Head of Collections - Information Booklet

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O f f ic e o f
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O i r e a c h t a i s
t h e H o u s e s of
t h e O i r e a c h t a s
Please Read Carefully
Vacancy for Head of Collections
in the
Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas
The Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas is committed to a policy of equal
The Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas will run this competition in accordance
with the codes of practice prepared by the new Commissioners for Public Service
Appointments (CPSA). Codes of practice are published by the CPSA and are
available on www.cpsa-online.ie
Closing date for this competition is 5.00 p.m. Friday, 28th December, 2007.
Completed applications should be forwarded to the Personnel Officer, Office of the
Houses of the Oireachtas, Leinster House, Kildare Street, Dublin 2
If you have any queries please contact Anita Gibbons on 01 6183250, email:
The Oireachtas Library & Research Service is part of the Seanad and Library &
Research Directorate in the Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas. The Oireachtas
Library & Research Service provides confidential, impartial information and research
services to support the work of both Houses, individual Members and Committees in
respect of their parliamentary duties. Services include on-demand research work for
individual Members and other Library users, publication of regular proactive
bulletins, information skills training programmes, access to collections and intranet
Thirty-six staff work in the Oireachtas Library & Research Service. Staff are
organised into information management teams (cataloguing, documents laid and
eservices) and research teams in the fields of law, economics, social science and
public administration/politics.
The Head of Collections is a member of the Library & Research Service’s
management team (along with the Head of Library and Research Services and the
Head of Research) and will contribute to the strategic development of the Service.
The Head of Collections will, under the direction of the Head of Library and Research
Services, be responsible for the strategic development and management of the Library
& Research Service’s print and electronic collections with the aim of enhancing
access to the collections and supporting the information and research needs of
Members of the Houses of the Oireachtas and Library & Research Service staff.
He/she will have a lead role in reorganising the collections to take advantage of
remote site storage solutions and digitisation and will have line management
responsibilities for approximately ten staff.
The Head of Collections is responsible for collections-related IT, facilities and storage
management and also data protection, copyright and licensing issues. Facilities
management includes the Members’ Reading Room in Leinster House. He/she is also
responsible for ensuring that all procedures relating to the laying of documents before
the Houses of the Oireachtas are fully complied with. This responsibility has been
assigned to the Library & Research Service by the Clerks of Dáil Éireann and Seanad
Éireann. The laying of documents is a formal procedure relating exclusively to the
functions exercised by the Houses of the Oireachtas. This procedure is regulated by
statute, the Standing Orders of both Houses and Department of Finance Circular.
A collection development policy for the Library & Research Service was prepared in
early 2007. The policy states that the parliamentary library is responsible for
“i) collecting, managing and preserving publications of the Irish Parliament since
1922, together with documents laid before the Houses and other official publications.
ii) preserving publications of the pre-Union Irish Parliament.
iii) developing and managing subject based collections to support the provision of
information and research services to Members of the Houses and their staff,
Committees of the Houses and staff of the Office. The priority collection areas are
Irish law, history, economics, social science, politics and public administration and
the European Union.
iv) developing and managing a collection of newspapers which are a primary source
of Irish and international news and current affairs.”
1. Develop and manage the collections required for the provision of information and
research services to support the work of both Houses, the Committees and individual
Members in respect of their Parliamentary duties.
2. Manage the Library & Research Service’s acquisitions budget. Promote
innovative and cost effective methods of service delivery.
3. Negotiate contracts and licences for the provision of information resources.
4. Direct the development of the library management system and the Service’s webpages.
5. Manage all procedures relating to the laying of documents before the Houses of the
6. Raise the profile of the Oireachtas Library & Research Service within the national
context. Strengthen relationships with parliamentary library and research services
Essential Qualifications and Experience:
Essential Qualifications:
Candidates must, on or before the closing date of application, have or demonstrate
1. A recognised honours degree or equivalent qualification.
2. Post-graduate qualification in librarianship/information management.
3. Three years experience of strategic management of library collections.
4. Proven experience of using technology to manage library collections
and deliver services to users.
