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Re Implementation of Action Plan by iqm86975

VIEWS: 15 PAGES: 31

									23rd October 2003


Mr Eddie Sullivan,
Secretary General,
PSMD,
Dept. of Finance,
Merrion Street,
Dublin 2.


Re Implementation of Action Plan


Dear Eddie,

I refer to your letter of 14 October outlining the information required concerning the report
on progress achieved in the State Laboratory under Sustaining Progress.

My responses to the requests contained in you letter are the following:

(a) The progress report on the action plan in template format, which has been
    signed off by the Partnership Committee, is appended.

(b) First bullet point:

    Report on issues cited in our reply to the letter of 7/8/03

    (i) New Laboratory;
         The following progress has been made. The procurement process for laboratory
          equipment has commenced with the recent publication of the expression of
          interest for sourcing suitable equipment. The pre-procurement work has been
          underway since January (identifying equipment required, benchmarking with
          peers in other laboratories in the international arena, horizon scanning, etc.)
         Scoping of the Facilities Management project is currently underway with the
          tender scheduled for publication in November
         Cross stream sub-groups of partnership have been established and are working to
          identify and manage the new requirements. Areas covered are, equipment, IT,
          telecommunications (systems required to support the ICT strategy), transport,
          catering and archiving
      Report is completed on ICT strategy outlining IT options for the IT structure in
       the new laboratory
      All staff are being kept informed of progress with the introduction of a monthly
       Backweston newsletter and regular e-mail updates
      IR related issues are under consideration at General Council

   In early 2004 the Laboratory will be relocated to new custom built premises in
   Backweston, Co. Kildare. The seamless transition to the new facility is a major
   strategic objective and one that management and staff have been engaged upon for the
   past two years, the phase concerning the “neighborhood” of sections to each other and
   internal shared facilities, the generic layout, special safety features, laboratory
   fittings/services and furniture is now completed. The new laboratory will be equipped
   with state of the art equipment. The process for identification and procurement of the
   most appropriate equipment is underway by staff at present.

   Newer technologies will facilitate the analysis of substances (analytes) in samples at
   lower levels (to comply with future technical legislative requirements), permit the
   analysis of new analytes, allow automation (including overnight) of analytical runs. It
   will also enable online data collection through integration with the proposed upgraded
   Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) where appropriate.

   The staff of the laboratory are progressive, dedicated, do not hinder or delay scientific
   progress, but actively seek to learn, introduce and implement new technologies and
   ideas. This culture and ethos has allowed unrivaled cooperation and will ensure that
   the Laboratory on relocation will be equipped to meet the scientific challenges over
   the coming years.

(ii) Quality System
     The Laboratory was awarded accreditation to the international recognised standard
     EN/ISO 17025: 1999, by the National Accreditation Board in July 2003. 17 test
     procedures are included in its scope of accreditation and it is planned to expand that
     scope. This ISO standard was specifically developed for laboratory based operations,
     to enable them to demonstrate their technical competence, but it also incorporates the
     essential aspects of ISO 9000 for management excellence. Maintenance of this
     accredited status is labour intensive requiring an ongoing programme of audits. A
     partial list of the most pertinent audits include, organisation and management,
     document control, service level agreements with clients, purchasing, non conforming
     work, complaints, preventive actions, records, personnel, quality control and test
     reports. It is clear that the audits comprehend the managerial and analytical aspects of
     the work and ensures the clients receive the agreed service to the highest quality. The
     above ensures transparency and accountability in the analytical process.
     With such a system in place and the culture of auditing ongoing, extending these
     audits to encompass financial aspects (MIG) of the work of the Laboratory should be
     seamless.

   It is generally recognised that the cost of implementing a technical competence
   standard can be as high as 20%. The transition to this standard was met without
   additional resources. The benefits accruing to accreditation are that the laboratory’s
   systems and modus operandi have been audited by an independent third party for
   compliance to an international standard. It also means that the data produced under
       the scope of the accreditation is mutually accepted in about forty countries worldwide
       including the EU.

       It should be noted that a temporary suspension of laboratory accreditation (in
       accordance with the rules governing the awarding of accreditation) will be sought
       during the relocation to the new laboratory. However, following validation of new
       equipment and procedures by laboratory staff, a lifting of the temporary suspension
       will be immediately sought.

   (iii) Customer Service
         Service level agreements (contracts) have been put in place with clients/customers
         and to date 66% of the Laboratory’s customers are covered by such agreements
         (target of 50% exceeded). These agreements cover the number and type of requested
         analyses, the acceptable turn around times for reporting results or giving advice,
         ensuring that the analytical data is suitable for the clients intended use (quality
         aspects), reviewing the agreement on a regular basis and the commitment to respond
         to complaints with remedial actions. Through the LIMS system, Laboratory
         management can check on the status of any individual request for analysis, monitor
         the work flow and report on turn around time. This information is made available to
         clients and online access will be extended if secure access is guaranteed.

