The Department currently has 58 Branch Offices at various locations throughout the country. Each Branch Office is operated and managed, under a contract for services, by a Branch Manager who is required to act as an agent for the Department in the area served by the office. Branch Office managers operate on a contract for service and are independent contractors.
Services are provided through the Branch Offices network in areas which are not directly served by a Department operated Intreo centre. The Department wishes to ensure that the services provided by the Department’s Intreo Centres and Branch Offices are aligned so that all customers nationwide are provided with broadly similar services.
On foot of this, officials from my Department engaged in discussions with the Branch Managers Association (BMA), a representative group of Branch Managers who presented the views of its members, under the chairmanship of an agreed facilitator regarding the Department’s proposals for a new service delivery model.
Talks between the Department and the BMA concluded on 29th March. Non-binding recommendations were issued by the facilitator to both parties on 4th April and I am happy to report that both sides have agreed to accept these recommendations.
These recommendations, together with previous recommendations from the facilitator in December 2017 on the revised remuneration model, provide a framework within which Branch Office services will be delivered on behalf of the Department by Branch Managers.
Letters to each individual Branch Manager are currently being drafted by my officials outlining the proposed remuneration and service delivery proposals and will be issued shortly. Once an individual Branch Manager accepts these proposals in writing, the new remuneration proposal will be put in place for that individual Branch Manager.
I trust that this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.