Wednesday, 15 December 2010
Dáil Éireann Debate
55. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Defence the number of civilian posts that are likely to be shed as a result of the budget 2011 decision to reduce the number of such posts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47259/10]
Minister for Defence (Deputy Tony Killeen): Civilian employees are based at various military installations in every brigade area. The application of the moratorium on recruitment in the public service has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of civilian employees. It is anticipated that there will be a further reduction in the size of the civilian employee workforce of up to 40 in 2011. This reduction will occur primarily through natural wastage and will contribute to a significant decrease in the Department’s payroll costs.
59. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Defence the expected level of recruitment to the Defence Forces during 2011 in view of the measures announced in budget 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47262/10]
68. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Defence the degree to which it is intended to maintain the strength of the Defence Forces at all levels over the next four years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47205/10]
Within the context of consolidating the public finances, the Government is focused firmly on maintaining the operational efficiency of the Permanent Defence Force. Government approval was secured in the context of Budget 2010 for a level of 10,000 all ranks. This reflects the reductions in personnel recommended in the Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes. However in 2011, the Permanent Defence Force, like all areas of the public service, will operate on a reduced budget.
Targeted recruitment is being carried out in 2010 in order to maintain the operational capability of the Defence Forces. In this regard I have approved the recruitment of 40 recruits to the Naval Service, limited recruitment to the Army and the intake of 30 Cadets from the Cadetship Competition 2010.
To date, 37 of the 40 recruits for the Naval Service were enlisted on 30 November 2010, along with 40 recruits to the Eastern Brigade and 37 recruits to the Southern Brigade on 3 and 6 December 2010 respectively. A further 3 recruits are due to be enlisted to each of the Naval Service and the Southern Brigade as soon as the final elements of their selection process have been completed. The 30 Cadets were inducted on 6 December 2010. The enlistment selection process to the Western Brigade and the Defence Forces Training Centre has commenced with enlistment of successful candidates scheduled to take place in January 2011.
Agreement has been reached with the Department of Finance and official confirmation received, on the Employment Control Framework (ECF) for the Defence Forces. The ECF is based on a figure of 10,000 all ranks Permanent Defence Force personnel, appropriately configured across the Army, Naval Service and Air Corps to enable them to meet the roles assigned by Government.
The official confirmation of the numbers, provided by the Employment Control Framework, along with the publishing of the National Recovery Plan 2011-2014 are being considered by the Military Authorities and officials of the Department for the purpose of outlining a structure capable of meeting the roles assigned by Government to the Defence Forces.
While it is not possible to anticipate strength figures over the next four years, I can confirm that with the support of the Chief of Staff, and within the resources available, I intend to retain the capacity of the organisation to operate effectively across all roles while contributing to the necessary public service economies.
While these are challenging times, my priority is to ensure that the Defence Forces are organised, equipped and staffed in a manner which will ensure that they can continue to deliver the services required of them by Government.
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