Dáil Éireann - Volume 686 - 30 June, 2009

Written Answers. - Defence Forces Reserve.

Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Defence further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 67 and 87 of 23 June 2009 and with reference to the pilot scheme for the development of the integrated reserve which was conducted in 2007 and continued into 2008, the cost of the pilot scheme to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26117/09]

  Deputy Willie O’Dea: The RDF Review Implementation plan provides for the development of an integrated element of the Reserve. In line with the plan, a pilot scheme for the development of the integrated Reserve was conducted in 2007 and continued into 2008. The costs for reservists, participating in the pilot programme in 2007 and 2008, were funded from the overall budget for training of reservists.

In accordance with the provisions of the Plan, RDF personnel who volunteered for the pilot programmes were required to undertake a minimum of 21 days paid training. The estimated additional cost for paid training of reservists participating in the pilot integration programme for 2007 and 2008, above the plan provision of 14 days paid training for non-integrated person[536] nel, was approx. €79,600 and €73,500 respectively. It is important to note that many members of the non-integrated element of the Reserve also undertook paid training of 21 days or more in 2007 and 2008.

New terms and conditions for payment of gratuities were introduced in 2008. Eligibility for receipt of the gratuity is based on completion of specified levels of voluntary service and specified levels of paid training, including integrated training. In addition, gratuity rates also differ for varying ranks. The additional cost of gratuities paid to reservists who participated in the pilot integration programme, above the rate paid for non-integrated Reservists undertaking fourteen days paid training, was approx. €76,800 in 2008.

The Reserve Defence Force Review Implementation Plan states that the training of integrated RDF personnel is a PDF unit responsibility. PDF personnel who are assigned this role assist in the preparation and training of Reservists prior to integration and this is “in addition” to their normal work requirements. The cost of the allowances paid to PDF personnel to date, in respect of the pilot scheme for the development of the integrated Reserve, on foot of this responsibility was approx. €10,500.