Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Questions (153)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

153. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Finance the number recruited by the Revenue Commissioners to deal with Brexit-related issues in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by grade and county in tabular form; the number expected to be recruited to such roles in the immediate future; if a posting represented a new role; if not, if it was for the purpose of replacing staff and filling an existing position in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29181/19]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

I am advised by Revenue that no additional resources were recruited to Revenue in 2016 for Brexit. Following the decision of the UK in June 2016 to leave the EU, Revenue began a review of potential policy and operational implications and that work was undertaken within the then existing resources.

Budget 2017 provided Revenue with resources for an additional 40 staff to prepare for Brexit. This included provision to upgrade ICT systems to manage the anticipated increase in Customs transactions; and for additional staff to put in place and to facilitate the necessary training and upskilling arrangements for staff still to be recruited.

In the context of extensive and detailed Brexit preparedness and contingency work across all Government Departments and Agencies, Revenue determined that in a ‘Central Case’ scenario (i.e. an orderly withdrawal of the UK from the EU, to include a transition period until the end of 2020), an additional 600 Revenue staff would be required. In September 2018, the Government granted approval in principle for the phased recruitment of an additional 600 Revenue staff to meet the challenges posed by Brexit.

Budget 2019 provided Revenue with an additional €10 million pay provision, for 270 of the additional 600 staff to be recruited during 2019. Following a Government decision in December 2018, it was agreed to accelerate Revenue’s recruitment programme in preparation for Brexit.

Since the start of 2019, Revenue has appointed over 600 staff from open recruitment, interdepartmental and internal competitions. The majority of these have been assigned to customs roles or to backfill positions from which existing Revenue staff have been assigned to customs duties. As serving staff are taking up their new Brexit-related positions, Revenue is backfilling the vacancies created, from panels of candidates established in its general recruitment activity.

In the period from 2017 to date, Revenue has assigned over 450 additional staff to customs related roles, deployed across a range of functions, with the majority assigned to import and export trade facilitation activities and policy and operational roles. Resources are deployed based on the evolving business needs and to tackle any risks as they emerge. The following tables provide a breakdown of these additional staff.

Table 1: Additional staff assigned in preparation for Brexit in 2017, 2018 and 2019 to date

Grade/Year

PO

AP

HEO/AO

EO

CO

Total

2017

0

2

5

8

3

18

2018

0

1

5

10

49

65

2019

1

6

33

129

201

370

Total

1

9

43

147

253

453

Table 2: Additional staff assigned in preparation for Brexit by location in 2017, 2018 and 2019 to date.

Location

2017

2018

2019

Total

Dublin

12

56

213

281

Leinster (excluding Dublin and Louth)

0

0

40

40

Munster

6

9

104

119

BMW (in Donegal, Galway, Louth, Sligo)

0

0

13

13

Total

18

65

370

453

Revenue will continue to adjust its recruitment and training plans in response to business needs, including Brexit-related developments.