Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Ceisteanna (92)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

92. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the White Paper projects that have been completed; and if project summary statements for closed projects are available. [21165/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

The 2015 White Paper on Defence sets the defence policy agenda over a ten year planning horizon and encompasses all work carried out by the Department of Defence, the Defence Forces and Civil Defence. It comprehends the Government’s policy on defence of the State from armed aggression, the defence contribution to domestic security, the defence contribution to international peace and security and a broad range of other “non-security” roles which the Government require the Defence Forces and Civil Defence to undertake. It considers the defence capabilities required so that the Defence Forces can successfully deliver on the roles assigned by Government. Finally, the White Paper also considers implementation and the actions required to ensure that defence planning and provision processes are further developed.

During scoping of the White Paper implementation programme 88 actions or projects were specifically identified. These actions represent a subset of the totality of the work being carried out as part of the implementation programme for the White Paper. While it is currently intended to have all 88 projects initiated or completed by the end of the ten year implementation programme, work in certain areas will continue beyond 2025 in order to ensure that changes, improvements and actions envisaged in the White Paper are fully implemented and to assure that positive outcomes endure and are embedded in the day to day business of the Defence Organisation.

To date, 37 projects have been initiated with 10 more projects due to initiate during 2018. Of these, 5 projects have been completed and closed/transitioned to normal business with a number of other projects close to completion. The projects which have closed to date are set out in the following table along with a summary statement:

Number

Project Name

Summary Statement

5

Engagement with the Connected Forces Initiative (CFI), the Planning and Review Process (PARP) and the Operational Capabilities Concept (OCC)

The project objective was for Ireland to continue to engage with the Partnership Interoperability Advocacy Group (formerly CFI), participate in the Planning and Review Process (PARP) and have joined the Operational Capabilities Concept, Evaluation and Feedback (OCC E&F) programme.

As part of the OCC E&F programme, Ireland selected a unit for the inaugural force package for participation in OCC E&F assessment to Level 1. This is the first step in a a two - year programme in which the unit will undertake two evaluations. Ireland also completed the full cycle of the PARP process; (i) Partnership Goals, (ii) Partnership Survey and (iii) Partnership Assessment. A lessons learned exercise was completed to identify and improve this process.

Ireland continues to participate in the informal Partnership Interoperability Advocacy Group discussions and took over as PIAG Co-Chair in January 2018 for one year, and will fill the Executive Officer position from mid-2018 (July) to mid 2019.

11

A review of Ireland's NRA, including those emergencies/crises that may threaten or impact on national security, will be undertaken in late 2015 by a subgroup of the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning.

The objective of this project was to complete a review of the National Risk Assessment (NRA) and to adopt a revised NRA. The revised NRA for Ireland 2017 was completed and endorsed by the GTF on 8 March 2017. It was submitted to Government on 21 November 2017 and has been forwarded to the European Commission to continue the deliberative process at an EU and National level under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The NRA for Ireland 2017 enables the assessment of risk management capabilities and the prioritisation of risk mitigation, which will be led by the lead Departments/Agencies responsible for the risks identified in the NRA. This will be monitored on an on-going basis by the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning, chaired by the Minister with Responsibility for Defence.

22

Develop a new employment support scheme with the direct involvement of the Defence Forces

The White Paper gave a commitment to develop a pilot Employee Support Scheme (ESS). The pilot programme for the scheme was conducted by 2 Bde in Gormanston in 2016 at a total cost of €259,116. Following successful evaluation of the pilot programme, the Minister approved a three year roll out of the Scheme (2017-2019), with up to 2 iterations of the programme to be scheduled each year. 2 iterations of the programme were held in mid and late 2017 (in Limerick and Gormanston). Another iteration is scheduled for summer 2018 (June in Cork) and the 2nd iteration for 2018 is currently provisionally scheduled for later this year in the DFTC. Funding has been secured from the European Social Fund for the iterations of the scheme outlined in the 3 year implementation plan. As part of the roll out, it was agreed that a full review of the Scheme be scheduled for 2020 which would comprehensively evaluate "Value for Money" in relation to the Scheme. In addition to this, an interim review of the roll out of the Scheme is also underway at present.

62

Regarding Civilian Employee vacancies, the Department will in the short term, initiate a programme of targeted recruitment to address priority vacancies, In the medium term, the Department will identify the areas that are most in need.

The project objective was to fill a number of vacancies for civilian employees. 40 posts identified at the start of the Project have now been filled and the successful applicants are now in place. In the case of some competitions, panels were formed from which any future vacancies may be filled.

79

The Department (Civil Defence Branch) will take the lead role in the Government's new Inter-agency Guidance Team (IGT) being established in order to enhance liaison under the Major Emergency Management.

The project objective was to establish an Inter-Agency Guidance Team (IGT) to assist with the future development of Civil Defence. The IGT was established in July 2016 and terms of reference were agreed. The IGT has met on several occasions to date and further meetings will take place. The IGT has been established in accordance with the commitment in the White Paper on Defence (2015) and is now part of the core business of the Civil Defence Branch of the Department.