       Heads of Sections send monthly progress reports on the work under their remit to the
       MAC thereby enabling them to have a continuous overview of activities.


(c) second bullet point
    The answer is in the affirmative


(d) third bullet point
    Nothing to report


(e) fourth bullet point
    Not applicable


Assessment and explanatory information

It is difficult to address this area, for the simple reason that modernisation and change is not
something that is clicked on and off in the State Laboratory every time there is a “new
agreement” and it is not a simple task to explain analytical activities in pithy language.

So briefly, modernisation is not represented by a quantum leap, but rather is an ongoing
process that is totally integrated and enmeshed with the day to day activities of providing an
analytical service.

Change is an ongoing activity and a continuum in our analytical and administrative strategies.
A few pieces have been added to the jigsaw in SP and those pieces build on what was added
during the PPF period and will lay the groundwork for future attainments. It is difficult to
state that this or that item was a major contributor to efficiency/effectiveness/customer
service/etc. as they are interdependent upon one another. Horizon scanning (attending
conferences, reading literature), leads to identification of new technologies, to purchase of
new equipment, to identification of skills deficit, requirements for staff training and the end
product is an expanded and enhanced analytical portfolio (benefit to clients).

Change and modernisation in a science based organisation is governed by the fact that
analytical technology turns around every 3/5 years and the State Laboratory must continually
update its skills and adapt its work practices to technical progress, in-order to be a leader in
its field. This involves the introduction of new technologies and the exiting of old ones. The
laboratory has been in a continual phase of modernisation since the mid 70s (we prefer to call
it adaptation to technical progress). If we had not adapted to technical progress in the 70s and
made that adaptation part of our way of life we would not be in existence today.

As you are aware, the core business of the State Laboratory is the provision of an analytical
and advisory service to Government Departments/Offices and Coroners throughout the
country. It is of critical importance that our service is fit for the clients intended purpose. The
“fitness for purpose” principle has a major impact on the following, the degree and level of
quality required for the analytical data (screening analysis versus work for court), turn around
times of samples (efficiency of outputs) and cost base (skills, equipment and grade of staff).
Analytical data that is of a higher quality than the client requires (accuracy to 5 decimal
places when accuracy to one is required) incurs an unnecessary expense on the exchequer,
whereas data that is of too low a quality is a waste of money and useless for the client’s
purpose. Our strategy is to discuss the intended use of the data with the client and provide a
product that is fit for the intended purpose. In other words we design our outputs to suit the
client.

We are delivering a service to clients who have very different requirements. Some want a
rapid screening test (less than 1 day) while others want to use the data for court purposes and
to enable them prove their case “beyond all reasonable doubt” (weeks). Our objective is to
ensure that the staff have the skills, equipment, training, suitable environment and safe
working conditions, in order to enable them meet customer demands in a timely, efficient and
cost effective manner. The challenge is to match current and future demands and expectations
with available resources.

I hope that this assists you in putting into context what we do, why we do it and how it fits
into the statements in our action plan and the information contained in this letter.

Finally, in my opinion the progress that has been achieved to date warrants payment of the
benchmarking and general round increases due on January 1st, 2004 for staff in the State
Laboratory.

Should you require more information I will be pleased to supply it.

Yours sincerely,

_______________________
Dr Máire C Walsh,
State Chemist
                                 Additional Material for CSPVG

                                    Progress and milestones for MIF

Phase 1
From the 1st January 2004 the Department of Finance will no longer carry out a finance function for the
Laboratory so the first phase of the MIF project is to put in place the measures necessary to carry out this
function by that date. In particular the following will be implemented:
 General Ledger
 Purchase Order Processing
 Accounts payable
 Cash Book
 Electronic Funds Transfer
 Accounts Receivable
 Electronic requisitions
 Workflow
To comply with the Mullarkey requirements these procedures will also be fully documented.
This phase of the project is on schedule (Jan 2004).

Phase 2
The additional functionality targeted to be added by the 1 st April 2004 are:
 Fixed Asset Management
 Budgeting and Costing
 Management reporting
Work on this phase will start when phase 1 is complete.

Phase 3
During this phase other options will also be considered to enhance the functionality of the MIF project, but no
decision has been taken on these yet. They include:
 Travel and subsidence
 Stock Control
 Document scanning
 Electronic signatures


Section 1: Please clarify why the Laboratory’s Customer Charter was not published in 2003.

The time frame for the publication of the Customer Charter was extended centrally by the Dept. of Finance.
Quality Customer Service expert training was organized centrally and scheduled to take place in
November/December with emphasis on producing a Customer Service Charter. A decision was made in the
State laboratory to delay the publication of the Customer Charter in order to allow staff attend the training
course and ensure the publication of a more focused Customer Charter for the State Laboratory.


