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Written Answers - Departmental Staff

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 494.  Deputy Thomas Pringle Information on Thomas Pringle Zoom on Thomas Pringle  asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney  the staffing levels in his Department's Raphoe, County Donegal, local office broken down by grade; his plans to further reduce staff numbers; if a staff-work ratio review has been carried out; if he believes that the office can continue to provide a service to the farming community; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16093/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney Zoom on Simon Coveney The staffing level in my Department’s Raphoe office, broken down by grade and expressed as full time equivalents, is as follows:

Grade Number
Clerical Officer 13.8
Technical Agricultural Officer 9
Supervisory Agricultural Officer 4
Veterinary Inspector 4
District Superintendent 3
Staff Officer 3
Executive Officer 2
Part-Time Cleaner 1
Higher Executive Officer `1
Services Officer 1
Superintending Veterinary Inspector 1
Total staff 42.8

As the Deputy will be aware, since 2009 my Department has been engaged in a local office reorganisation process, the purpose of which has been to ensure the continuity of a top quality [911]service to its clients while at the same time recognising the harsh economic reality in which the public service has to operate.

The Raphoe Office is one of 16 enhanced regional offices delivering schemes and services across the country. These offices provide an integrated service across the veterinary, AES, Single Payment Scheme and Forestry business units.

A management review of local offices in 2009 reported that with improved business processes, the Raphoe office could satisfactorily provide these services with less than the current complement of administrative staff.

Up until now, there were no options available to my Department to redeploy surplus staff in or around Raphoe and, as a temporary measure, other work unrelated to the normal work of a Regional Office was sent to Raphoe to ensure all staff were fully occupied. The possibility has now arisen to redeploy a number of the surplus staff to other locations and my Department is pursuing that possibility in accordance with the terms set out in the Croke Park Agreement.

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