Thursday, 25 October 2018

Ceisteanna (296)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

296. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the number of SPS and fisheries control officials who will be operational on 29 March 2019 (details supplied) will be provided; and if not, the reason therefor in view of the fact that the Minister for Finance has provided the number of additional customs officials who will be operational on 29 March 2019. [44514/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

In line with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade-coordinated ‘whole of Government’ approach to Brexit, my Department is planning for an orderly Brexit which involves, inter alia, a transition period to the end of December 2020. Key Government decisions in this regard have been made in July and September 2018 in relation to staffing and IT resources, as well as in relation to engagement with the relevant ports and airports as regards the infrastructure needed to carry out SPS and fisheries controls.

In Budget 2019, €7m was provided for the commencement of a phased process of Brexit-related recruitment of additional staff and the procurement of ICT hardware and software to carry out the anticipated increased volumes of import controls and export certification - €4m for staffing and €3m for ICT. The necessary arrangements to commence the staff recruitment process are currently being put in place. The precise number of staff across the various workstreams that will be in place by 29 March 2019 is not yet known, given that the assignment of staff will be an ongoing process over the period to the end of 2020, starting with an initial intake in early 2019.