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Public Sector Staff

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 17 November 2021

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Ceisteanna (77, 78)

Michael Healy-Rae


77. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will address a series of matters in relation to the executive officer Irish panel and the mobility scheme (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56332/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Griffin


78. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 83 of 10 November 2021, if he will address a series of matters in relation to the question (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56346/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 77 and 78 together.

In relation to the request that the current panel in place from the 2019 Executive Officer with Irish fluency competition be further extended beyond 31 December 2021, I would refer the Deputy to PQ 54814/21 of 10 November. Candidates for this competition were advised that vacancies many not arise in all regional locations while the panel is active. A new Irish Executive Officer competition will be undertaken by PAS in the coming months from which future assignments will be made from 2022. In relation to the sequential filling of posts, this is grade specific as opposed to competition specific and civil service employers have delegated sanction to fill posts in line with these arrangements.

The Deputy will be aware that officials from my Department appeared before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Irish Language, Gaeltacht and the Irish-speaking Community in July. The recruitment of Irish speakers was discussed in detail with the Committee in the context of the ambitious 2030 recruitment targets set out in the Official Languages (Amendment) Bill that is presently before the Houses of the Oireachtas and alongside the July 2019 audit findings of An Coimisinéir Teanga that highlighted that only c. 0.4% of total positions were presently designated by civil service employers as positions having an Irish language proficiency requirement.

The achievement of a 20% recruitment target of proficient Irish speakers by 2030 will require a cross-Government approach. On enactment of the Bill presently before the Oireachtas, the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media will establish an Advisory Committee on Irish languages services. The functions of this Advisory Committee are set out in the Bill and include the publication of a national plan to increase the provision of services through the medium of Ireland that will likely require the consideration of approaches to the future recruitment of Irish speakers in the coming years. My Department and the Public Appointments Service will be represented as members on this Committee.

The Mobility scheme (list-based) for Clerical Officers and Executive Officers which went live for offers on 10th September 2018 was reviewed by officials in my department and key stakeholders (Local HR representatives and Fórsa) following twelve months of operation. The reported data at this time indicated that only 25% of moves took place following the initial offer.

Following consultation it was agreed by with all stakeholders that in order to focus a more targeted approach at application stage that the number of zone choices would be reduced from three to two with the number of organisation choices per zone reduced from all organisations to five, for all new applicants. This change took effect from 19th June 2020.

A future review will be carried out following the development and roll out of organisational blended working policies under the planned Blended Working Policy Framework for the Civil Service in order to determine the effects that this has on the Mobility Scheme. Currently it is too early to report on the effects of the change versus the impact of the pandemic.

As you will be aware some of the location zones include the larger civil service organisations (e.g Revenue, Department of Social Protection) which experience higher rates of staff turnover than the smaller organisations due to retirements, promotions etc. and this reflects on the movement of staff through the Mobility lists.