The recruitment of local authority staff is governed by primary legislation and regulations. Under Section 160 of the Local Government Act 2001, the appropriate Minister may declare qualifications of such classes and descriptions as he or she thinks fit for a specified employment under a local authority, or for such of the employments as belong to a specified class, description or grade. The Local Authorities (Officers and Employees) Act, 1926 Local Authorities (Declaration of Offices) Order 1999 specifies the offices, senior executive engineer and above, that fall to be filled by the Public Appointments Service.
The common recruitment pool system, which has been in operation for more than 30 years, provides for the filling of posts at grades IV to VII in local authorities and other relevant agencies by competition confined to local authorities, the Health Service Executive, Education and Training Boards, Institutes of Technology and certain other health and local government agencies. The “Towards 2016” Agreement provided for the implementation of arrangements whereby 20% of the posts at grades V to VII and 50% of posts at Grade IV would be filled by open competition. Specialist posts would continue to be filled by open competition only. Posts above Grade VII are also filled by open competition. Under the “Towards 2016” Agreement the implementation of the provisions regarding the common recruitment pool, CRP, is a matter for each relevant sector where the pool operates.
The Local Government Management Agency, LGMA, is currently engaging with the relevant unions and staff interests, with a view to reviewing the common recruitment pool process.