Written Answers - Departmental Staff.

Tuesday, 18 October 2005

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 607 No. 97

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  622.  Mr. P. McGrath  Information on Paul McGrath  Zoom on Paul McGrath   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   the rates of overtime or additional allowances payable to staff who work in her Departments press office in respect of persons being on call and their additional attendance at work before or after normal hours; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29300/05]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  The press officer is paid an allowance of €7,500 per annum. No other allowances are paid to staff in the press office. Overtime, when it arises, is paid at normal Civil Service rates.

  623.  Mr. P. McGrath  Information on Paul McGrath  Zoom on Paul McGrath   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   the amounts of ex gratia payments made to staff in her Department’s press office in respect of persons being on-call and their additional attendance at work before or after normal hours; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29315/05]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  No ex gratia payments are made to staff in the Department of Agriculture and Food’s press office in respect of on-call or additional attendance other than an allowance of €7,500 paid to the press officer.

  624.  Mr. P. McGrath  Information on Paul McGrath  Zoom on Paul McGrath   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   the amount of compensa[1890]tory leave granted or due to be granted to staff in her Department; the individuals to whom they were granted in respect of additional attendance at work before or after normal hours of attendance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29330/05]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  Responsibility for approval of leave is a matter for line managers in the Department of Agriculture and Food. It is not possible to collate the information requested by the Deputy within the available timeframe.

  625.  Mr. P. McGrath  Information on Paul McGrath  Zoom on Paul McGrath   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   if the personnel files of staff in her Department have been copied or given to external parties; if so, the safeguards which have been put in place to ensure that no personal data of any member of staff in her Department will be released to third parties; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29345/05]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  The personnel files in the Department of Agriculture and Food are confidential and are not copied or given to external parties.

  626.  Mr. P. McGrath  Information on Paul McGrath  Zoom on Paul McGrath   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   the number of staff in her Department to whom leave of absence, or any other absence from normal duties or place of work, in excess of two months was granted for educational purposes in any year since 2002; the nature of the educational course undertaken in each case; if there are terms or conditions relating to academic achievement attached to the granting of such leave; if personnel who were granted such leave failed to complete their courses; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29360/05]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  The following table gives the breakdown of leave of absences granted for educational purposes in the Department of Agriculture and Food.

Year Course Undertaken Comment
2003 Policy Analyst Trainee Programme with Dept. of Finance and IPA/UCD 2 officers participated in a Masters Programme in Public Policy Analysis under Department of Finance Circular 13/2003 Course successfully completed in 2005
2005 Policy Analyst Trainee Programme with Department of Finance and IPA/UCD Three Officers are participating in a Masters Programme in Public Policy Analysis under Department of Finance Circulars 17/2005 and 18/2005
2005 Accountancy Qualification with Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland One officer was given 63 days paid leave for study and exam purposes. Results pending
2005 Bachelor of Arts in Rural Development One officer was given three days a week unpaid leave wef 18/10/04 to 17/6/05
Doctorate — Glasgow University One officer on career break wef 1/7/02 to 30/1/05 Now resumed full-time duty

[1891]

  627.  Mr. P. McGrath  Information on Paul McGrath  Zoom on Paul McGrath   asked the Minister for Agriculture and Food  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   the number of staff who applied for a refund of course fees in respect of courses undertaken at night or evenings; the value of refunds expected to be made by her Department in 2005; the number of staff to whom approval to attend a course was granted in the last academic year but did not subsequently apply for the refund; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [29375/05]

Minister for Agriculture and Food (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  In the Department of Agriculture and Food, 185 staff applied for a refund of course fees in respect of courses undertaken at night or in the evenings during the 2004-05 academic year. The sum of €254,497 in refunds has been made to date in 2005. It is estimated that €70,833 remains to be paid in 2005. A total of 30 staff was approved to attend courses during the 2004-05 academic year, but did not subsequently apply for a refund.


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