Tuesday, 29 November 2016
Department of Social Protection
Departmental Staff Recruitment
339. To ask the Minister for Social Protection if his attention has been drawn to the fact that there has been no social protection inspector in Tuam since August 2016; if his attention has further been drawn to the difficulty this is causing for staff and customers (details supplied); the measures he will take to address this situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37443/16]
There are two Social Welfare Inspector posts in Tuam and they cover the whole North Galway area. A vacancy in one of the posts arose as a result of the transfer of an Inspector to Galway City in August 2016.
My Department, like all Government Departments and agencies, is required to operate within a staff ceiling figure and a commensurate administrative staffing budget.
Within these constraints, my Department is focusing on prioritising the filling of critical posts. The staffing needs for all offices of my Department are continuously reviewed, taking account of workloads, management priorities and the competing demands arising, to ensure that the best use is made of all available resources with a view to providing an efficient service to those who rely on the schemes operated by the Department.
However, it has not been possible to date to fill all posts that have become vacant, including this post in Tuam. This position is under ongoing review.
The most urgent and longest outstanding claims in Tuam are being prioritised at present. If a customer is under financial pressure while awaiting a decision on a claim, it is open to them to contact the local Community Welfare Officer regarding Supplementary Welfare Allowance.
I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.