Defence Forces Personnel Data

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A

Questions (65, 66, 94, 95)

Jack Chambers

Question:

65. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of persons who purchased their discharge from the Permanent Defence Force in each of the past five years in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30551/19]

View answer

Jack Chambers

Question:

66. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the amount collected from those who purchased their discharge in each of the past five years in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30552/19]

View answer

Michael McGrath

Question:

94. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 73 of 8 May 2019, if the information requested will be provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30607/19]

View answer

Michael McGrath

Question:

95. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 117 of 11 June 2019, if the information requested will be provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30609/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 65, 66, 94 and 95 together.

Statistics are currently being collated in order to provide a comprehensive response to these questions. Full data is not available in the timeframe set out for reply as the validation of some data requires a manual search of records which is being undertaken at the moment.

I will revert once the relevant data is provided to me.

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A
With regard to the above-referenced composite parliamentary questions, I undertook to reply to you with the information requested. The table below provides details of the number of Defence Forces discharges in each of the years 2010 to 2018, the number of those that discharged by purchase, broken down by rank, and the amount received by the Department for these discharges.
DEFENCE FORCES DISCHARGES

Year

Service

Discharge by Purchase by Rank*

Amount

received by the Department from Discharge by Purchase

Voluntary early retirement**

Other Discharges incl retirements on age grounds***

SGT

CPL

PTE

RECRUIT

APPRENTICE

2018

ARMY

0

11

96

100

0

€61,428.63

220

98

NS

0

1

62

13

0

€71,834.97

49

22

AC

0

0

5

0

2

€10,519.00

47

5

2017

ARMY

0

5

105

146

0

€55,277.19

227

103

NS

1

3

29

15

0

€33,462.80

41

8

AC

0

3

3

3

2

€20,493.50

36

12

2016

ARMY

0

3

85

117

0

€66,650.98

223

101

NS

0

2

40

6

0

€29,236.00

46

9

AC

0

0

1

0

2

€ 7,910.00

33

11

2015

ARMY

0

5

68

45

0

€94,262.48

238

82

NS

1

2

27

4

0

€41,564.47

35

6

AC

0

2

5

0

1

€11,625.00

43

7

2014

ARMY

0

1

25

95

0

€10,982.50

180

78

NS

1

0

15

4

0

€34,705.00

32

7

AC

0

1

4

0

0

€26,775.00

30

8

DEFENCE FORCES DISCHARGES

Year

Service

Discharge by Purchase by Rank*

Amount received by the Department from Discharge by Purchase

Voluntary early retirement**

Other Discharges incl retirements on age grounds***

SGT

CPL

PTE

RECRUIT

APPRENTICE

2013

ARMY

0

1

24

76

0

€23,643.30

186

75

NS

0

0

15

5

0

€ 8,830.00

47

7

AC

0

2

2

0

0

€ 7,149.00

24

5

2012

ARMY

0

2

28

86

0

€19,491.75

487

54

NS

0

0

12

9

0

€14,157.75

61

3

AC

0

0

2

9

0

€ 4,368.71

45

5

2011

ARMY

0

0

35

37

0

€19,435.00

352

92

NS

0

0

13

3

0

€10,695.00

73

3

AC

0

2

6

9

0

€13,076.50

46

12

2010

ARMY

0

2

24

2

0

€10,190.00

315

84

NS

0

0

8

1

0

€ 4,665.00

37

3

AC

1

0

6

0

0

€26,788.88

35

9

There are a range of reasons why personnel retire from the Defence Forces.
*Discharge by purchase occurs when a Non Commissioned Officer or Private elects to leave the Defence Forces and pays an appropriate sum to discharge, in accordance with Defence Force Regulation A10 Para 61 (3). Recruits can also elect to discharge by purchase and a significant proportion of recruits, approximately 22% on average, depart from the Defence Forces during the training phase for various reasons.
Monetary sums in relation to discharge by purchase are assessed on a case by case basis depending on years of service, undertaking etc. The guidelines associated with determination of the amount payable on discharge are contained within DFR A10 Para 58(H), DFR A10 Para 61 and DFR A15 Para 19(2). The validation of some data required a manual search of records and the discharge payment records for 9 Army personnel (6 Pte and 3 Recruit) is estimated and subject to minor amendment.
**Voluntary early retirements occur when personnel wish to end their service at break points before reaching the mandatory retirement age limit for his/her respective rank. These retirements occur at the persons own request, at his/her request after 12 years, expiry of PDF service, on pension after 21 years, or on termination of engagement.
***Other discharges include retirement on age grounds, death, below medical standards, service no longer required, or unlikely to become effective.

Defence Forces Review

Questions Nos. 69 to 71, inclusive, answered with Question No. 40.

Question No. 72 answered with Question No. 67.

Question No. 73 answered with Question No. 54.

Questions Nos. 74 to 76, inclusive, answered with Question No. 67.

Questions Nos. 77 and 78 answered with Question No. 54.

Question No. 79 answered with Question No. 40.

Question No. 80 answered with Question No. 54.

Question No. 81 answered with Question No. 40.

Questions Nos. 82 to 84, inclusive, answered with Question No. 54.

