Thursday, 8 March 2018

Ceisteanna (251)

Brendan Howlin

Ceist:

251. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of staff assigned in her Department to the press office, public relations or communications roles in each year since 2015; the positions by staffing grade and designated role; when each new position came into existence; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11696/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

In my Department, the Press Office coordinates and deals with all queries from the media. This office also informs the public via traditional and social media about all policies, functions and activities of the Department. 

This Office is currently led by the Head of Communications - Principal Officer level – who was appointed on 17 July 2017.  My Department made this appointment as part of a wider drive to strengthen professional expertise within its corporate functions, which is a key objective of the Civil Service Renewal Plan.

The Press Office is further supported by a staff complement of five (one Assistant Principal Officer, one Higher Executive Officer, one Executive Officer and two Clerical Officer). The Unit also leads on engagement with a broad range of stakeholders and with the Agencies under the remit of the Department, to inform the media and the general public on policy matters across the wide mission of my Department, its Offices and Agencies.

The Department is committed to ensuring effective communication with all of our customers, both internal and external and in 2017 brought together the Communications Unit and the Press Office under the remit of the Head of Communications. This direction has allowed my Department to endeavour to ensure that all possible assistance is given to all of our customers in accessing information on the wide range of services that we provide.

The Communications Unit is also supported by a staff complement of five (one Assistant Principal Officer, one Higher Executive Officer, two Executive Officer and one Clerical Officer).

My Department is continuously committed to maintaining and improving its commitment to, and delivery of, the highest standards of quality customer service.  As a result the staffing complement in the Press Office and the Communication Unit has increased in an effort to engage with and respond to the growing demands from the media and the general public on the wide range of Departmental policies, functions and activities. 

Further information in answer to the Deputy’s question is attached.

2015

In 2015 and 2016 both the Press Office and the Communications Unit came under the remit of a Principal Officer as part of his other duties.

Press Office

Communications Unit

Grade/Role

Position Established

Grade/Role

Position Established

Higher Executive Officer / Press Officer

Pre 2015

Assistant Principal

Pre 2015

Executive Officer

Pre 2015

Higher Executive Officer

Pre 2015

Clerical Officer x 2

Pre 2015

Clerical Officer

Pre 2015

2016

In 2015 and 2016 both the Press Office and the Communications Unit came under the remit of a Principal Officer as part of his other duties.

Press Office

Communications Unit

Grade/Role

Position Established

Grade/Role

Position Established

Higher Executive Officer / Press Officer

Pre 2015

Assistant Principal

Pre 2015

Executive Officer

Pre 2015

Higher Executive Officer

Pre 2015

Clerical Officer x 2

Pre 2015

Clerical Officer

Pre 2015

2017

In 2017 a Principal Officer post – Head of Communications - was approved to lead and coordinate both internal and external Departmental communications. This officer was appointed on 17/07/2017, and leads the following teams.

Press Office

Communications Unit

Grade/Role

Position Established

Grade/Role

Position Established

Assistant Principal Officer

20/11/2017

Assistant Principal

Pre 2015

Higher Executive Officer / Press Officer

Pre 2015

Higher Executive Officer

Pre 2015

Executive Officer

Pre 2015

Executive Officer

29/05/2017

Clerical Officer x 2

Pre 2015

Executive Officer (transfer of functions – DBEI website management - from other business unit)

01/04/2017

Clerical Officer

Pre 2015

2018

In 2017 a Principal Officer post – Head of Communications - was approved to lead and coordinate both internal and external Departmental communications. This officer was appointed on 17/07/2017, and leads the following teams.

Press Office

Communications Unit

Grade

Position Established

Grade

Position Established

Assistant Principal Officer

20/11/2017

Assistant Principal

Pre 2015

Higher Executive Officer (vacant since 26/01/2018 will be filled on 20/03/2018)

Pre 2015

Higher Executive Officer

Pre 2015

Higher Executive Officer (vacant)

February 2018

Executive Officer

29/05/2017

Executive Officer

Pre 2015

Executive Officer (transfer of functions – DBEI website management - from other business unit)

01/04/2017

Clerical Officer x 2

Pre 2015

Clerical Officer

Pre 2015