With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 328 and 329 together.
One thousand, four hundred and fifty-one candidates qualified at the last competitive entrance examination conducted by the Civil Service Commissioners. All candidates who qualified in the competitive entrance examination will be called for interview. Eight hundred and ninety-nine have been called for interview to date, of whom 596 have passed. Ninety candidates who were rejected by the interview board were recalled for interview. Seventythree of them presented themselves and 52 were successful.
By 31st August, 1977, the number of candidates who had been rejected by the interview board as distinct from being rejected on medical grounds was much higher than at any previous competition and this was the cause of complaint not only from candidates but from Deputies of all parties. The Commissioner, accordingly, arranged to recall for further interview all candidates who had been rejected by the interview board up to that date including a number who had not at that stage been notified that they had been rejected.
The implication in the second question that those who were rejected at the first interview and were then recalled and accepted appointment jumped the queue on some others is not, in fact, well founded. The order of merit is determined by the place secured by the candidate at the written examination conducted by the Civil Service Commission.