Written answers

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Department of Defence

Bullying in the Workplace

9:00 pm

Photo of Michael MulcahyMichael Mulcahy (Dublin South Central, Fianna Fail)
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Question 70: To ask the Minister for Defence if he plans to conduct further reviews of the implementation in the Defence Forces of the 2002 The Challenge of a Workplace report chaired by Dr. Eileen Doyle; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34146/07]

Photo of Willie O'DeaWillie O'Dea (Minister, Department of Defence; Limerick East, Fianna Fail)
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The Defence Forces and the Department have taken a wide variety of initiatives and have devoted extensive resources to this issue, since Dr Eileen Doyle and the External Advisory Committee presented their original report "The Challenge of a Workplace" in March 2002. This independent report addressed the entire range of interpersonal issues within the Defence Forces. Its contents and recommendations were accepted in full.

An Independent Monitoring Group was established in May 2002 to oversee the implementation of the recommendations of the original Doyle Report. The Independent Monitoring Group's own progress report, "Response to the Challenge of a Workplace", which was launched by my predecessor on 24 September, 2004, is available on the Defence Forces website and describes in detail the very significant progress achieved since the publication of the original Doyle Report in 2002.

An internal military steering group, chaired by the Assistant Chief of Staff and comprising of Director Administration, Director Human Resources Management and Director Defence Forces Training, oversees the implementation of all the recommendations of the Response to the Challenge of a Workplace 2004.

The Independent Monitoring Group recommended that a review of progress within the Defence Forces should take place in 2007 and that it should be published. The report also suggested that a group representative of military management, PDFORRA, RACO, Department of Defence and external expertise should conduct such a review. I agree that there should be a review of progress. I can confirm that my Department is currently concentrating on the terms of reference for such a review. The next phase, involving the key players will be launched shortly.

The ongoing implementation of the recommendations of the Doyle report has been one of the highest priorities for the Defence Forces and the Department since its publication. Policies on equality, dignity and bullying are being constantly communicated to all ranks. I am satisfied that the military authorities are alert and vigilant to this issue and are committed to addressing the matter in a continuing and proactive manner through educational modules on interpersonal relationships which are now embedded in career courses for all ranks.

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