Dáil Éireann - Volume 328 - 07 April, 1981

Written Answers. - Civil Servants in Ministers' Private Offices.

351. Mr. Horgan asked the Taoiseach [1090] if he will state in respect of himself and each Minister of State in his Department (a) the number of civil servants in his private office and (b) the number of these who have at any time been engaged on constituency correspondence.

The Taoiseach: The number of civil servants in the private office and general office of my Department is 24. The number in the office of the Minister of State is seven. Any one of these may be engaged from time to time on constituency correspondence if the need arises.

352. Mr. Horgan asked the Minister for Energy if he will state in respect of himself and each Minister of State in his Department (a) the number of civil servants in the private office and (b) the number of these who have at any time been engaged on constituency correspondence.

Minister for Energy (Mr. Colley): The total number of established civil servants in my office is ten. None of these is involved full time in the handling of my constituency correspondence although from time to time they would be involved from a clerical point of view such as the typing and issuing of letters. My constituency correspondence is primarily handled by my personal secretary who is not an established civil servant.

353. Mr. Horgan asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will state in respect of himself and each Minister of State in his Department (a) the number of civil servants in the private office and (b) the number of these who have at any time been engaged on constituency correspondence.

Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Lenihan): There are 12 civil servants in my private office whose duties comprise both departmental and constituency work.

354. Mr. Horgan asked the Minister for Industry, Commerce and Tourism if he will state in respect of himself and [1091] each Minister of State in his Department (a) the number of civil servants in his private office and (b) the number of these who have at any time been engaged on constituency correspondence.

Minister for Industry, Commerce and Tourism (Mr. O'Malley): There are 12 civil servants attached to my own office, eight in the office of the Minister of State, Deputy Gallagher, and seven in that of the Minister of State, Deputy Meaney. These figures include a total of nine typists.

Three civil servants in my own office and in that of the Minister of State, Deputy Gallagher, and two in the office of the Minister of State, Deputy Meaney, are engaged exclusively on constituency correspondence. In practice, however, the other officers may be engaged from time to time in handling constituency correspondence and official correspondence issuing to constituents.

355. Mr. Horgan asked the Minister for Justice if he will state in respect of himself and each Minister of State in his Department (a) the number of civil servants in his private office and (b) the number of these who have at any time been engaged on constituency correspondence.

Minister for Justice (Mr. G. Collins): There are 23 civil servants in my private office and ten in the private office of the Minister of State, all of whose duties comprise both departmental and constituency work.

356. Mr. Horgan asked the Minister for Defence if he will state in respect of himself and each Minister of State in his Department (a) the number of civil servants in the private office and (b) the number of these who have at any time been engaged on constituency correspondence.

Minister for Defence (Mr. Barrett): (a) Office of the Minister—seven; Office of the Minister of State—one. (b) All officers in the private offices are engaged [1092] from time to time on constituency correspondence.

357. Mr. Horgan asked the Minister for Finance if he will state in respect of himself and each Minister of State in his Department (a) the number of civil servants in his private office and (b) the number of these who have at any time been engaged on constituency correspondence.

Minister for Finance (Mr. G. Fitzgerald): The total number of civil servants serving in the private offices of the Minister and the Minister of State in my Department is 18 and ten respectively. In practice all officers in the private offices are engaged in constituency correspondence from time to time.

358. Mr. Horgan asked the Minister for the Public Service if he will state in respect of himself and each Minister of State in his Department (a) the number of civil servants in the private office and (b) the number of these who have at any time been engaged on constituency correspondence.

Minister for the Public Service (Mr. G. Fitzgerald): The number of civil servants employed in my private office and in the office of the Minister of State at the Department of the Public Service is two and eight respectively. In practice, all officers in the private offices are engaged from time to time on constituency correspondence.

359. Mr. Horgan asked the Minister for Education if he will state in respect of himself and each Minister of State in his Department (a) the number of civil servants in his private office and (b) the number of these who have at any time been engaged on constituency correspondence.

Minister for Education (Mr. Wilson): The number of civil servants in the category mentioned at (a) in the question is as follows: In my private office, 14; In the private office of the Minister of State at my Department, 9.

As I stated in reply to Question [1093] No. 387 on 4 March 1980 there is no basis on which I would draw a distinction in the case of the duties performed by members of the staff in the private offices as between constituency and other matters. The same situation applies in the case of the private office of the Minister of State.

