Saturday 22 July 2017

Revenue pay €96k in awards to staff

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Gordon Deegan

Staff suggestions at the Revenue Commissioners to reduce the use of paper and deliver efficiencies contributed to an ‘award pot’ of almost €100,000 for workers there last year.

The Staff Suggestion Scheme is one of three schemes operated by the Revenue to encourage improved performance. Last year, Revenue paid out €96,809 in the three award schemes to 1,705 staff.

The greatest bulk of payments were made under the Instant Performance Award (IPA) scheme, where payments of €84,786 were made.

Additional payments of €9,300 were made under World Customs Organisation (WCO) awards, while another €2,723 were made in the Staff Suggestion Scheme.

According to a Revenue spokeswoman, the IPA is in recognition of notable, exceptional performance or achievement. 

“These awards are normally paid in the form of gift cards/vouchers,” she said.

Last year, the Revenue awarded €84,786, not greater than €50 each, to 1,638 individual recipients. Recipients can be awarded more than one prize.

In addition, 43 Revenue employees received WCO’s ranging from €200 to €350, with 24 awards made under the staff suggestion scheme ranging in awards from €50 to €150.

The Staff Suggestion Scheme was re-introduced in 2013 to encourage ideas on new ways to reduce cost, improve productivity, eliminate waste and improve customer service delivery.

The scheme rewards ideas that are capable of being implemented at a reasonable cost and have potential to deliver real efficiency gains or savings for the organisation. 

According to the Revenue spokeswoman, the merits and feasibility of suggestions are examined by experts in the relevant business areas. 

Providing examples of staff suggestions that have merited awards under the system, she said proposals to reduce or negate the need to use paper forms and/or suggestions to improve the accessibility and usability of our online forms; improvements to the content, display, and logical flow of vehicle registration tax information on the Revenue website and amendments to health expenses claim forms to reduce potential for fraudulent claims.

“In the main, suggestions relate to system’s enhancements and improvements to the user experience for Revenue customers. 

“The highest total award received by an individual in 2016 under the Staff Suggestion Scheme was €250 in respect of two suggestions,” she said.

According to figures, Revenue paid out €81,167 in 1,395 awards in 2014 and €96,666 in 1,393 awards in 2013.

Irish Independent

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