In July 2018, and again in September 2018, a number of decisions were made at Cabinet relating to Brexit preparedness and contingency planning, including the phased recruitment of staff, as required. The Government has already sanctioned € 4m for the commencement of a phased process for the recruitment of additional staff in the Office of the Revenue Commissioners, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the Health sector to carry out the greatly increased volumes of import controls and export certification arising from Brexit.
Brexit has the potential to have serious adverse economic transport and tourism impacts and as a result has been identified as the main strategic risk facing the Department. As a result, the Department has organised itself internally to prepare for Brexit. While all relevant areas and staff of the Department are actively engaged in Brexit-related work, overall responsibility for the preparation and coordination of the Department's response to Brexit has been assigned to the Head of Function in the Policy and EU Division reporting to the Assistant Secretary with responsibility for Corporate Affairs and Policy Co-ordination. The EU Division was restructured with strengthened resources to allow a more strategic focus on a number of key issues, including Brexit. Brexit issues relating to sectoral issues across the Tourism, Public Transport, Aviation, Maritime and Road Transport and Freight Policy areas are managed by the relevant Heads of Function in those Divisions and are co-ordinated by the EU Division.
In addition, a dedicated staffing resource at AP level has been assigned to Public Transport Division, to Road Transport and Freight Policy Division and to the Maritime Transport Division to assist with the prioritisation of Brexit related issues in those sectors. My Department has also recently hired 7 additional temporary staff members to deal specifically with “no-deal” Brexit related to issues in the Road Haulage area.
The Management Board has, and will continue, to keep under review the Department's organisation and structures for Brexit to ensure that they remain robust in addressing the evolving Brexit situation.