the Malin Head marine rescue co-ordination centre which is part of the Irish Coast Guard service. The Irish Maritime Administration is the collective name for all the maritime functions in my Department i.e. those undertaken by the Marine Survey Office, the Coast Guard, the Maritime Safety Policy Division, the Maritime Transport Division and the Maritime Services Division.

With regards to Malin Head, as the Deputy will be aware from a series of replies to his earlier representations and Parliamentary Questions, consideration was given to the resource requirements of the three Coast Guard Centres (Dublin, Malin, Valentia) following the publication of the Value for Money report into the operation of the Irish Coast Guard in 2012 and in the context of the prevailing economic climate.

In reviewing the overall situation, all relevant factors were identified including known retirements. As I advised previously, two additional radio officers (RO) will be recruited to bring the staffing complement for all three centres  to a minimum of 40, up from the present 38, and it is intended to seek approval from the Minister for Public Expenditure Reform for the filling of any vacancies that arise in the future within that overall number. As also indicated, in order to support the staffing complement figure of 40 ROs, advanced technologies and integrated working processes are required across the three centres. Work is advanced in procuring the necessary technologies aimed at delivering that objective.