Enterprise Ireland said it was losing out on hiring key staff because of government red tape

Enterprise Ireland told government it was missing out on highly qualified staff because it was taking so long to get official sign-off to hire them.

A memo to the Department of Enterprise said they were also facing difficulties in trying to move employees around to respond to specific challenges like Brexit or to support the Global Ireland project.

It said a process that required every single hire to be approved by the department was taking too long even though the contracts involved were usually standard templates.

The memo from last autumn said the system was leading to “significant delays” and creating a “significant administrative burden” that added no value for the taxpayer.

“This is leading to loss of identified candidates in a tight talent market and poses a risk in terms of constraining our ability to deliver a full service to clients and meet our strategic goals,” said the briefing document.

It said the inability to be flexible in transferring staff between offices was also compromised even though it involved no change to Enterprise Ireland’s headcount.

Enterprise Ireland said that process was lengthy too and affected their ability to “respond to business and market needs”.

The document added: “[Department of Enterprise] current requirement to review and approve individual local overseas contracts when the contracts are standard templates, which have been legally reviewed and appropriate due diligence has been completed by Enterprise Ireland, adds a significant time to hire in a tight talent market, leading to multiple instances of our losing candidates.”