Revenue staff share €105,000... for helping to cut spending
Workers at Revenue shared special payments of over €105,000 last year as a reward for coming up with ideas about how to cut waste and improve productivity.
Chiefs at the Revenue Commissioners reintroduced a staff suggestion scheme (SSS) in 2013 to encourage staff to find new ways of reducing costs.
More than €448,000 has been paid to Revenue staff in recognition of their ideas over the last four years, according to new figures released to the Irish Independent.
The data, released under the Freedom of Information Act, show the number of staff receiving the extra payment is increasing year-on-year.
However, Revenue maintains the payments for workers' good ideas are not a bonus. Instead, a spokesman said that modest awards were made to "recognise contributions" made by staff.
The staff suggestion scheme is just one of three schemes in place to reward workers.
Last year Revenue paid out €105,633 to 1,826 staff - the largest number of employees who benefitted from the scheme over the last four years.
In 2014, €81,167 was shared for 1,395 ideas, while €96,666 was divided amongst 1,393 workers in 2013.
Staff can also be rewarded under the Instant Performance Awards (IPAs) scheme, where managers can grant modest awards to staff for their notable and exceptional performance.
This reward has been available to Revenue staff since 2009 and is normally in the form of gift vouchers to a €50 value.
Each Revenue division is notified on their IPA funding at the start of each year and are asked to spend it equally over the four quarters of the year. Any unused funds are forfeited.
"To maintain the integrity of the scheme, managers are required to apply the awards fairly and consistently and grant them on an objective basis," a Revenue spokesman explained.
"IPAs are made when performance is perceived as meriting recognition and where the nature and quality of the person's achievements are notable and can be substantiated by the manager."
Meanwhile, those in the customs branch of the Revenue Commissioners may also be eligible for a global award granted by the World Customs Organisation (WCO).