My Department uses workforce planning processes to identify the critical resource needs required to deliver its business goals. Workforce planning is a key tool in enabling my Department to forecast its current and future staffing needs (subject to the limits of the annual estimates process, the usual budgetary constraints and approvals by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform). The Workforce Plan aims to ensure a long-term, proactive and strategic plan by which my Department aims to have the right people, with the right levels of talent and skills, in each location and Division, doing the right thing at the right time.
My Department operates in a rapidly changing environment and its structure must facilitate the flexibility to deploy resources to priority work, as the need arises. As business needs arise, staff are allocated to support organisational priorities within my Department. Overall staffing levels within Divisions are continually monitored and staff transfer in and out of Divisions as the workload demands. Where skills gaps have been are identified, the HR Division reviews these requests on a quarterly basis and approves staff assignments on the basis of business cases made by Divisions. One such iteration of this process has just been completed, so no requests are currently on hand for consideration from within the Department.
The question of staffing levels in the State Agencies under the aegis of my Department is an operational matter, generally delegated to the Agencies themselves and I will ask the Agencies to respond directly to the Deputy on this matter. However, I am aware of one request for additional staff resources, related to Brexit.