Dáil Éireann - Volume 499 - 04 February, 1999

Written Answers. - Prison Staff.

28. Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the terms of reference of the review group established to look at the issue of overtime within the prison service; when the group will report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3040/99]

Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (Mr. O'Donoghue): The terms of reference of the prisons staffing and operations review team are as recommended in the report of the prison service operating cost review group, that is, “that a staffing review project be initiated and a small team of practitioners recruited to undertake an assessment of the man-hours to deliver the agreed regime activities and services and to recommend associated systems of attendance and deployment practices”.

The team was not established solely to look at the issue of overtime but rather, in accordance with the terms of reference, to assess the current staffing and operational procedures of the various institutions and the prison service as a whole and to make general and specific recommendations as to how the work of the service might be carried out in a more effective and efficient manner.

The report of the team will, in fact, consist of up to 18 reports on individual institutions and facilities and an overall prison service report. The projected timescale for the entire assessment is in the region of 12 months but, given the size of the task, this will become clearer as the assessment phase progresses.