Thursday, 5 December 2019

Ceisteanna (53)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

53. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of persons employed on an agency basis in his Department and in each agency under his aegis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50805/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

No agency staff are employed at the Headquarters of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Like the majority of Foreign Services, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s diplomatic missions are staffed by a mix of posted officers recruited at Headquarters and locally engaged staff. As posted officers rotate to and from HQ, locally engaged staff are essential to the operation of diplomatic Missions abroad as they provide continuity to the operation of the Mission. They also possess skillsets which are essential to the smooth running of Missions abroad such as administrative and technical skills, a deep knowledge of the local environment and culture, and a fluency in local languages.

Employment agency staff are employed in a small number of missions where the necessity arises. Such missions include new Missions, those with particular complexities in the local labour market or those where changes in the workload necessitate an assessment of the number and type of roles or skills needed to be undertaken. Open competitions for direct employment of locally engaged staff are generally held once there is clarity on operational requirements and the number and profile of the roles required.

There are 38 agency staff employed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.