Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (89)

Seán Fleming


89. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Question No. 45 of 30 May 2019, when the information requested will be provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34058/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

With regard to the above-referenced parliamentary question, I undertook to reply to you with the information requested relating to the number of discharge applications that exceeded four months to be completed. This reply issued from my Office by letter dated the 17th July 2019. For ease, the text of the written reply is as follows.

There are three primary reasons by which an application for discharge from the Defence Forces can be affected for enlisted personnel:

- On pension after the end of an engagement or on age grounds (Form AF 97),

- When the Defence Forces seek the discharge of a person for a given reason (Form AF 97 B), or

- To discharge by purchase, while a person still has a service of engagement or an undertaking (AF 97C).

In 2018, there were 48 applications which took in access of four months to process.

When an individual discharges on age grounds or on completion of an engagement, they do so through the submission of an AF 97. This may be done well in advance of their discharge, thereby allowing personnel to take their pre-discharge leave if this is available to them, or any annual leave to which they are entitled. Consequently, in many cases, AF 97s take longer than four months from application to completion. In 2018, 31 applications fall into this category.

When the discharge of a person is sought by the Defence Forces, an AF 97 B is completed. In many cases, this process takes longer than four months due to the appeals processes afforded to the individuals concerned. There were 13 discharges of this category in 2018.

The discharge of personnel who submit an AF 97 C can take longer to process for some, as these personnel hold an educational undertaking which requires calculation. Following the calculation of a discharge cost and authorisation of the AF 97C, individuals have 91 days to decide whether they wish to effect the authorisation of their application. There were four discharges of this category in 2018.

In 2019, there are 5 applications on hand which have exceeded four months. In the case of 2 applications, the authorisation has expired, while the date of discharge of the remaining 3 have been set for this month.