I wish to inform the Deputy that on the commencement of every Dáil, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform issues guidelines setting out the arrangements for the staffing of Ministerial Offices. The appointment of Special Advisers is subject to section 11 of the Public Service Management Act 1997.
The Guidelines for the 33rd Dáil, which incorporate the principles of section 11 of the PMSA Act, have been approved by Government.
The appointment of individual Special Advisers is a matter for each Government Minister subject to the terms set out in the aforementioned guidelines, although the appointments are also subject to formal Government approval. At this stage, no Special Advisers have been formally appointed to my Department by the Government.
However, the Deputy may wish to note that I have re-engaged the two Special Advisers who worked with me during the 32nd Dáil, which is subject to Government approval. Both are paid €101,114.00 per annum (Point 5 of the Principal Standard PPC scale).
The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform must be notified of the rate of salary to be paid in all cases for Special Advisers; These rates will then be published on the website of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.
Special Advisers are appointed under Section 11 of the Public Service Management Act 1997. A Special Adviser to a Minister or to a Minister of State, as in the case may be, shall
(a) assist the Minister or Minister of State, as the case may be, by –
(i) providing advice,
(ii) Monitoring, facilitating and securing the achievement of the Government objectives that relate to the Department, as requested by the Minister or the Minister of State, as the case may be, and
(ii) Performing such other functions as may be directed by the Minister or the Minister of State, as the case may be that are not otherwise provided for in this Act and do not involve the exercise of any specific powers conferred on the Minister or the Minister of State as the case may be or any other office holder by or under any other Act.