I propose to take Questions Nos. 243 and 244 together.
The information requested regarding the number of Principal Officer positions in County Kildare is not available in my Department.
As the Deputy will be aware, Government departments have been working under delegated sanction arrangements for their recruitment and staffing issues since 2015. Under these arrangements, there are multi-annual pay ceilings agreed and set and thereafter decisions about recruitment and promotion and overall grade composition up to and including Principal Officer level are devolved.
In general selection competitions within the Irish Civil Service take place by way of;
- competitions confined to particular departments (Internal promotion) or
- from competitions open to candidates from all departments (Interdepartmental promotion) or
- from open competitions to all eligible candidates including members of the public
Candidates who are successful at a competition are ranked in order of merit and are placed on panels to await appointment when and if a vacancy arises. Recruitment and promotions are made on the basis of an agreed method of sequence. Within the civil service, sequences vary for each grade and usually involve a combination of open, interdepartmental and internal panels.
As the Deputy will be aware, the Public Appointments Service (PAS) is an independent, statutory body which provides professional recruitment and selection services to the civil and public service.
I am informed that PAS currently has panels in place for the grade of Principal Officer from competitions held in 2017. These competitions, both standard and higher, were held in order to create panels of qualified individuals from which departments could draw when filling vacancies. I understand 53 people were taking from both panels up to the end of February 2019. I understand that there were no PO vacancies in County Kildare.
The establishment of a panel for a location(s) is based on demand as notified to PAS. Vacancies will be filled, including vacancies in County Kildare, if any, as and when required by employing departments.