Management of the Department of Justice

Sat, Aug 2, 2014, 01:00

Sir, – The Association of Higher Civil and Public Servants, on behalf of its members in the Department of Justice and Equality, wishes to respond to certain comments in your editorial “Overhauling Justice” (July 30th) concerning the recent external review of the Department.

Your assertion that “management at all levels failed to respond to modern requirements” is not borne out by the report of the review group. The report identifies significant high-level issues relating to the strategic management of the Department and its relationship with particular agencies and the media. It also identifies certain cultural issues.

However, in no sense does the report refer to or imply a failure across all levels of management. In fact, the calibre of its staff generally is identified as one of the Department’s key strengths. In this regard the report specifically notes, among other qualities: the willingness, flexibility and can-do attitude of staff; their experience and depth of knowledge across a complex range of business agendas; the accuracy and precision they apply to their duties; their strong work ethic and public service ethos and their professionalism, competence and resilience. The report further acknowledges that staff have striven to deal effectively with an ever increasing workload in the face of staff reductions.

Despite unprecedented cuts in pay and staffing over the past half-decade, AHCPS members in the Department of Justice and Equality remain committed to the highest standards of public service, to working constructively with senior management and other stakeholders in the implementation of necessary changes and to fully restoring the Department’s reputation. – Yours, etc,

JOHN KELLEHER,

Deputy General Secretary,

Association of Higher Civil

and Public Servants,

Fleming’s Place,

Dublin 4