Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Questions (115)

Stephen Donnelly

Question:

115. Deputy Stephen S. Donnelly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide for a derogation to the public sector hiring embargo in respect of to Greystones Library (details supplied) in County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28637/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The moratorium on recruitment and promotion in the Public Service was introduced in March 2009 in response to the financial crisis. My Department operates a delegated sanction from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform for implementation of the moratorium in relation to local authorities, and any exceptions to the moratorium in local authorities require sanction from my Department.

Under section 159 of the Local Government Act 2001, each Chief Executive is responsible for staffing and organisational arrangements necessary for carrying out the functions of the local authorities for which he or she is responsible. In this regard, it is a matter for each CEO, in the first instance, to ensure that the moratorium is implemented while the appropriate service levels are maintained.

My Department examines all staffing sanction requests on a case by case basis having due regard to the continued delivery of key services in the context of staffing and budgetary constraints. In considering sanction requests, public safety, maintaining key front line services and economic issues are given precedence.

My Department works closely with Wicklow County Council in relation to the Council’s overall staffing requirements. In June 2014, the Council submitted a number of staff sanction requests for library positions including a request for an Executive Librarian position at Greystones library . This staffing request is being considered and a decision will issue to the Council in due course.