I propose to take Questions Nos. 263 and 264 together.
I am informed that the number of employees in my Department is 642. I am further informed that my Department employs professionally qualified staff in many areas: finance; legal; architecture; natural heritage; archaeology; IT; HR and communications.
I am also informed that information garnered during recruitment and promotional competitions indicates that many employees across my Department hold professional qualifications in a wide variety of disciplines; however, individual employees’ professional qualifications are not a matter for the Department record unless an employee is in a post for which a particular qualification is a pre-requisite. The Department does not, therefore, hold records which would supply the information requested by the Deputy. With regard to the particular institutions that the Deputy names: the Department employs a chartered accountant in the role of Department Accountant.
The Department ensures that there is an appropriate focus on good practice in purchasing and that procedures are in place to ensure compliance with all relevant guidelines. While any officer in the Department can be required to engage with the procurement process, payment authorisation levels are set by grade. There is no role in the Department for which a procurement qualification is a pre-requisite.