Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Questions (162)

Bernard Durkan


162. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if extra staff will be transferred to her Department to facilitate dealing with backlogs in dealing with various applications; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [39020/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

My Department is committed to providing a quality service to all its customers. This includes ensuring that applications are processed and that decisions on entitlement are made as quickly as possible.

The staffing needs for all areas within the Department are continuously reviewed, taking account of workloads, management priorities and the ongoing need to respond to new increasing demands in a wide range of services.

Operational processes, procedures and the organisation of work are continually reviewed to ensure that processing capability is maximised with specific targets set for responses within particular scheme area. This is to ensure that the best use is made of all available resources with a view to providing an efficient service to those who rely on the schemes operated by the Department.

Like all Government departments and agencies, my Department is required to operate within a staff ceiling figure and a commensurate administrative staffing budget, which for this Department has involved reductions in staff.

As part of the Department’s ongoing programme of service modernisation, a range of initiatives aimed at streamlining the processing of claims, supported by modern technology, have been implemented in recent years.