Section 21: Please supply details of the up-to-date position on the negotiations with IMPACT.

Management and IMPACT are in dispute about promotions from two grades in the State
Laboratory, Chemist and Senior Chemist (equivalent to HEO and AP).

Chemist.
Promotions from this grade were based on a 50:50 basis (1 competition/1 senior suitable)
under a previous agreement. Prior to Sustaining Progress, discussions were in train with
IMPACT on moving to 100% promotion by competition for this grade. These discussions
continued under Sustaining Progress and were completed with the grade representatives by
September 2003 with management seeking to fill all posts by competition after the expiry of
Sustaining Progress (July 2005). Discussions are now underway with IMPACT officials.
IMPACT has put forward the following proposal:
   From January 2004 all vacancies filled on a 1 in 3 basis (1st competition, 2nd by senior/suitable, 3rd
    competition)
 From January 2005 all vacancies filled on a 1 in 4 basis (1st competition, 2nd competition 3rd senior/suitable,
    4th competition)
IMPACT will not commit to 100% promotion by competition for this grade after the expiry of Sustaining
Progress.

These proposals are under consideration by Management at present.

                                              Senior Chemist
This grade of Principal Chemist was established in the State Laboratory in 2000. Prior to the establishment of
the grade, a Senior Chemist was given an allowance (period 1992 - 2000) to carry out the higher duties. Three
posts have been filled at this grade, one by upgrade of the Senior Chemist receiving the allowance and the other
2 posts by competition among the Senior Chemist grade. IMPACT state the first promotion was on the basis of
senior/suitable and not by an upgrade and therefore want to negotiate moving to 100% promotion by
competition. Management does not recognize that any promotion post was filled by senior/suitable for this
grade.
IMPACT have put forward the following proposal:
 From January 2004 all vacancies to be filled on a 1 in 4 basis (1 by senior/suitable 3 by competition).

Management does not recognize the filling of the original post was by senior/suitable and therefore does not
agree to this.

There are currently no vacancies in the Senior Chemist and Principal Chemist grades.


Section 28: Please provide a gender breakdown of the grades of staff in the Laboratory.

                           Gender Breakdown By Grade In the State Laboratory
                                           Date: 25/11/03

                  Grade                             Male                 Female                    Total

             State Chemist                           0                      1                       1
           Principal Chemist                         3                      0                       3
            Senior Chemist                           6                      6                       12
                Chemist                              11                     8                       19
      Sen. Lab. Technician Class 2                   2                      1                       3
      Sen. Lab. Technician Class 1                   6                      4                       10
         Laboratory Technician                       8                      15                      23
         Laboratory Attendant                        7                      1                       8
              Storekeeper                            1                      0                       1
               Librarian                             1                      0                       1
           Assistant Principal                       0                      1                       1
        Higher Executive Officer                     3                      0                       3
              Staff Officer                          0                      2                       2
            Clerical Officer                         1                      8                       9
                 Totals:                             49                     46                      95




Section 28a: Please clarify the term “suitable” in relation to the Government’s 3% employment target for
people with a disability.
There are various types of disability such as visual, audio, physical and mental disability. Some posts may not
be compatible with a particular type of disability, such as driving for a person with a visual disability. Therefore,
the State Laboratory implements the Government’s policy on a 3% target for people with a disability where such
placements will not have adverse health or safety implications for the employee or adverse safety effects on the
other laboratory personnel or impinge upon the quality of the analytical outputs. Working with hazardous
biological materials and chemicals requires a great deal of care and the environment is not always suitable for
personnel with certain types of disability.
It should be noted that the State Laboratory’s staffing complement includes people with a disability. It ensures
that they are not compromised in the performance of their duties, either on site or when those duties necessitate
travel outside of the permanent workplace.
                                                Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par             Commitment                        Specific Action         Date                 Achieved       If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                         [unless stated       Yes – Y      commitment date please provide further
                                                                           Departments to       No - N                        details
                                                                           identify dates for
                                                                           achievement of
                                                                           specific actions]
         Common Commitments
         Customer Service

  1      All public service organisations
         over the course of this                    The Laboratory will   Ongoing                Y        Internal audits on quality system are on target
(Ref     Agreement will be required to          maintain a quality                                         with audit plan
20.13)   commit publicly to service             system to a standard of
         standards for their customers.         ISO/IEC 17025
         Performance will be evaluated
         against these standards and                 Agree level of       50% by 12/03           Y        Level of service agreed with 66% of clients to
         the results published in annual        service with clients       at least 80% by                 date
         reports or another appropriate                                    12/04
         format. Improvements in
         customer service will be a
         particular focus of the                     Publish Customer     2003                   N        Time lines extended centrally. Customer Charter
         partnership structures going           Charter                                                    will be published in 2004. Working group has been
         forward.                                                                                          set up to establish framework with training
                                                                                                           provided in November 03.
         All Departments and Offices
         will publish a charter of                                         Annual Reports        N         For implementation in Annual Report 2004
 1a      service standards and report                Report on            2004
         on performance against these           Performance against
(Ref     standards in their annual              Charter commitments in




