With regard to my own Department, a dedicated Brexit Unit was established in 2016 and is led at Assistant Secretary level within the EU Affairs, Trade Policy and Licensing Division, to coordinate and represent the Departmental and Agencies response to Brexit. The Unit also leads on engagement with a broad range of stakeholders to inform and validate our response to Brexit.
When the unit was set up in 2016 it consisted of three staff, one Principal Officer, one Assistant Principal Officer and one Higher Executive Officer. Additional staffing of two Assistant Principal Officers, one Higher Executive Officer and one Clerical Officer were appointed in 2017. The Department also appointed a further AO to the Unit in early 2019 but this position has recently become vacant.
Also within this Division, two officials (Assistant Principal Officer and Administrative Officer) working in the Trade Policy Unit are assigned to Brexit related trade matters as part of their portfolios.
In the Division with responsibility for Indigenous Enterprise, two posts were approved (Assistant Principal Officer and Administrative Officer) to work solely on Brexit mitigation measures to support business impacted by Brexit. A team of three was approved to establish a new Getting Business Brexit Ready Unit. This unit was comprised of one Assistant Principal Officer, one Administrative Officer and one Executive Officer. All three appointments were made in January 2019. A decision was later made to subsume the AP role into our Communications team to promote awareness of DBEI Brexit supports to all businesses in Ireland.
Staff expertise is also being drawn from across a number of different policy areas of the Department in shaping our Brexit response and a number of areas that are most impacted have been assigned additional staff including but not exclusively to deal with Brexit. We are continually prioritising the Brexit challenges and will actively keep the staffing requirements under review through workforce planning.
I have set out in the table below the number of staff appointed to Brexit related positions in my Department and in the Agencies under its remit during 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019.
In relation to the second part of the Deputy’s question, it is not possible to provide the numbers for all new hires and replacement staff for my Department and all of its Agencies in the time allotted. However, the information is listed in the second following table for those who had this information available. I have asked the Agencies to provide the remaining information and will make this available to the Deputy when returns have been compiled. I have supplied the total headcount for my Department and each of the relevant agencies in the table below for further information.
Brexit related positions
New Hires and Replacement Staff