Staffing levels in Jobs Department nearly as low as Minister’s commitment to reform - Tóibín
Speaking in the Dáil today Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín raised concerns regarding inadequate resourcing of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation following a much publicised two year delay by the Minister and his officials in forwarding a witness statement regarding serious allegations’ of tax evasion.
The Meath West TD said:
“Recent revelations by a civil servant in the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation that he submitted a witness statement, sought by the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigation, two years ago which remained sitting on a desk in the department until recent weeks, is a real cause of concern.
“The Jobs Minister had previously attributed in part this unconscionable delay to the retirement of key personnel, and today he confirmed that the number of civil servants working in his department has been slashed by 25% since 2008.
“We know from parliamentary questions that the department recently spent a total of €195,244 on professional fees in relation to Workplace Relations Bill which suggests that the Department does not have the requisite in-house legislative skills required to deliver employment related legislation.
“It is clear that Richard Bruton did not attach any importance to the statement in question despite very serious allegations within it, and it is deeply worrying that he failed to demand or secure adequate resources for his Department.
“Time and again we are told this is a reforming government yet the Minister left these very serious allegations sitting on desk and only acted when forced to in the full glare of the public eye.”