I propose to take Questions Nos. 70 and 74 together.
I am advised by Revenue that its Vote for 2019 provides for a Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) staff complement of 6,384, this includes funding for 270 of the additional 600 staff that Revenue had determined would be required on a phased basis in the period up to the end of December 2020, for an orderly Brexit including a transition period for withdrawal of the UK from the EU. Following the Government decision in December 2018 to give greater priority to preparations for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit, it was agreed to accelerate Revenue’s recruitment plans. Revenue continuously adjusts its recruitment, training and deployment of staff in response to business needs including Brexit -related developments. Revenue’s current serving permanent staff number (as at 30 November 2019), is 6,638 (WTE). Therefore, there are no vacancies at this time. To date in 2019, the average weekly serving permanent staff number is 6,443 (WTE).
To date in 2019, Revenue has appointed over 1,040 staff from open and interdepartmental competitions, at all levels and across a range of functions and specialist areas including tax; information technology; accounting and legal professionals; data analysts; economists; and for Brexit-related roles including Trade Facilitation. Revenue recruitment is an iterative process, critical posts are filled to meet business requirements and recruitment is undertaken to maintain and enhance capability. Revenue is currently recruiting or has recruitment plans in place to fill all critical posts in the context of projected retirements and business needs in 2020.
Revenue have also advised me that its Vote for each of the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 provided for a staff complement of 5,924, 6014 and 6,114 WTE respectively and the average weekly serving WTE in each of those years was 5,911, 6,008 and 6,085 WTE respectively. Revenue’s structure has evolved over time with a focus on ensuring that appropriate resources are applied in response to tax and duty risk. In particular, during 2018, Revenue changed its structure to align resources with risk in five new national Divisions. These changes are reflected in the tables in the following link, which set out the WTE staff complement by functional area, by month, from 2016 to date.