Justice and defence sectors save over €150 million in second year of Croke Park

Wednesday 13th June 2012

Croke Park-related payroll and non-pay savings in the defence and justice sectors amounted to over €153 million in the second year of the agreement, a figure expected to rise to almost €155 million a year following full implementation of non-pay reforms in the prison service.

The second annual report of the Croke Park implementation body, published today, identified €891 million in annualised payroll and non-pay savings delivered across the entire public service in the second year of the four-year agreement. This is in addition to savings of €597 million achieved in the first year, giving a total of €1.49 billion in ongoing annual savings so far.

Staffing levels fell by 1,064 in justice and 892 in defence in the year to end of March 2012. Since 2008, staffing in the sectors has fallen by 2,070 (13%) in justice and 1712 (15%) in defence.

New Garda roster arrangements, which match personnel to peak service demand, have been introduced on a national pilot basis and a new performance management system is also being piloted. Civilianisation of backroom policing services continues to focus Garda resources on frontline policing. Non pay savings of €24 million arose from various initiatives including the introduction of the ‘Garda response to a changed environment (GRACE)’ initiative, changed working practices, and outsourcing of fleet maintenance.

A major modernisation of the prison service has been introduced to maintain service levels as demand increases and staff numbers fall. The number of prisoners in custody is up 23% since 2008 while staffing has decreased by 8%. The implementation body report lists some of the reforms implemented and underway in the prison service. Non-pay savings included €4.75 million from better procurement and purchasing.

Over 1,000 defence force personnel have been redeployed. Changed work practices and other initiatives saved €2 million in the naval service, while barrack closures led to savings of €1.3 million. New merit-based promotion systems were also introduced.

Read the second annual report of the Croke Park implementation body, including a summary of main findings, HERE.

Read the first annual report of the Croke Park implementation body HERE.