Expansion in ‘Managment’ tier of Civil Service

I came across this interesting article in the Sunday Business Post yesterday. I notice it was not in the papers nor blogosphere today so worth making the link. It highlights the growth in higher level civil service positions. Given that the pay bill of the public service rose from €7bn to €18bn between 1997-2009 it is worth highlighting the location of this growth.

The Civil Public Service Union (CPSU) found that between 1997-2009 the numbers employed at Higher Principal Officer grade by 462 per cent. There were 60 in 1997 and now there are 337. The numbers of higher assistant principal officers has grown from 171 to 751 – or 339 per cent.  Assistant Principals earn at a minimum €67k whilst Principal Officers earn a minimum of €85k. These are not those who escaped the pay cuts as highlighted over on Irish Economy and picked up by journalists over the Christmas holidays. Only those earning over €165k will escape a pay cut.

3 responses to “Expansion in ‘Managment’ tier of Civil Service

  1. Proposition Joe

    While not disputing the growing top-heaviness claimed by the CPSU, the Higher PO and APO grades are actually a special case.

    These are technical grades, relatively few in number, and often recruited into directly by well-qualified specialists with very specific experience. An example would be the barristers in the Attorney General’s office.

    The large increase in the numbers at these grades is actually a good thing for the professionalism of the civil service. We need more specialists with advanced technical skills joining in the civil service with serious experience already under their belt, and fewer generalists with little or no domain knowledge being recruited straight from college.

  2. An interesting observation.

    Is it possible to quantify the increase in public spending attributable to civil service manageral levels; say, above the level of sergeant in the gardai or senior nurse or head teacher, etc. ? The impression is that this is a significant factor.

    In addition. are international comparisons possible, re senior civil service pay rates and numbers?

  3. Hi Michael

    Apologies for delayed response, I had not noticed the comment. The short answer is that I am not sure. I was looking for OECD comparative indicators, I could not find any but I imagine they must exist.

    re; Prop Joe

    I agree we need more specialist skills in the civil service but I dont think this takes away from the observation that the civil service has become quite top heavy.

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