Tuesday, 15 October 2019
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
487. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if 75 positions is still the most up-to-date figure for the total number that have been identified to be filled in a hard Brexit scenario by his Department following correspondence (details supplied) on 16 August 2018 from his office. [42183/19]
488. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of veterinary and plant portal positions that have been identified to be filled in a hard Brexit scenario by his Department; and the number of new veterinary and plant portal positions recruited to date for this scenario. [42184/19]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 487 and 488 together.
My Department has indicated that it would have 240 staff resources available to deal with East-West Import controls on 31st October 2019.
To date, an additional 148 new staff have been recruited across a range of disciplines. In addition, 60 staff are available through internal redeployment. My Department has also signed contracts with 31 Private Veterinary Practitioners (PVPs) to deliver import inspection services in Dublin and Rosslare ports.
My Department has been working with the Office of Public Works to provide additional inspection bays in Dublin Port to further accelerate the inspection process. Should this additional infrastructure be available on 31st October, my Department will assign an additional 22 staff to man these inspection bays.
I should also mention that the Sea Fisheries Protection Agency (SFPA) has identified an additional requirement for up to 60 staff to undertake the controls that will arise from Brexit in the areas that fall within their operational remit.
My Department will continue to recruit staff to backfill the vacancies that will arise from the redeployment of staff to Brexit duties, and will continue to keep the overall staffing numbers under review.