198. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if it is envisaged that transfers from the Irish Prison Service to other areas of his Department will cease upon the new reorganisation of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19903/18 asked on 08 May 2018)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Plans to establish the Irish Prison Service (IPS) as a scheduled office that will also incorporate administrative staff currently employed in my Department are well advanced. Under these arrangements departmental staff in Longford will transfer to the IPS under a transfer of function while staff undertaking IPS duties in Dublin will have the option of being reassigned to other divisions of my Department based in Dublin.

Thereafter, any officers within my Department or the Irish Prison Service would have to progress transfer requests through established transfer mechanisms. However, as the Deputy may be aware, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is developing a central mobility portal which will link all Government Departments to one centralised transfer database, where staff can enter and update their transfer request/s. 

As the Deputy will be aware an external expert group, known as the Effectiveness and Renewal Group (ERG), is currently examining the operation of my Department and is expected to deliver a first report to the Government by the end of June.  In tandem, work is being taken forward in relation to the structure of the Department. Decisions in relation to any reorganisation of my Department will be taken after consideration of the ERG report.