Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Questions (89)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

89. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of agency staff hired and-or engaged by his Department in the past five years to date; the cost per year of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49298/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Foreign)

No agency staff are employed at the Headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

As with the majority of foreign services, the diplomatic Missions of the Department are staffed by a mix of posted officers recruited at Headquarters and locally-engaged staff. As posted officers rotate to and from HQ, locally-engaged staff are essential to the operation of diplomatic missions abroad as they provide continuity to the operation of the mission. They also possess skillsets which are essential to the effective running of missions abroad such as administrative and technical skills, a deep knowledge of the local environment and culture and fluency in local languages. 

Employment agency staff are employed in a small number of missions where the necessity arises. Such Missions include new Missions, those with particular complexities in the local labour market or those where changes in the workload necessitate time for an assessment of the number and type of roles or skills needed.  Open competitions for direct employment of locally engaged staff are generally held once there is clarity on operational requirements and the number and profile of the roles required.  

Set out in the table is the total number and cost of agency staff engaged by the Department since 2015.  The cost includes salary, social, medical insurance and other benefits required under local labour law as well as agency fees.

Agency staff 2015 - 2019 (five years)

Year

Number

Cost €

Average costs

2015

15

308,148

25,430

2016

19.5

368,000

18,871

2017

20

411,000

20,550

2018

22

418,000

19,000

2019

38

624,000

16,421