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How each Stormont department justified its extra hours payouts

By Adrian Rutherford

Department of Agriculture: "Throughout the year, the department provides much out-of-hours service; for example, 24-hour portal and meat inspection cover. During the 2013/14 financial year, the department was dealing with a number of significant events, including severe weather, fodder crisis and numerous tree disease outbreaks."

Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure: "A level of overtime is unavoidable due the nature of the work within the department.

"DCAL is required to protect vulnerable fish stocks and in this connection planned enforcement patrols have been increased to target illegal activity.

"Hatchery and farm industrial staff are required to cover situations when fish welfare and protection of the fish asset must be ensured. Furthermore, 2013 was a particularly busy period with the World Police and Fire Games in Belfast and City of Culture in Derry."

Department for Employment and Learning: "The department's increase in overtime relates to initiatives in response to the current economic challenges. For example the Employment Service (ES) has been proactively delivering the new Youth Employment Scheme (YES) initiative and this year has focused on increasing employer awareness of the programme by delivering a series of YES events outside normal office hours.

"ES has seen an increase in the number of redundancy advice service... and if the employer has staff working shift patterns we deliver these clinics in the evenings and at weekends."

Department of THE Environment: "The overtime reflects the DoE's commitment to getting people an MOT much quicker. It also reflects our commitment to road safety with the diligent work that our DVA staff do out of hours to help ensure our roads are a safer place to drive. The overtime also reflects the intense work being undertaken by planning staff to prepare for transfer of functions to councils, the biggest shake-up of local administration for 40 years."

Department of Finance and Personnel: "The department carefully monitors all budgets and expenditure including the use of overtime which requires specific approvals within business areas before it can be undertaken."

Department for Social Development: "With approximately 7,500 staff, overtime is worked by the department mainly to meet in-year demands such as child maintenance work and processing benefit payments. The overtime spend is actively monitored by managers across the department."

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