                                                                                                                                                8
                                          Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par               Commitment                    Specific Action        Date                 Achieved       If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                      [unless stated       Yes – Y      commitment date please provide further
                                                                        Departments to       No - N                        details
                                                                        identify dates for
                                                                        achievement of
                                                                        specific actions]
22.4)    report.                              Annual Report 2004




         Efficient Use of Resources


 2       The parties to this Agreement         Ensure no delay in                                      Working groups have been set up under
         will co-operate fully with the         relocation to           October 2004           Y        Partnership dealing with IT, transport, catering,
(Ref     modernisation and change               Backweston by issues                                    telecommunications and archiving. Staff are kept
20.11)   required to ensure that                covered in this                                         informed of progress in all aspects of relocation.
         maximum value is achieved              agreement
         from all public expenditure in
         terms of defined outputs and          Complete                                       Y        Topic for review under consideration with training
                                                                        October 2004
                                                Expenditure Review
         outcomes.                                                                                      taking place this Autumn.


                                               MIF compliant system
                                                in place                October 2004           Y        Implementation partner selected with Phase I in
                                                                                                        progress and scheduled to go live in January 04.

                                               State Laboratory to
                                                report on progress on   Every 2 months        Y         Progress report to Finance in June and August 03




                                                                                                                                              9
                                             Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par              Commitment                      Specific Action        Date                 Achieved     If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                       [unless stated       Yes – Y    commitment date please provide further
                                                                         Departments to       No - N                      details
                                                                         identify dates for
                                                                         achievement of
                                                                         specific actions]
                                                 implementation of MIF




         Better Regulation


 3       The Government is committed            Not applicable to the
         to publishing a National Policy         State Laboratory
(Ref     Statement on Better
20.16)   Regulation in 2003.

         A model of Regulatory Impact
         Analysis (RIA) will be introduced
 4       on a pilot basis in a number of
         Government Departments
(Ref     during 2003. In the light of the




                                                                                                                                     10
                                             Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par              Commitment                      Specific Action         Date                 Achieved     If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                        [unless stated       Yes – Y    commitment date please provide further
                                                                          Departments to       No - N                      details
                                                                          identify dates for
                                                                          achievement of
                                                                          specific actions]
20.17)   pilot phase, a model of RIA
         appropriate to the Irish context
         will be introduced.


  5      Well-drafted, easily                   The State Laboratory     Ongoing                Y
         understood and accessible               supports client
(Ref     regulation can reduce the               departments in
20.18)   difficulties and costs of               pressing for simpler
         compliance for both                     regulatory regimes
         businesses and citizens.                e.g. in the context of
         Building on progress in recent          new EU proposals.
         years and utilising the
         provisions of the Statute Law
         (Restatement) Act, a
         structured programme
         targeted on areas where the
         benefits to business and the
         citizen are likely to be greatest
         will be pursued to achieve
         these improvements in
         regulations.
         Stable Industrial Relations




                                                                                                                                      11
                                           Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par             Commitment                      Specific Action         Date                 Achieved     If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                       [unless stated       Yes – Y    commitment date please provide further
                                                                         Departments to       No - N                      details
                                                                         identify dates for
                                                                         achievement of
                                                                         specific actions]

        The parties are committed to
 6      maintaining a well-managed
        industrial relations
(Ref    environment to minimise
19.3,   disputes affecting the level of
19.6    service to the public
and     In this regard the agreement
20.5)   provides that:
        (i)No cost increasing claims for   No cost increasing
        improvements in pay or             claims for improvements Ongoing                     Y
        conditions of employment will      in pay or conditions of
        be made or processed during        employment will be
        the course of the                  made or processed
        Agreement.                         other than those not
                                           covered by this
        (ii)Precludes strikes or other     agreement
        forms of industrial action on
        any matter covered by the          No industrial action on any   Ongoing                   Y
        Agreement.                         matter covered by the
                                           agreement
        Performance Management
        Systems




                                                                                                                                     12
                                          Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par            Commitment                     Specific Action            Date                 Achieved       If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                        [unless stated       Yes – Y      commitment date please provide further
                                                                          Departments to       No - N                        details
                                                                          identify dates for
                                                                          achievement of
                                                                          specific actions]