360. Mr. Horgan asked the Minister for Agriculture if he will state in respect of himself and each Minister of State in his Department (a) the number of civil servants in his private office and (b) the number of these who have at any time been engaged on constituency correspondence.

Minister for Agriculture (Mr. MacSharry): (a) The number of staff in my private office is 20 and six and 13 respectively in the two Minister of State offices (b) In addition to their Departmental duties all staff in these offices are engaged from time to time on constituency correspondence.

361. Mr. Horgan asked the Minister for the Gaeltacht if she will state in respect of herself and each Minister of State in her Department (a) the number of civil servants in her private office and (b) the number of these who have at any time been engaged on constituency correspondence.

Aire na Gaeltachta (Mrs. Geoghegan-Quinn): Seacht n-oifigeach atáag fónamh i m'oifig phríobháideach agus caitheann siad uile am éigin ar obair a bhaineann le mo dháilcheantar. Nímiste a lua go bhfuil cuid mhaith de mo dháilcheantar sa Ghaeltacht.

362. Mr. Horgan asked the Minister for Health if he will state in respect of himself and each Minister of State in his Department (a) the number of civil servants in his private office and (b) the number of these who have at any time been engaged on constituency correspondence.

Minister for Health (Dr. Woods): The position in my private office is that there are 11 civil servants who deal with correspondence [1094] from every constituency which would also include my own constituency as part of their general duties. In the private office of the Minister of State at my Department there are four civil servants all of whom are engaged to some extent on constituency correspondence.

363. Mr. Horgan asked the Minister for Social Welfare if he will state in respect of himself and each Minister of State in his Department (a) the number of civil servants in his private office and (b) the number of these who have at any time been engaged in constituency correspondence.

Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): The position in my private office is that there are 15 civil servants who deal with correspondence from every constituency which would also include my own constituency as part of their general duties. In the private office of the Minister of State at my Department there are five civil servants all of whom are engaged to some extent on constituency correspondence.

364. Mr. Horgan asked the Minister for Fisheries and Forestry if he will state in respect of himself and each Minister of State in his Department (a) the number of civil servants in his private office and (b) the number of these who have at any time been engaged on constituency correspondence.

Minister for Fisheries and Forestry (Mr. Power): There are ten heads of staff generally employed in my private office. All of them are employed from time to time on constituency work, as the need arises. There is no Minister of State in my Department.

365. Mr. Horgan asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if he will state in respect of himself and each Minister of State in his Department (a) the number of civil servants in his private office and (b) the number of these who have at any time been engaged on constituency correspondence.

[1095] Minister for Posts and Telegraphs (Mr. Reynolds): (a) The number of civil servants employed in the private office of the Minister is nine and the number employed in the private office of the Minister of State is 18. (b) The number of these staff who have been engaged at any time on constituency correspondence is six in the case of the office of the Minister and seven in the case of the office of the Minister of State.

In addition to the above, six staff provide typing services in connection with constituency and non-constituency work in both offices.

366. Mr. Horgan asked the Minister for Transport if he will state in respect of himself and each Minister of State in his Department (a) the number of civil servants in his private office and (b) the number of these who have at any time been engaged on constituency correspondence.

Minister for Transport (Mr. Reynolds): The number of civil servants employed in the private offices of the Minister of State and I is 11. Five of these work exclusively for me and three for Deputy Flynn; the remaining three staff members are shared.

One staff member in my office is engaged on constituency work, and the three staff in Deputy Flynn's office are employed to varying degrees on departmental and constituency correspondence. Similarly, the three typing staff shared between both offices, are employed on departmental and constituency correspondence.

367. Mr. Horgan asked the Minister for the Environment if he will state in respect of himself and each Minister of State in his Department (a) the number [1096] of civil servants in his private office and (b) the number of these who have at any time been engaged on constituency correspondence.

Minister for the Environment (Mr. R. Burke): The number of staff assigned to my office is 15; the numbers assigned to the offices of the Ministers of State at my Department, Deputies Fahey and Connolly are ten and 14 respectively. Work in relation to constituency correspondence may be undertaken by any member of the staff as the need arises from time to time.

368. Mr. Horgan asked the Minister for Labour if he will state in respect of himself and each Minister of State in his Department (a) the number of civil servants in the private office and (b) the number of these who have at any time been engaged on constituency correspondence.

Minister for Labour (Mr. Nolan): (a) The number of civil servants in my private office is 14. The number of civil servants in the private office of the Minister of State is ten. (b) In practice all officers in the private offices are engaged from time to time on constituency correspondence.