5. Proven experience of staff management.
6. The requisite knowledge and skills to fulfil the duties assigned
including the ability to prioritise and manage workloads, to cope with
conflicting demands on time, lead teams and demonstrate strong
interpersonal skills.
Desirable Qualifications:
1. Experience in leading and/or managing organisational change.
2. Experience of the use of information systems in a research
Note: This competition, and any offer of appointment arising therefrom is governed
by the terms of article 39(4) (formerly Article 48(4) of the EC Treaty as -interpreted
by the European Court of Justice. Citizens of non-EEA states will not be eligible to
The European Economic Area consists of the member states of the European Union
together with Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Selection Process
Completing the Application Form
Applications must be made on the official application form and all sections of the
form must be fully completed.
The admission of a person to this competition or invitation to attend the interview is
not to be taken as implying that the Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas is satisfied
that such a person fulfils the requirements or is not disqualified by law from holding
the position.
Optional Language Test
You may have your ability to communicate effectively in Irish and English assessed.
Your ability in the language in which the interview is conducted will be assessed at
the interview itself and in the other language by a separate competitive language test.
This test will comprise conversation on ordinary topics. Candidates who satisfy the
Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas that they are proficient in both Irish and
English will be awarded marks in respect of such proficiency. Candidates who qualify
at interview and establish their proficiency will be awarded an extra 6% of the total
marks available at interview.
Selection methods
Selection method:
The methods used to select the successful candidate for this post may include:
Shortlisting of candidates on the basis of the information contained in their
Preliminary Interview to reduce the numbers of candidates to a more
manageable number for the main interview board
A competitive interview, including a presentation by the candidate
In the event that a large number of candidates will meet the minimum eligibility
requirements for the post, the Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas may decide to
invite a smaller number to interview. This is not to suggest that other candidates are
necessarily unsuitable or incapable of undertaking the job, rather that there are some
candidates who are, prima facie, better qualified and/or have more relevant experience.
During any shortlisting exercise that may be employed, the Office of the Houses of the
Oireachtas will be guided by an expert board who examine the application forms and
assess them against pre-determined criteria based on the requirements of the position. It
is therefore in your own interests to provide a detailed and accurate account of your
qualifications/experience on the application form.
The onus is on all applicants to make themselves available on the date(s) specified by
the Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas and to make whatever arrangements are
necessary to ensure that they receive communications sent to them at the contact details
specified on their application form. Candidates should note that interviews are likely to
be scheduled for the last week in January, 2008.
The Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas will not be responsible for expenses
incurred by candidates.
Deeming of candidature to be withdrawn
Candidates who do not attend for interview when and where required by the Office of
the Houses of the Oireachtas, or who do not, when requested, furnish such evidence,
as the Office requires in regard to any matter relevant to their candidature, will have
no further claim to consideration.
Subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 1997, applications will
be treated in strict confidence.
Data Protections Act, 1998 and 2003:
When your application form is received, we create a computer record in your name,
which contains much of the personal information you have supplied. This personal
record is used solely in processing your candidature.
Such information held on computer is subject to the rights and obligations set out in
the Data Protection Act, 1988. You are entitled, under this Act, to obtain at any time a
copy of information about you, which is kept on computer. You should contact the
Personnel Unit in the Office in relation to this and an appropriate fee may be charged
in respect of any request.
Certain items of information, not specific to any individual, are extracted from
computer records for general statistical purposes.
Review Procedures in relation to the Selection process.
The Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas will consider requests for review in
accordance with the provisions of the code of practice published by the CPSA and
refereed to in the cover sheet of this booklet.
Principal Conditions of Service
Established Position as Head of Collections
in the Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas
Probationary Contract for Period of One Year
Principal Conditions of Service
The appointment is subject to the Civil Service Regulations Acts 1956 to 2005
and the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004 and
any other Act for the time being in force relating to the Civil Service.