 7      Where these are not already in       State Laboratory to             Dec 2004           Y        Intend to follow Civil Service guidelines on best
        place, the parties agree that         provide targets for roll-                                   practice.
(Ref    appropriate performance               out of next stage of
20.7)   management systems will be            PMDS eg upward
        introduced so that developed          feedback
        performance management
        systems will be fully operating      Further devolution of
        in each sector of the public          PMDS to all grades in            Dec 2004          Y        Consultation with grades has commenced on the
        service by 1st January, 2005          keeping with Civil                                          devolution of management of the PMDS system.
                                              Service practice

                                             Departments to
                                              provide information             Oct 2003           Y        Climate survey completed in September 2003
                                              about plans to
                                              evaluate PMDS at local
                                              level




                                                                                                                                                13
                                          Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par            Commitment                     Specific Action          Date                 Achieved     If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                      [unless stated       Yes – Y    commitment date please provide further
                                                                        Departments to       No - N                      details
                                                                        identify dates for
                                                                        achievement of
                                                                        specific actions]




        Modernisation and
        Flexibility


 8      The parties are committed to         These sections set out
        increased flexibility to ensure       co-operation and are
(Ref    that public services are              necessary for ensuring
20.6)   delivered in a manner which           progress on
        more closely reflects the needs       commitments. This
        of its customers. In                  should be sought by
        accordance with this:                 organisations in areas
                                              which are relevant for
                                              their organisation and
                                              should be dealt with in
                                              the appropriate action
                                              plans. Departments
                                              should set out specific
                                              actions they intend to
                                              take under sections




                                                                                                                                    14
                                            Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par             Commitment                      Specific Action       Date                 Achieved       If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                     [unless stated       Yes – Y      commitment date please provide further
                                                                       Departments to       No - N                        details
                                                                       identify dates for
                                                                       achievement of
                                                                       specific actions]
                                                21.5 to 21.19 below.




        Team working and cross-
        functional working

        All of the parties will co-
  9     operate fully with initiatives in      Continue team                                          Cross functional working groups with
(Ref    these areas and it remains              working across all     ongoing                Y        representation from all grades operate in the State
21.5)   open to management to                   grades on cross                                        Laboratory such as staff development, HR strategy,
        implement such initiatives in           functional working                                     IT, training and relocation to Backweston.
        accordance with the provisions          initiatives
        of this Agreement.
        New Technology and
        eGovernment


 10     It is accepted that the use of         Progress Laboratory                                    Completed. LIMS currently providing statistical




                                                                                                                                            15
                                          Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par            Commitment                     Specific Action         Date                 Achieved       If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                     [unless stated       Yes – Y      commitment date please provide further
                                                                       Departments to       No - N                        details
                                                                       identify dates for
                                                                       achievement of
                                                                       specific actions]
        new technology may                    Information              2003                  Y         information for example sample turnaround times,
(Ref    necessitate significant change        Management System                                        sample backlogs.
21.6    in work processes in order that       (LIMS) to provide
and     the benefits of technology will       information on sample
21.7)   be maximised.                         turnaround times
        There will be full co-operation
        with the design and                  Investigate              2003                  Y         Investigation complete with implementation plan,
        implementation of                     implementation of                                        including migration to version 5, for LIMS phase II
        eGovernment projects.                 LIMS phase II                                            being drawn up at present.

                                          Co-operation with the use    ongoing                Y
                                          of new technology will
                                          continue
        Atypical Working
        Arrangements


 11     The work pattern may be such         Continue the State                                       Staff kept informed of policies relating to balancing
        in specific areas that specific       Laboratory‟s policy of                             Y     work/life commitments with all applications to date
(Ref    work processes can be                 actively facilitating    Ongoing                         approved
21.8)   performed most effectively by         staff in balancing
        part time staff.                      work/life commitments
                                              with a range of




                                                                                                                                             16
                                           Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par             Commitment                     Specific Action            Date                 Achieved     If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                         [unless stated       Yes – Y    commitment date please provide further
                                                                           Departments to       No - N                      details
                                                                           identify dates for
                                                                           achievement of
                                                                           specific actions]
                                               measures including:
                                               Flexible Working
                                               Hours, Worksharing,
                                               Parental Leave and
                                               Term Time Work.


 12     Situations may arise where the        Continue the State          Ongoing                   Y
        need to respond to temporary           Laboratory‟s policy of
(Ref    pressures may require the              outsourcing work,
21.9)   employment of temporary                where appropriate.
        staff or outsourcing of work.          Unions will be notified
        Unions will be notified in             in advance of
        advance of initiatives of this         initiatives of this kind.
        kind.




