Written answers

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Photo of Holly CairnsHolly Cairns (Cork South West, Social Democrats)
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367. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the number of State boards under the remit of his Department or its agencies, in tabular form; the number of members of each board; the number of persons with a declared disability on each board; and the percentage of each board that is made up of persons with a declared disability. [62521/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The only State body under the aegis of my Department is the Army Pensions Board. The Army Pensions Board is an independent statutory body established under the Army Pensions Act 1927 to provide for the payment of pensions, allowances and gratuities in certain circumstances to members of the Defence Forces. The 1927 Act specifies that the Board shall consist of a chairman and two ordinary members.

The two ordinary members must be qualified medical practitioners of whom one must be an officer of the Army Medical Corps. The chairman and the non-military ordinary member are appointed by the Minister for Defence with the concurrence of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. The Army Medical Corps ordinary member is appointed by the Minister for Defence on the recommendation of the Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces. The Secretary of the Army Pensions Board is a civil servant in my Department.

As disability returns are anonymous, my Department cannot provide a breakdown on the number of persons with a declared disability as requested by the Deputy. It should also be noted that there is no onus on an employee to declare a disability. In 2020, 4.28% of the civil servants in my Department had declared a disability, and 6.15% of the civilian employees who are employed to support the operational capability of the Defence Forces and work in military installations.

In compliance with Part 5 of the Disability Act 2005, the Department of Defence has undertaken, where practicable, to promote and support the employment of people with disabilities. The Department continues to operate in a non-discriminatory environment in accordance with the Equality Acts and aims to ensure that the principles of employment equality are implemented in recruitment, promotion, training and work experience.


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