Written Answers. - Departmental Staff.

Michael Creed

Ceist:

78 Mr. Creed asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Rural Development the reason estate officers, former employees of the Land Commission, had their employment by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development rescinded by a Government decision; if, in view of the artificially suppressed salary of which they were in receipt at the time their employment was ended, his Department will either restore these seven individuals to Civil Service employment or ensure their superannuation lump sum on retirement and severance gratuity entitlements are reviewed in line with actuarial assessment of the amounts their salaries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17569/01]

The Government decision to terminate the employment of the estates officers was made as the functions for which they were recruited have not existed for some time and the officers concerned have refused the option of redeployment or early retirement on a number of occasions.

In the light of the Government decision, this Department has no proposals to reinstate their employment or review their severance terms.