        Attendance Patterns


 13     In order to provide a                 All staff participate in    Ongoing               Y
        satisfactory level of service to       the Flexible Working




                                                                                                                                       17
                                            Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par             Commitment                      Specific Action           Date                 Achieved     If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                         [unless stated       Yes – Y    commitment date please provide further
                                                                           Departments to       No - N                      details
                                                                           identify dates for
                                                                           achievement of
                                                                           specific actions]
(Ref     the public, there is a need in         Scheme and have
21.10)   certain areas for changes to           provided service
         the standard working day in            outside the traditional
         order to provide services              „9 to 5‟ pattern since
         outside the traditional “9 to 5”       1979.
         pattern. The parties are
         committed to discussions to
         establish how this can best be
         achieved, where required.
         Redeployment of Staff


 14      Redeployment of staff may be          This is not an issue for
         necessary on occasion to               a small self-contained
(Ref     respond to urgent work                 office like the State
21.11)   demands.                               Laboratory.


  15     Unions will be informed in         Ensure staff are informed      Ongoing                Y
         advance of all new significant     in advance of all new
(Ref     workplace-related initiatives,     significant workplace-
21.12)   the reasons for them and the       related initiatives, the
         proposed implementation            reasons for them and the




                                                                                                                                       18
                                             Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par             Commitment                       Specific Action         Date                 Achieved       If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                        [unless stated       Yes – Y      commitment date please provide further
                                                                          Departments to       No - N                        details
                                                                          identify dates for
                                                                          achievement of
                                                                          specific actions]
        date. Subject to this, it is         proposed implementation
        accepted that management             date.
        have the right to implement
        changes in accordance with
        the provisions of the
        Agreement.
        eGovernment


  16      The parties are committed to       Keep up-to-date and meet
          the further development of         eGovernment
(Ref      eGovernment on the following       requirements including:
20.19)    basis:
       F(i) facilitating better citizen         Review ICT strategy                                      Report completed on ICT strategy in September
          access and interaction with            and implementation       December 2003          Y        2003 with options identified for new IT systems
          the public service by realising        plan and develop ICT                                     for the new laboratory in Backweston..
          the potential of information           infrastructure to meet
          and communication                      changing needs of the
          technologies (ICTs);                   laboratory
        (ii) building collaborative
          knowledge-based structures            Publish the Statement                                    Statement of Strategy for the State Laboratory
          focused on serving both                of Strategy for the      2003                  Y         published on website
          citizens and the public service;       State Laboratory on




                                                                                                                                             19
                                            Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par              Commitment                     Specific Action             Date                 Achieved       If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                           [unless stated       Yes – Y      commitment date please provide further
                                                                             Departments to       No - N                        details
                                                                             identify dates for
                                                                             achievement of
                                                                             specific actions]
         and                                    website
        (iii) facilitating continuous
         adaptation and improvement            Review FOI manual as         2004                  N         For review in 2004
         in service delivery by fully           required
         utilising ICTs to deliver public
         services seamlessly and across        Maintain and update
         traditional boundaries.                the State Laboratory         Ongoing               Y
                                                website as required
       T
       The parties commit to full co-          The State Laboratory will    Ongoing               Y
       operation with the further               continue to maintain its
       development and                          awareness of
  16a implementation of                         government policy and
       eGovernment policy as                    actions plans in this area
(Ref   outlined in „New Connections‟,
22.24) the Government‟s Action Plan
       to realise the potential of the
       Information Society


 17        The parties agree to the         The State Laboratory will        June 2005                 Y
           establishment of a mechanism     adhere to the procedures
(Ref       to verify that all sectors,      set out in Section 26 of




                                                                                                                                           20
                                           Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par             Commitment                       Specific Action        Date                 Achieved       If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                       [unless stated       Yes – Y      commitment date please provide further
                                                                         Departments to       No - N                        details
                                                                         identify dates for
                                                                         achievement of
                                                                         specific actions]
20.25)   organisations and grades in       „Sustaining Progress‟
         the public service deliver
         outputs in line with the
         provisions of this Agreement.
         This mechanism will be
         established in accordance with
         Section 26.




 18      Open recruitment will be              State Laboratory will    Jan2004               Y
         introduced for appointments            implement guidelines                                     Procedures are in place to ensure all new staff will
(Ref     above existing entry levels and        on one year contract                                     be employed on a one year contract
22.10)   one-year contracts will be
         extended to all new recruits to
         the Civil Service starting on 1
         January, 2004.

