Thursday, 11 July 2019

Questions (172)

Michael McGrath

Question:

172. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance the number employed by the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman each month since the start of 2016 by functional area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30799/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

Firstly, I must point out that the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman (FSPO) is independent in the performance of his statutory functions.  I have no role in the day to day workings of the office or in the decisions which he takes.

The Office of the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman (FSPO) was established on 01 January 2018 to resolve complaints from consumers, including small businesses and other organisations, against financial service or pension providers. The establishment of the FSPO resulted from the merger of the Office of the Pensions Ombudsman and the Financial Services Ombudsman’s Bureau. 

I understand that the Office of the FSPO was in contact with the Deputy and this answer reflects their agreement on the format of the response.

The following table outlines the number of staff employed by the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman at the end of its first year in operation, i.e. 31 December 2018:

Number  of Staff by Grade

Staff in position 31.12.2018

Ombudsman

1

Deputy Ombudsman

1

Principal Officer

4

Assistant Principal

5

Higher Executive   Officer

12

Executive Officer

23

Clerical Officer

3.2

Total

49.2

A Workforce Plan for the period 2019 to 2023 was submitted to the Department of Finance in December 2018, which included an objective analysis of the level of resources currently available to the FSPO against both current and future demand for its services. The Workforce Plan aims to address the large existing caseload which the Office inherited on 01 January 2018, along with the sustained pattern of increased demand which the office continues to experience.

Following a review of this work force plan, I approved the recruitment of a further 35 staff at the following levels:

5 Assistant Principal

11 Higher Executive Officer

15 Executive Officer

4 Clerical Officer 

The following table outlines the number of staff employed by the Financial Services and Pensions at the end of its Q2 2019, i.e. 30 June 2019, compared to the approved staff number:

Number of Staff by Grade

Approved Staffing 2019

Staff in position at 30.06.2019

Ombudsman

1

1

Deputy Ombudsman

1

0

Principal Officer

4

4

Assistant Principal

10

5

Higher Executive   Officer

22

18

Executive Officer

42

24

Clerical Officer

10.2

9.6

Total

90.2

61.6