2. The salary scale for this position is as follows:
PPC (Personal Pension Contribution) Scale
€72,823, €75,594, €78,371, €81,145, €83,921, €85,541, €88,295, (1st LSI ) €91,056,
(2nd LSI)
Modified scale
€69,179, €71,813, €74,457, €77,087, €79,724, €81,261, €83,888, (1st LSI ) €86,504,
(2nd LSI)
rates effective from 1June 2007
Increments (apart from Long Service Increments payable after three and six years
satisfactory service respectively on the maximum of the scale) are payable annually
subject to satisfactory service.
Starting Salary and Payment Arrangements
3. Entry will normally be at the minimum point of the scale. General round
increases will be applied as they arise. (Existing Civil Servants who were exempt
from the EFT scheme prior to their new appointment will be given the choice to
remain outside of the scheme.) Payment cannot be made until a bank account
number and bank sort code has been supplied to the Personnel Section of the
relevant Department or Office. Statutory deductions from salary will be made as
appropriate by the Department/Office.
An officer will agree that any overpayment of salary or of travel and subsistence may
be deducted from future salary payments due to an officer in accordance with the
Payment of Wages Act 1991. In accordance with that Act, the Department/Office
will advise the officer in writing of the amount and details of such overpayment, will
give at least one week’s notice of the deduction to take place and will deduct the
overpayment at an amount that is fair and reasonable having regard to all the
circumstances within six months of such notice in accordance with the Act.
The appointment is to an established position on a probationary contract in the
Civil Service.
The probationary contract will be for a period of one year from the date of
appointment. Notwithstanding this paragraph and paragraph 5 below, this will not
preclude an extension of the probationary contract in appropriate circumstances.
During the period of your probationary contract, your performance will be subject to
review by your supervisor(s) to determine whether you:
have performed in a satisfactory manner,
have been satisfactory in general conduct, and
are suitable from the point of view of health with particular regard to sick
Prior to completion of the probationary contract a decision will be made as to whether
or not you will be retained pursuant to Section 5A(2) Civil Service Regulation Acts
1956-2005. This decision will be based on your performance assessed against the
criteria set out in (i) to (iii) above. The detail of the probationary process will be
explained to you by the Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas.
Where the officer is an existing civil servant and is not considered as suitable to the
position having been assessed against stated criteria, the officer will be notified in
writing of the action to be taken prior to the expiry of the probationary contract and
any extensions thereof
Notwithstanding paragraphs 4 and 5 above, the probationary contract may be
terminated at any time prior to the expiry of the term of the contract by either side in
accordance with the Minimum Notice and Terms of Employment Acts, 1973 to 2005.
In certain circumstances your contract may be extended and your probation period
suspended. The extension must be agreed by both parties.
 The probationary period stands suspended where an employee is absent due to
Maternity or Adoptive Leave
 In relation to an employee absent on Parental Leave or Carers Leave, the
employer may require probation to be suspended if the absence is not
considered to be consistent with a continuation of the probation
 Probation may be suspended in cases such as absence due to a non-recurring
The employee may in these circumstances make application to the employer for an
extension to the contract period
Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2005
5. The Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977-2005 will not apply to the termination
of the employment by reason only of the expiry of this probationary contract
without it being renewed.
6. The officer will be required to perform any duties appropriate to the position which
may be assigned from time to time. The position is whole time and the officer may
not engage in private practice or be connected with any outside business, which would
interfere, or be incongruent, with the performance of official duties.
7. The officer’s headquarters will be such as may be designated from time to
time by the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission. At present the headquarters are
based in the Leinster House complex in Dublin 2. When absent from home and
headquarters on duty appropriate travelling expenses and subsistence allowances will
be paid, subject to the normal civil service regulations.
Hours of Attendance
. Hours of attendance will be as fixed from time to time under Section 23 of
the Staff of the Houses of the Oireachtas Act, 1959 but will amount, on average, to
not less than 41 hours gross or 34 hours and 45 minutes net per week. Flexibility will
be required with regard to extra attendance, which may be required from time to time
arising from the exigencies of the Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas. No
additional payment will be made for extra attendance (over and above 41 hours gross
or 34 hours and 45 minutes net per week) as the rate of remuneration payable covers
any exceptional extra attendance liability that may arise from time to time.
