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Sequencing and Priority

What is the Agriculture Surplus and how are they assigned?

Decentralising posts are filled by staff from the following categories of applicants, in the sequence below. A summary of the position in relation to the Agriculture Surplus is below. The position on the treatment of each of the other categories is elsewhere on this website. 

 

Sequence

Category of Applicant

   

1.

“Agriculture Surplus” staff

2.

CAF Applicants who registered a first preference interest in a particular location before 7th September 2004 (First Preference, Priority Applicants). Staff within this category are ranked as follows:

  • Staff currently serving in the post being decentralised
  • Staff serving at the same grade in the same organisation
  • For CO and SO level, staff on existing transfer lists
  • Staff serving in the same or equivalent grade
  • Staff serving in other grades at corresponding levels

3.

Priority CAF Applicants who indicated a preference in a particular location on the CAF following a “two to ten trawl”. Staff within this category are ranked as follows:

  • Staff currently serving in the posts being decentralised
  • Staff serving at the same grade in the same organisation
  • For CO and SO level, staff on existing transfer lists
  • Staff serving in the same or equivalent grade
  • Staff serving in other grades at corresponding levels

4.

In respect of EO and CO posts, Priority CAF Applications from Higher Tax Officers and Tax Officers respectively.  

5.

CAF Applicants who registered a first preference interest in a particular location after 7th September 2004 (Post Priority Applicants). 

6.

Staff “Acting up” for 2 years or more.

7.

Promotees.

[Protocol for the Transfer of Staff: para 2.2.12; Personnel Officers Guide Chapters 3 and 4]

 

As a result of internal organisational changes arising from changes to the Common Agricultural Policy, the Department of Agriculture and Food has had a number of staff that are surplus to those required to carry out its full range of functions. In order to ensure that these surplus Agriculture and Food staff were redeployed as quickly as possible decentralising posts were offered to them, in accordance with the sequence outlined above, on foot of the instructions below, which issued to all Departments and Offices. [OMT Letter to Personnel Officers: September 2005]. 

    1. Where fillable vacancies occurred in existing provincial locations which were in a town where there are surplus staff in the relevant grades, such vacancies were filled in the first instance by the redeployment of these staff (this took place before considering staff on Central or local transfer lists, taking staff from interdepartmental panels, etc). The unions were agreeable only to the redeployment of surpluses within the same town.
    2. Where Departments had staff in provincial offices in other towns who had applied for transfers under the CAF system, surplus staff from the Department of Agriculture and Food were assigned to backfill, allowing for the early release of the CAF applicants.
    3. In a number of instances the staff in the Department of Agriculture and Food did not become available for redeployment for some months, in these cases the vacancies were held until these staff were available to take up duty.
    4. The selection of surplus staff was in accordance with a protocol based on discussions between the Department of Agriculture and Food and staff unions - effectively volunteers were sought and where these were not forthcoming, a ‘last-in-first-out’ principle applied. These staff, in all instances, carried their seniority in the grade with them.  
    5. Where a Department/Office was due to decentralise under the Government’s Decentralisation Programme to a location which had such surplus staff, consideration was given to the utilisation of these surplus staff to form an ‘advance party’ for the decentralising business unit(s). Where it was proposed to proceed on this basis, Departments/Offices consulted with the Department of Finance on how the proposed staff transfers would be reconciled with their authorised numbers.
    6. Where Departments/Offices had short term or long term blocks of work which could be discharged by surplus Agriculture and Food staff who would remain in their regional locations, they were invited to bring forward proposals to the Department of Finance for consideration.
       

It should be noted that:

    1. Surplus Agriculture staff are not entitled to priority over CAF applicants for locations which are distant from their current location;
    2. A CAF applications made by surplus Agriculture staff is not affected by these arrangements;
    3. Surplus Agriculture staff carry their seniority with them in all cases; and  
    4. Departments with existing offices in or decentralising to a town with surplus Agriculture staff cannot refuse these staff for any reason, including sick leave records.  [Personnel Officers Guide: Chapter 3, para 1]