In accordance with its Delegated Sanction Agreement with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform my Department is required to effectively manage its staffing numbers and associated pay bill. My Department has authority to fill positions other than those above Principal Officer Standard Scale through recruitment or promotion, subject to certain conditions including adherence to agreed pay ceilings and ongoing compliance with Workforce Planning requirements. The agencies under the aegis of my Department are also required to operate under a similar framework.
For the most part additional staffing requirements of my Department and of its aegis bodies and agencies are dealt with in the annual Estimates process. My Department is continuing to engage with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform as part of the 2021 Estimates process with a view to agreeing updated expenditure allocations and staffing level ceilings. It is in this context that I will formulate specific budgetary priorities, having regard to the views of the education partners and all concerned stakeholders, including the approval of additional staffing levels for my Department and State agencies under the aegis of my Department. It would not be appropriate for me to disclose details of any Estimates 2021 submissions until engagement with Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is concluded in the coming weeks. Apart from the 2021 Estimates submissions, there are no outstanding requests for additional staffing levels.