As Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, I have appointed two Special Advisers and two Civilian Drivers in my Department. The appointments have been made in accordance with Instructions for Ministerial Appointments as published by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. These instructions set specific conditions to be met in respect of such appointments including the salaries to be applied. In accordance with these instructions, both my Special Advisers have been placed on the Principal Officer Standard Scale - PPC and are both currently on the 4th point of this scale - €95,441 and my Civilian Drivers are both on an annual salary of €34,305.
The terms of the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 and the Standards in Public Office Act 2001 apply to all Ministerial staff appointments, including Special Advisers, and in accordance with these Acts a copy of the appointees' contracts of employment together with details of qualifications are laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas. In addition, the Acts provide for each individual appointee, with the exception of the grade of Civilian Driver, to make written statements of registerable interests which could materially influence the appointee in, or in relation to, the performance of official functions.
The Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour also apply to Ministerial appointees but the Deputy may wish to note that the restrictions on civil servants engaging in political activity under the Code do not apply to Ministerial staff holding temporary unestablished positions in the civil service and whose tenure is coterminous with that of the relevant Minister.
I am satisfied that all of the persons appointed by me are appropriately qualified to carry out their official functions.