Report of the Public Service Benchmarking Body
The task undertaken by the Benchmarking Body has proved to be formidable and has required assistance and co-operation from a large number of individuals and organisations over a period of almost two years.
Additionally, the process has, by reason of its scale and complexity, required the application of a wide variety of skills, competencies and professional experience throughout its duration.
Between May and October 2001, some 3,994 jobholders from the public service participated in the Body's detailed job evaluation exercise with the co-operation and assistance of their trade unions, their associations and their employers.
Between October 2001 and February 2002 a further 3,563 jobs in the private sector were evaluated by the Body's staff and consultants with the help and co-operation, inter alia, of IBEC,SIPTU, CIF, the Irish Hotels Federation and a total of 202 private sector companies.
The support and co-operation of those participants from both the public service and the private sector was central and vital to the Body's work. It was invariably given generously, courteously and carefully and it was greatly appreciated by the Body. The Body is conscious of the fact that the data made available to it was provided in strict confidence. It will scrupulously respect that confidence.
A total of 23 unions and associations and 7 public service employers each furnished detailed written submissions to the Body on three separate occasions during the process. Submissions were also received from other interested parties. Between October and December of 2001, the Body had the opportunity to hear personally the views and submissions of the representatives and members of those organisations during 41 oral hearings at the Body's premises.The Body was greatly assisted by the submissions (written and oral) made and the arguments advanced by the parties during those phases of its work and I wish, on behalf of the Body, to thank all of those persons who prepared submissions and, in particular, those who spoke during oral hearings.
The Office of Manpower Economics (UK), the Office of Personnel Management (US), the Treasury Board Secretariat (Canada), the OECD and the EU Commission provided valuable advice and direction to the Body during the early stages of the process and the Body's appreciation and thanks are extended to the many officials from those organisations who gave so freely of their time and expertise.
The Body was well served by the expert professional consultants whom it commissioned to design its job evaluation scheme and by those who conducted its research, but I believe that it is necessary to make a special mention of the Body's internal consultant and adviser, Derek Burn, whose expert techniques and assiduous, detailed, audits supplemented advisory work which was invaluable to the process.
The process itself could not have been completed, and this Report delivered within the time limited by the Body's terms of reference, without the unremitting dedication and tireless energy which characterised the Body's Secretariat. Although it seems insufficient I will simply record the Body's genuine indebtedness to its Project Managers: Gerry Bellew, Joe Carolan, Jim Dunne, Kevin Kirwan, Derek Moran, Paul Ryan and Tony Walsh, Office Manager Breda Scanlan and to its support staff: Avril Lyons, Deirdre Galvin, Karen McCarthy and Bobby Doyle.
The contribution of the Body's Secretary, Cormac Cronin, to the Benchmarking process was incalculable. He provided information about the process with speed and efficiency to all who sought it and he managed the affairs of the Body with skill and tact. On my own behalf, and on behalf of the Body, I wish him a well-earned retirement.
As I indicated earlier, Benchmarking has proved a formidable task. I have watched with fascination and admiration the qualities and skills which my colleagues on the Benchmarking Body have brought to bear upon a large number of difficult questions and issues. As the process progressed, the demands upon the time of the members increased to a level which had not been anticipated at the time of their appointment to the Body. I am aware that the demands of the process took a large toll upon the domestic and business lives of all of the members. I am grateful to them for their stoic refusal to complain and, for the stamina,determination and resilience which they have demonstrated throughout the process but, most of all, I am and will remain indebted to them for the professional skills with which they approached their task and for the patient, conscientious and thorough manner in which they completed it.
John M. T. Quirke,
Public Service Benchmarking Body.
30th June 2002
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