Dáil Éireann - Volume 431 - 26 May, 1993

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Departmental Establishment.

19. Mr. Clohessy asked the Minister for Tourism and Trade his departmental establishment in terms of numbers of public servants by category; if his Department is adequately staffed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

Mr. Gallagher (Donegal South-West): The Departmental establishment in terms of numbers of public servants by category is as follows:

Secretary

1

Assistant Secretary

2

Principal Officer

9

Counsellor

1

Assistant Principal

16

First Secretary

2

Higher Executive Officer

21

Third Secretary

2

Executive Officer

16

Staff Officer

3

Clerical Officer

9

Clerical Assistant

15

Personal Assistant

1

Personal Secretary

1

Given the constraints which necessarily apply to any increase in numbers in the public service, I am satisfied that the Department is staffed at a reasonably adequate level.

Mr. Deenihan: Given that the Department is adequately staffed, would the [865] Minister clarify the Department's responsibilities, particularly in relation to transport matters? Misunderstandings have arisen in regard to Dáil questions which were tabled to the Minister's Department but refused even though they related to tourism. This seems to indicate that there are people in that Department who are not prepared to take responsibility for tourism.

Mr. Gallagher (Donegal South-West): Questions in relation to tourism should be taken by the Minister for Tourism and Trade——

Mr. Carey: They are disallowed.

Mr. Gallagher (Donegal South-West): ——and questions in relation to transport should be taken by the Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications, but that is a matter for somebody else to decide.

Mr. Deenihan: In view of the importance of tourism and to ensure that tourism questions are answered by the Minister for Tourism and Trade, the Department should state clearly its responsibilities in this regard. We would then know exactly the confines within which to ask questions.

Mr. Gallagher (Donegal South-West): Almost every day in the House Deputies ask the Ceann Comhairle why questions are ruled out of order and who is responsible for them. I will ask the Minister for Tourism and Trade to ensure that questions tabled in relation to tourism are answered by him.

Mr. Carey: That practice will have a negative effect. We can only conclude that the Minister is avoiding the issue.