Questions (67, 68, 72, 74, 75, 76, 86)

Jack Chambers

Question:

67. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the review of recruitment methods which will be implemented as recommended in the report of the Public Service Pay Commission on the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30553/19]

View answer

Jack Chambers

Question:

68. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he is satisfied that the report of the Public Service Pay Commission on the Defence Forces will address the recruitment and retention crisis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30554/19]

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Jack Chambers

Question:

72. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if he is adopting the international recruitment and retention measures identified in other countries in the Public Service Pay Commission report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30558/19]

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Jack Chambers

Question:

74. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the recommendation of the introduction of a skills champion to tackle staff shortages and the establishment of specialist recruitment teams, in addition to retention payments in certain niche areas, will be implemented as recommended in the report of the Public Service Pay Commission on the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30560/19]

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Jack Chambers

Question:

75. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans for a renewed emphasis and prioritisation of talent management within all workforce planning frameworks which is required along with specific targeted responses including a focus on further developing retention policies in the Permanent Defence Forces; when this will be implemented as recommended in the report of the Public Service Pay Commission on the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30561/19]

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Jack Chambers

Question:

76. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to introduce the use of a career and talent management system in addition to the proactive recruitment of female personnel as recommended in the report of the Public Service Pay Commission on the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30562/19]

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Jack Chambers

Question:

86. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence when he will commence the review as recommended by the Public Service Pay Commission (details supplied); the timeline for such a review; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30572/19]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 67, 68, 72, 74 to 76, inclusive, and 86 together.

I welcome the Public Service Pay Commission (PSPC) latest report and the recommendations, observations and comments contained therein.

The recommendations within the report have been distilled into specific actions, applying corresponding timeframes, within an approved High Level Implementation Plan. Work has commenced in advancing the actions contained in this plan.

I am confident that the implementation of the PSPC’s recommendations, in tandem with pay benefits delivered by the Public Service Stability Agreement, will ameliorate current recruitment and retention challenges being experienced by the Permanent Defence Force.

Questions Nos. 69 to 71, inclusive, answered with Question No. 40.
Question No. 72 answered with Question No. 67.
Question No. 73 answered with Question No. 54.
Questions Nos. 74 to 76, inclusive, answered with Question No. 67.
Questions Nos. 77 and 78 answered with Question No. 54.
Question No. 79 answered with Question No. 40.
Question No. 80 answered with Question No. 54.
Question No. 81 answered with Question No. 40.
Questions Nos. 82 to 84, inclusive, answered with Question No. 54.

Defence Forces Training

Question No. 86 answered with Question No. 67.

Questions (85)

Jack Chambers

Question:

85. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the way in which the Permanent Defence Force can manage the increased training requirements for recruitment with ongoing operational deficits in certain units; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30571/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

Formulation of recruitment plans by the Defence Forces is underpinned by their training capacity and their efforts to maximise that capacity.

The military authorities have advised that analysis is carried out to ascertain the instructor requirements for recruit induction training while taking account of existing operational commitments.

The military authorities have further advised that it is standard practice within the Defence Forces to augment Unit instructors with instructors from other Units within the Brigade, as and if required.

Question No. 86 answered with Question No. 67.

Air Corps Strength

Questions (87)

Jack Chambers

Question:

87. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the way in which he will respond to the conclusion in the Public Service Pay Commission report that the Air Corps services are in jeopardy; his views on whether services are being compromised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30573/19]

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Written answers (Question to Defence)

As provided in the White Paper on Defence (2015), the Air Corps provide a broad range of services in accordance with its primary security role and also undertakes a diverse range of non-security-related tasks on an ‘as available’ basis. I can assure the Deputy, that the Air Corps will continue to provide support and services on an 'as available' basis, having regard to available capabilities and its primary security responsibilities. I have also previously outlined particular challenges with vacancies in certain specialist posts in the Air Corps such as Pilots, Air Traffic Controllers and certain Technicians. These specialists can prove difficult to retain where, as in the current economic circumstances, there are on-going private sector and commercial semi-state sector job opportunities.

At its meeting held on the 4th July 2019, the Government accepted, in full, the report of the Public Service Pay Commission on recruitment and retention in the Defence Forces. The Government also agreed an extensive implementation plan for the report.

The implementation plan is arranged around three broad themes of valuing members of the PDF, retaining the best people and attracting the best people. The plan, agreed by Government, sets out the actions to be taken and the timelines within which they will be taken, i.e. immediate, short term, medium term and long term. The implementation plan complements a range of actions that are already underway in the Department and the Defence Forces, to enhance recruitment and retention in the PDF.

In addition, the plan sets out an oversight process and my Department is putting in place the civil and military structures to support this.

The report of the Public Service Pay Commission is currently being considered by the Permanent Defence Force Representative Associations and there will be further meetings in the coming weeks to clarify any matters arising.

Air Corps Strength

Question No. 89 answered with Question No. 54.

Questions (88)

Jack Chambers

Question:

88. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the position regarding the serious impact on the military air traffic system as identified in the Public Service Pay Commission report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30574/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

I have previously outlined particular challenges with vacancies in certain specialist posts such as Pilots, Air Traffic Controllers and certain Technicians. These specialists can prove difficult to retain where, as in the current economic circumstances, there are on-going private sector and commercial semi-state sector job opportunities.

At its meeting held on the 4th July 2019, the Government accepted, in full, the report of the Public Service Pay Commission on recruitment and retention in the Defence Forces. The Government also agreed an extensive implementation plan for the report.

The implementation plan is arranged around three broad themes of valuing members of the PDF, retaining the best people and attracting the best people. The plan, agreed by Government, sets out the actions to be taken and the timelines within which they will be taken, i.e. immediate, short term, medium term and long term. The implementation plan complements a range of actions that are already underway in the Department and the Defence Forces, to enhance recruitment and retention in the PDF.

In addition, the plan sets out an oversight process and my Department is putting in place the civil and military structures to support this.

The report of the Public Service Pay Commission is currently being considered by the Permanent Defence Force Representative Associations and there will be further meetings in the coming weeks to clarify any matters arising.

Question No. 89 answered with Question No. 54.