Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Questions (145)

Dara Calleary

Question:

145. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of hours overtime worked by staff of the Passport Office in 2011, 2012 and 2013; the cost associated with this overtime; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15285/14]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

The following is a summary of the overtime hours worked in the Passport Offices in Molesworth Street, Balbriggan and Cork for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013 and the salary costs associated with those overtime hours.

Year

Hours

Cost

2011

27600

€762,118.78

2012

8212

€228,723.88

2013

775

€86,871.33

In recent years the Department has made strenuous efforts to reduce its overtime bill, particularly in the Passport Service, and it will be noted from the figures that there has been a substantial reduction on overtime costs between 2011 and 2013. This has been achieved in the face of record levels of demand in 2012 and with continuing reductions in full-time staff. The achievement of savings in overtime costs has resulted from a number of factors, including the streamlining of existing arrangements for processing of applications at the public counters and the introduction of a scheduled appointment service. The old system for processing applications at public counters was a particularly time-consuming and staff-intensive feature of the service.

Other changes have been introduced with regard to acceptance of applications by ordinary post which had a high rejection rate and consequently more processing time and cost. This change has resulted in greater use of the Passport Express service provided by An Post and this has also contributed to efficiencies. A further significant change has been the earlier deployment of temporary staff for seasonal demand. This has resulted in better levels of efficiency and productivity being achieved in dealing with the summer peak period.

The following revised table was received on 6 May 2014

Year

Hours

Cost

2011

27600

€762,118.78

2012

8212

€228,723.88

2013

3787

€86,871.33