Annual Leave
On recruitment the annual leave allowance will be 25 working days a year
rising to 30 days after five years service and 31 days after ten years service.
Otherwise, if appropriate, to the officer’s employment history, the annual leave
allowance will be 30 working days a year rising to 31 days after five years service.
This allowance, which is subject to the usual conditions regarding the granting of
annual leave, is on the basis of a five-day week and is exclusive of the usual public
The Organisation of Working Time Act 1997
The terms of the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997, will apply, where
appropriate, to your employment.
Sick Leave
Full pay during properly certified sick absence, provided there is no evidence
of permanent disability for service, may be allowed up to a maximum of six months
in one year and at half-pay thereafter, subject to a maximum of twelve months sick
leave in any period of four years or less.
Officers who will be paying Class A rate of PRSI will be required to sign a mandate
authorising the Department of Social and Family Affairs to pay any benefits due
under the Social Welfare Acts direct to the Department of Justice, Equality and Law
Reform and payment during illness will be subject to the officer making the necessary
claims for social insurance benefit to the Department of Social and Family Affairs
within the required time limits.
Secrecy, Confidentiality and Standards of Behaviour
Official Secrecy and Integrity
The officer will during the term of the probationary contract be subject to the
provisions of the Official Secrets Act, 1993 as amended by the Freedom of
Information Acts 1997 and 2003. The officer will agree not to disclose to third parties
any confidential information, especially that with commercial potential, either during
or subsequent to the period of employment.
Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour
12.1. The officer will be subject to the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour.
Ethics in Public Office Act 1995
12.2. The Ethics in Public Office Acts 1995 will apply, where appropriate, to this
Prior approval of publications
The officer will agree not to publish material related to his or her official
duties without prior approval by the Head of the Department or Office.
Political Activity
14. During the term of employment the officer will be subject to the rules governing
civil servants and politics.
Superannuation and Retirement
15. The terms of the Contributory Pension Scheme for Established Civil Servants and
of the Contributory Spouses’ and Children Pension Scheme for Established Civil
Servants will apply to this appointment. Membership of the scheme is compulsory
for new entrants.
There is no specified retirement age in respect of the appointment to this position for
officers deemed to be “new entrants” (as defined in the Public Service Superannuation
(Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004) and in general, 65 is the minimum age at which
pension is payable.
For officers who are deemed not to be “new entrants” as defined in the Public Service
Superannuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004, retirement is compulsory on
reaching 65 years of age and an earlier minimum pension age may apply.
At the time of being offered appointment, the Department will, in the light of the
officer’s employment history, determine whether he or she is a “new entrant” or not.
Candidates are advised to consult Section 2 of the Public Service Superannuation
(Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004 in relation to the definition of “new entrant”.
The text of Section 2 and of the Act is available on the website
15.1. If the officer was previously employed in the Civil Service and awarded a
pension under voluntary early retirement arrangements, entitlement to that pension
will cease with effect from the date of reappointment. Special arrangements will,
however be made for the reckoning of previous service given by the officer for the
purpose of any future superannuation award for which the officer may be eligible.
15.2. If the officer was previously employed in the Civil Service and was paid a
marriage gratuity, pensionable service before marriage will not be reckoned for
superannuation purposes unless an appropriate refund is made in respect of that
Different conditions of service may apply if, immediately prior to appointment, the
appointee is
already a serving civil servant who is paying the Class B rate of PRSI,
(b) serving in an non-established capacity in the civil service and has had
continuous service in that capacity since 5 April, 1995, or
(c) serving elsewhere in the public sector in a position in respect of which
s/he is paying the Class B,C or D rate of PRSI contribution
Details of the salary scale and conditions of service applicable to such appointees are
available on request from the Commission for Public Service Appointments