I propose to take Questions Nos. 94 and 95 together.
There are currently 212.7 whole time equivalent staff working in my Department. Given the nature of the work and size of the organisation, the Department has no staff in a professional or technical grade.
My Department does not collect or collate this personal data except where the Department funds training undertaken by staff or the cost of individual membership of relevant organisations for the purposes of their work. In the case of the Institute of Public Administration, the Department funded the cost of training in respect of thirty five staff and refund of academic fees for twelve staff in 2018.
My Department has a procurement policy in place to direct and guide staff when engaging in procurement and relevant staff have availed of specific training in this area. My Department uses OGP framework agreements for a wide range of goods and services such as foreign travel management services, suppliers of IT equipment, managed print services, provision of taxi service, cleaning services and supplies, waste management services, printing and supply of stationery.
Through the Public Appointments Service the Department continues to employ staff recruited both at graduate and non-graduate level, including staff recruited through the Irish Government Economic & Evaluation Service (IGEES).
A comprehensive learning and development programme is implemented by my Department to ensure that staff at all levels have the required skills and knowledge to perform their individual roles and deliver the strategic objectives of the Department. Staff are also encouraged to avail of the Refund of Fees Scheme which facilitates them to undertake third level academic courses relevant to their roles.