Minister gives update on Defence Forces Commission

The Minister for Defence has said that a Commission on the Defence Forces will be put in place as soon as possible.

The establishment of the commission was promised in the Programme for Government.

It is to undertake a review of the existing arrangements for the effective defence of the country at land, air and sea and consider other issues including the brigade structure; pay and allowances and composition of the Defence Forces and recruitment, retention and career progression.

The Programme for Government provides that membership of the commission will contain a wide variety of expertise such as management, human resources, academia, law, and public service, as well as members with external military expertise.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence Simon Coveney, in a written answer to questions in the Dail: “While the Programme for Government states that the Commission is be established before the end of 2020, with a mandate to report within 12 months, I am anxious to ensure that it is established as early as possible before the end of this year and I am working with my Department in an effort to achieve this.”

He said he was considering a range of options to ensure wide consultation on the Terms of Reference of the commission.

“It is important to stress that the final decision on both membership of the Commission and its terms of reference will ultimately be a matter for Government and, pending the outcome of the consultation process, no decisions have been taken to date. My immediate priority is to commence consultation on the terms of reference as committed to in the Programme for Government.”

“Upon completion of the Commission's work, a permanent pay review body will be established, reflecting the unique nature of military service in the context of the public service. All recommendations by the Commission or the successor body and their implementation must be consistent with national public sector wage policy.”

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