Written answers

Thursday, 18 November 2021

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Defence Forces

Photo of Cathal BerryCathal Berry (Kildare South, Independent)
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111. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence his plans to apply for a supplementary budget estimate in anticipation of the forthcoming report of the Commission on the Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [56306/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The Programme for Government committed to an independent Commission to undertake a comprehensive review of the Defence Forces. This independent Commission on the Defence Forces was subsequently established by Government in December 2020, with a mandate to report within 12 months. The Government also approved the Terms of Reference, based on the Programme for Government, and the membership of the Commission. The Commission’s overall approach will be guided and informed by both the White Paper on Defence 2015 and the White Paper Update 2019. The work of the Commission will inform the future development of the Defence Forces and encompasses the following matters;

Structure and size of the Defence Forces encompassing consideration of appropriate capabilities, structures and staffing. - Leveraging the capabilities of the Reserve Defence Force in their supports to the Permanent Defence Force and make service in the RDF more attractive.

- Governance and high level command and control structures in the Defence Forces.

- The evolution of remuneration systems and structures in the Defence Forces.

- A strategic perspective on HR policies and associated strategies, recruitment, retention and career progression.

The establishment of the independent Commission on the Defence Forces underpins the Government's commitment to ensuring that the Defence Forces are fit for purpose, both in terms of meeting immediate requirements and also in terms of seeking to develop a longer term vision beyond 2030.

The Commission is due to submit their report by the end of the year and I look forward to receiving the report in due course. The recommendations will then be fully considered and will inform future decisions, including those relating to funding, regarding the Defence Forces.


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