I propose to take Questions Nos. 30 and 37 together.
As the Deputy is aware, the Civil Service Mobility scheme which comes under the remit of my department, and is administered through HR Shared Services, National Shared Services Office, offers an opportunity for staff members to apply for mobility through an open and transparent system. The establishment of the scheme fulfils one of the requirements of Action 15 of the Civil Service Renewal Plan; and Action 14 of the People Strategy for the Civil Service, which calls for the further expansion of a coherent mobility policy to facilitate staff development and strategic alignment with other HR policies, builds upon this.
The scheme is being introduced on a phased basis. Phase 1A of the scheme is for the general Civil Service grades of Clerical Officer (CO) and Executive Officer (EO) to apply for mobility between and within 46 zones - excluding mobility within Zone 46 (Dublin) which will be included in Phase 1B.
There has been a high level of interest in the scheme since Phase 1A opened for applications on 13th November 2017 with c. 3,800 staff members (22% of the 17,000 participating staff members - 60% CO : 40% EO) applying for mobility and making an average of 10 organisational choices. Over 50 moves have taken place since the operational launch of the scheme on 10th September 2018.
The location choices in the scheme are divided into mobility zones rather than county or province. An applicant may express a preference for mobility for a maximum of 3 zones from the list of 46 zones with a choice of any or all organisations in each zone (a full list of zones and organisations per zone can be viewed at www.hr.per.gov.ie). Staff members can apply for mobility within their current zone (excluding Phase 1B, Zone 46 Dublin) as well as other zones. A number of mobility zones also have an option to include or exclude a choice of satellite towns.
There are currently 855 staff members based in zone 46 (Dublin) that have applied for mobility to other zones. This equates to 12% of the 7,000 participating staff members in Dublin (55% CO: 35% EO), while 88% wish to remain in their chosen location.
It should be noted that the Mobility scheme launched following an era of moratorium and low levels of staff transfers in the Civil Service and these factors would contribute to the initial high surge of interest in the scheme.
It should also be noted that over 50% of the staff members who were made offers of mobility since the operational launch have now declined the offer. Therefore with regard to the percentage of declines of offer, I am confident that the actual number of staff members who want to move from Dublin to other zones is lower than the reported figure of 855, which shows those who have put in an initial request.
Following the full roll out of the Civil Service Mobility Scheme, it is the intention to review and extend mobility over time to provide additional development opportunities and enable greater mobility across the Public Service.