Dáil Éireann - Volume 445 - 18 October, 1994
Written Answers. - Passport Office Staff.
Mrs. Owen Mrs. Owen
124. Mrs. Owen asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to the fact that agreements such as alteration of interview rules that were made with temporary clerical assistants in the Passport Office were not adhered to in practice and that a panel was not formed;  and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1479/94]
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Spring) Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Spring)
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Spring): A survey of staffing structures in the Passport Office, conducted by the Department of Finance last year, recommended an increase in the permanent staff of the Passport Office from 48 to 82, and a maximum peak season temporary staff of 54. The recommendations of the Department of Finance report were accepted on the basis that an increased level of permanent staffing would help ensure that the Passport Office was better equipped to deal with demand on a year-round basis.
As part of the implementation of these recommendations it was agreed, following discussions with the Department of Finance and the union representing the temporary clerical assistants, that six of the new permanent posts would be filled by confined competition among the temporary staff in the Department of Foreign Affairs.
It was initially understood that the interviews for these posts would be organised by my Department and applications were invited from the temporary clerical assistants on this basis. However, it was subsequently clarified that the Civil Service Commission, which has responsibility for appointments to established positions in the Civil Service, was the appropriate body to hold the interviews. Accordingly a competition among the temporary clerical assistants was organised by the Civil Service Commission and the six appointments have now been made.
The agreement to appoint six temporary clerical assistants to permanent positions in my Department has been adhered to in full. In particular, it was not part of the agreement that a panel of candidates would be established for any future vacancies that might arise in the Passport Office.
Dáil Éireann 445 Written Answers. Passport Office Staff.