Dáil Éireann - Volume 608 - 20 October, 2005
Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.
Mr. J. O’Keeffe Mr. J. O’Keeffe
31. Mr. J. O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the reason the sum of €500,000 was spent on an information  technology system for human resource management in the Prison Service, the use of which has been discontinued; his views on whether this represents good value for money for the taxpayer; and the sum of money he will provide for an alternative system. [29640/05]
Mr. McDowell Mr. McDowell
Mr. McDowell: The Deputy will be aware that the system in question was a generic IT system selected for the Civil Service as a whole. However, specific human resource management requirements apply in the Irish Prison Service that do not arise elsewhere in the Civil Service. These include dealing with staff who work a 24 hour, seven day week on rostered irregular hours and who incur high levels of sick leave, thus generating significant overtime replacement costs. Once it became clear that the generic system did not cope satisfactorily with these specific requirements in practice, a decision was taken to discontinue using it to avoid any further expenditure.
I am satisfied that, given the costs associated with continuing to use a system not meeting the needs of the Irish Prison Service, the decision taken was the correct one. Work is now under way to complete a detailed HR business requirements analysis for the service. This analysis will inform how IT support can best be provided in the human resource management function and what future level of investment may be warranted.
Dáil Éireann 608 Written Answers Departmental Expenditure.