 19      In order to deal with certain
         skills and expertise shortages               Identify Skills   June 2003              Y        No skills shortage identified
(Ref     the following specific                Shortages, if any
22.11)   measures have been agreed:




                                                                                                                                              21
                                        Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par           Commitment                      Specific Action           Date                 Achieved     If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                       [unless stated       Yes – Y    commitment date please provide further
                                                                         Departments to       No - N                      details
                                                                         identify dates for
                                                                         achievement of
                                                                         specific actions]
       (i)Beginning with IT, HR and                   Develop           Ongoing
       financial management areas,          business case for using
       open recruitment will be             open recruitment, where
       introduced                           skills shortage is
       (ii)Any need for open                identified
       recruitment will be identified
       and communicated to the                        Where relevant    Ongoing
       relevant union/unions with a         prioritise areas of skills
       view to reaching agreement           shortages to be targeted
       on the matter speedily.              for open recruitment
       (iii)The trade unions are
       committed to co-operating                    The State           Ongoing                Y
       with such open recruitment in        Laboratory will refer to
       circumstances where there is a       the Dept. of Finance and
       need for it.                         provide relevant
       (iv)In the event that the            information
       parties have difficulties on
       such issues, a third party
       adjudication mechanism will
       be established immediately
       after ratification of this
       Agreement. This mechanism
       will make a final decision on




                                                                                                                                     22
                                           Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par             Commitment                       Specific Action         Date                 Achieved       If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                        [unless stated       Yes – Y      commitment date please provide further
                                                                          Departments to       No - N                        details
                                                                          identify dates for
                                                                          achievement of
                                                                          specific actions]
         any matter referred to it
         within a two month period.
         (v)There will be a review of
         these arrangements within 12
         months to ensure that
         significant progress is made.


 20      (vi) The Civil Service may
         recruit in any year a number           Identify numbers who     April / May            Y        No staff resigned in 2002 at levels of HEO, AP, PO
(Ref     of staff at the level of Higher       resigned from State        2003                            or equivalent grades
22.11)   Executive Officer, Assistant          Laboratory in the course
         Principal and Principal Officer       of 2002, at the level of
         (and equivalent grades) equal         HEO, AP, and PO (and
         to the number of staff in those       equivalent grades)
         grades who had resigned from
         the Civil Service in the            Exit interviews will be     December 2003          Y
         previous year to take up           held with staff who
         positions in the private sector    leave the laboratory to
         or elsewhere in the public         capture relevant
         sector.                            information
         (vii) Where posts, which are       Identify numbers who
         normally filled by promotion,      resigned in course of         December 2003          Y        To date no staff have resigned in 2003




                                                                                                                                              23
                                           Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par             Commitment                      Specific Action              Date                 Achieved       If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                            [unless stated       Yes – Y      commitment date please provide further
                                                                              Departments to       No - N                        details
                                                                              identify dates for
                                                                              achievement of
                                                                              specific actions]
         are filled under the terms of       2003 from the State
         the above arrangements by           Laboratory at the level
         open competition, they will be      of HEO, AP and PO (and
         regarded as fulfilling the          equivalent grades)
         requirements to fill posts by
         interdepartmental
         competitions and will also
         count towards the fulfillment
         of quotas of posts to be filled
         by open recruitment at lower
         levels where appropriate.


  21     Discussions will take place so    Actively pursue discussions        September            Y          Discussions completed with staff representatives.
         that greater use of               on greater use of                  2003                            Discussions commenced with full time union
                                           competitive, merit-based
(Ref     competitive, merit-based                                                                             officials (IMPACT).
                                           promotions in order to
22.14,   promotions within                 provide wider career
and      Departments will be               development opportunities
22.15)   introduced and progressed         for all staff, over the lifetime
         over the life of the Agreement.   of the agreement.
         Progress in this regard must
         be based on competitive
         selection methods used in




                                                                                                                                                  24
                                             Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par              Commitment                   Specific Action   Date                 Achieved     If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                               [unless stated       Yes – Y    commitment date please provide further
                                                                 Departments to       No - N                      details
                                                                 identify dates for
                                                                 achievement of
                                                                 specific actions]
         Departments demonstrating
         best practice in this area.
         Specific measurable progress
         is to be made within individual
         Departments on a progressive
         basis over the life of the
         Agreement.
 22      In the case of grades that are
         covered by the Executive
(Ref     Officer dual promotion
22.16)   structure, the following
         arrangements will apply:


         (i) Discussions will take place
             with a view to concluding
             an agreement on extending
             the proportion of
             competitive merit-based
             promotions within
             Departments by mid-2004
             and their introduction at the
             first opportunity thereafter;




                                                                                                                             25
                                            Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par             Commitment                     Specific Action         Date                 Achieved     If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                      [unless stated       Yes – Y    commitment date please provide further
                                                                        Departments to       No - N                      details
                                                                        identify dates for
                                                                        achievement of
                                                                        specific actions]
         (ii)     Where competitive
         promotion systems do not
         apply in Departments they will
         be introduced and progressed
         over the life of the
         Agreement.”


