Tuesday, 21 February 2012
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
Public Service Staff
Brendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
Question 285: To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will explain the process for a person in the public sector hoping to transfer to another Government Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9784/12]
Brendan Howlin (Minister, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform; Wexford, Labour)
The Public Service Agreement 2010-14 (Croke Park Agreement) provides for agreed redeployment arrangements to apply in the Civil Service and in other parts of the public service. Under the Agreement, redeployment generally takes precedence over all other methods of filling a vacancy and supersedes any existing agreements on the deployment of staff. It sets out the agreed redeployment arrangements within the Health, Education, and Local Authority sectors; and within and between the Civil Service and Non-Commercial State Sponsored Bodies (NCSSB). It also provides that cross sectoral redeployments will follow the arrangements agreed for the NCSSBs.
The redeployment arrangements allow staff to be moved from activities which are of lesser priority, or which have been rationalised, reconfigured, or restructured, to areas of greater need. In general redeployment opportunities are to be sought in the first instance within each sector (e.g. health, education, local authority, etc.). The arrangements are not intended to be a staff mobility scheme and in practical terms represent a means of facilitating the targeted reduction in public service numbers in the period 2010 to 2014 while sustaining the ongoing delivery of services.
The Public Appointments Service (PAS) has put in place a system of Resource Panels of Civil Service and State Agency staff to support the redeployment processes in those sectors agreed under the Croke Park Agreement. It is a matter for the employer to identify the number and grades of posts to be redeployed in the first instance and to upload the posts onto the PAS panels. Posts to be filled by redeployment are offered in the first instance to the relevant panel or panels.
Where staff are not available for redeployment in a particular location, the post, if approved for filling by my Department, may be offered to staff who had already indicated an interest in transferring there, whether directly to the Department concerned or through the Central Applications Facility (CAF), which was set up to facilitate the implementation of the Decentralisation Programme. However, the possibilities to facilitate requests for such transfers are now more limited due to ongoing reductions in public service numbers, the necessity for redeployment to take precedence and the cancellation of the decentralisation programme.
The Senior Public Service (SPS) provides mobility opportunities for Assistant Secretaries to move to posts at equivalent level within the civil service. As the SPS is extended to the wider public service, mobility will be extended on an incremental basis.