Arising from the Government's commitment to restore the public finances and restructure and reorganise the public service, each Department has been directed to achieve a progressive reduction in the number of civil servants employed and in the number of public servants employed in bodies funded from their Vote groups through the implementation of an employment control framework, ECF, during the period 2010 to 2014. The achievement of payroll savings and numbers reductions is a key element of the reporting arrangements under the memorandum of understanding as part of the joint EU-IMF programme for Ireland. The memorandum of understanding requires quarterly data for the public service wage bill, the number of employees and average wage. No deviation from the overall numbers reductions targets can be permitted over the period of the programme.
The Taoiseach announced the establishment of the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht in March, bringing together functions from the former Departments of Tourism, Culture and Sport; Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs, and the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. Arising from this transfer of functions, my Department is liaising with the Department of Finance on a new ECF for the reconfigured Department and the bodies funded from its Vote group. In the meantime, I am advised that under the ECF of the former Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport in 2010, the following numbers reduction targets, to be met by the end of 2014, were set for the national arts and cultural institutions funded by my Department: a phased reduction of 86 staff to be achieved by the end of 2014 in the number of public servants employed in the national institutions, other than the National Gallery of Ireland, bringing the total numbers employed to 452; and a phased reduction of 15 staff to be achieved by the end of 2014 in the National Gallery of Ireland which has its own Vote, bringing the total numbers employed by that body to 110.
I understand the arts and cultural institutions were advised in January of the required staffing numbers reductions to be attained by the end of this year. Of the required reduction of 51 in the number of public servants employed by the arts and cultural institutions during 2011, a total of 14 was achieved by the end of March 2011.
Additional information not given on the floor of the House.
In the National Gallery, where a reduction of nine in staff is required, a reduction of three had been achieved by the same date.