 23      (ii) The proportion of posts
         filled under mobility provisions Not applicable to the State
(Ref     of interdepartmental             Laboratory
22.17)   promotion competitions will be
         increased from 33.3% to 40%
         from the beginning of the next
         competitions to be held under
         the existing arrangements for
         interdepartmental promotion
         schemes. This proportion will
         be increased to 50% from the
         date equating to the
         commencement of the next
         subsequent competition for
         promotion to Principal level.




                                                                                                                                    26
                                            Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par              Commitment                       Specific Action          Date                 Achieved     If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                          [unless stated       Yes – Y    commitment date please provide further
                                                                            Departments to       No - N                      details
                                                                            identify dates for
                                                                            achievement of
                                                                            specific actions]
         In this context, provision, will
         be made where feasible for a
         scheme of regional
         interdepartmental
         competitions outside the
         Dublin area to be in place as
         early as possible;




 24      In the event that problems
         arise in direct discussions in              The State             Ongoing               Y
(Ref     relation to the manner in              Laboratory will refer any
22.17)   which any of the above                 issues to Dept. of
         provisions are to be                   Finance and provide
         implemented, the issues                relevant information
         involved will be processed with
         the aid of a facilitator, and if
         necessary, referred to a third
         party adjudication in order to
         assist the parties meet the




                                                                                                                                        27
                                         Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par             Commitment                     Specific Action         Date                 Achieved       If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                      [unless stated       Yes – Y      commitment date please provide further
                                                                        Departments to       No - N                        details
                                                                        identify dates for
                                                                        achievement of
                                                                        specific actions]
         objectives identified above.
         Training
 25      The parties are committed to
         continued training and                   Departments to       end 2003               Y        Data currently being prepared to ensure
(Ref     development for all staff           provide a breakdown of                                     information on training expenditure for 2003 is
20.20)                                       overall expenditure on                                     available.
         The target spend on training        training eg T & S and to
         and development in the Civil        reach 4% of payroll
25 a     Service will be 4% of payroll       (€165k) by providing the
         by 2003.                            following training:
(Ref
22.20)                                           PMDS training

                                                 MIF training

                                                 IT training

                                                  Analytical,
                                             Strategic Planning and
                                             Technical training

                                                  HR strategy
                                             training




                                                                                                                                            28
                                            Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par             Commitment                        Specific Action        Date                 Achieved       If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                        [unless stated       Yes – Y      commitment date please provide further
                                                                          Departments to       No - N                        details
                                                                          identify dates for
                                                                          achievement of
                                                                          specific actions]

                                                    Refund of Fees

         Partnership


 26      The recommendations of the
         Review of Partnership in the
(Ref     Civil Service will be considered
22.23)   by a Sub-
         Group of General Council
         which will present proposals
         for the development of
         partnership to General
         Council.

         The parties are committed to
         building upon the structures               Sub committee set    12/03                 Y         Sub committee established in the State Laboratory.
 27      that have been established,            up to examine and                                         Report received with recommendations currently
         and to further embedding and           report on role and                                        being implemented
(Ref     refining the process across the        function of Partnership
20.9)    public service, in order to
         deliver real improvements in




                                                                                                                                             29
                                             Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par              Commitment                        Specific Action          Date                 Achieved     If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                           [unless stated       Yes – Y    commitment date please provide further
                                                                             Departments to       No - N                      details
                                                                             identify dates for
                                                                             achievement of
                                                                             specific actions]
         performance at organizational
         level, involve staff in the
         change and modernization
         process and improve the
         working environment.
         Equality

 28
         The parties agree to continue               Continued              Ongoing               Y
(Ref     to work to promote equality of          promotion of existing
22.25)   opportunity for all Civil Service       Disability, Diversity and
         staff in accordance with these          Gender Equality Policies
         policies.




28 a     The Department of Finance is        Continued implementation        Ongoing               Y
         currently drawing up proposals      of Government‟s policy on
(Ref     with a view to developing           a 3% employment target,
22.27)   action plans to ensure that the     for people with a
         Government‟s policy, of a 3%        disability, in suitable
         employment target for people        posts.
         with a disability, is




                                                                                                                                         30
                                             Sustaining Progress: State Laboratory


1Par              Commitment                      Specific Action         Date                 Achieved     If not yet achieved or did not meet
 a                                                                        [unless stated       Yes – Y    commitment date please provide further
                                                                          Departments to       No - N                      details
                                                                          identify dates for
                                                                          achievement of
                                                                          specific actions]
         implemented as effectively as
         possible. Particular
         consideration will be given to
         improving monitoring
         arrangements.


28b      The public service will continue       State Laboratory will    Ongoing                Y
         to build on the significant             adhere to all Civil
(Ref     progress which has been made            Service policies on
20.21)   in regard to policies on equality       equality and diversity
         and diversity in order to
         promote equal opportunity in all
         aspects of civil and public
         service employment.




                                                                                                                                      31

								
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