As a division of the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, GSI seeks to nurture an organisational culture that emphasises core values such as integrity, impartiality and equality. Staff are developed and encouraged to perform effectively and provide a quality service for the benefit of our customers and stakeholders.
The Government’s Performance Management and Development System (PMDS) is an important resource to ensure that the GSI Business Plan is effectively implemented while at the same time staff are fully empowered. All of our permanent staff participate in PMDS, while both permanent and contract staff are comprehended by the Partnership Committee which, among many agenda items, evaluated the Department’s progress on key performance indicators under Sustaining Progress, the national partnership agreement. At the same time the GSI Partnership Committee focused on issues of specific relevance to GSI, with staff participation around 20%. A self-organised group of staff participated in Geosports 2005 in the Netherlands and while they brought no trophy home on this occasion, they gave a good account of themselves and enriched their network of contacts in other European geological surveys.
“Staff are developed and encouraged to perform effectively and provide a quality service”
Each year GSI hosts the Cunningham Awards which have a two-fold purpose. Two prizes are awarded for the best undergraduate geological mapping projects and in December 2005 were awarded to Eleanor Donoghue of Trinity College Dublin and Eoin MacCraith of University College Dublin. The two prizes awarded to staff members for significant contributions to the work and development of GSI went to Margaret Nolan and John Dooley.
During 2005 there was a significant turnover in both permanent and contract staff and due to changes in contractual arrangements, there was a considerable fall in the number of contract staff.
The following staff joined or returned to GSI in 2005: John Dalton, Paula Gormley, Taly Hunter Williams, Gordon Poole and Joseph Whelan. The following staff left GSI in 2005: Brian Carroll, Petra Coffey, Christine Colgan, Jane Coll, Rodger Connell, John Dalton, Laurence Dempsey, Fiona Dunne, Scott Engering, Paddy Fitzsimons, Lorraine Gallagher, Vincent Gallagher, Michael Geoghegan, Jim Graham, Kathryn Hill, Ralph Horne, David Ivers, Siobhan McLaughlin, Oisín O’Briain, Matthew Parkes, Gordon Poole, Niamh Redmond, Aaron Sheehan-Clarke and Joseph Whelan. Of these, Ralph Horne (Assistant Director) and David Ivers (Librarian) were long-standing members of staff who will be known to many customers. Following internal competition, Pat O’Connor was appointed Assisstant Director and both Eibhlin Doyle and Koen Verbruggen were appointed Principal Geologists.
Dr Ralph Horne graduated in geology in Aberdeen and subsequently gained a PhD at Birmingham based on his Antarctic research. He joined GSI in 1969 and spent several years mapping bedrock geology in southwest Ireland, followed by a period with responsibility for technical aspects of mining and mineral exploration. He had been Assistant Director since 1981, having significant impact on the evolution of GSI through the management of its finances, operations and support services. We wish Ralph and his family a long and fulfilling retirement.
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|Staff training is important to ensure that GSI has the capability to meet the needs and expectations of its customers and stakeholders. With the support of the Department’s staff development unit, significant investment was made in training GSI staff. IT and information management skills remained important, with a large proportion of staff either completing the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) or engaging in other relevant courses. Staff also attended a range of specialised technical and professional courses. All training is linked to developmental objectives agreed in PMDS. In recent years training costs have been close to 4% of salary costs, the target set by the Civil Service.|
Good performance requires support
GSI provides a wide spectrum of services to a variety of national sectors and this is possible only because of the commitment to the various programmes of its support services, under the management of the Assistant Director. Many examples of this commitment appear in the pages of this report and each service is given specific recognition here.
Technical Service supervises the drilling programme (whose results are reported elsewhere in this report). It manages the core store in Sandyford Industrial Estate which acquired 960 additional trays of core and which was visited by customers on 15 occasions. GSI laboratories undertook the necessary petrographic work for a range of projects. Technical service also managed the lecture theatre (used on 179 occasions) and the vehicle fleet - with two new vehicles its average age at year-end was 5.3 years.
The Information Management and IT Section, in conjunction with the Information Systems Division of our parent department, supports a wide range of activities across GSI, including systems development. A continuing concern is the development of a new database architecture through Oracle upskilling.
Cartography Section works increasingly more closely with other services in the delivery of integrated support to all GSI programmes and indeed other parts of the Department. Typical GSI products are more likely to be digital now and Cartography Section staff participate fully in their development and delivery, while they still prepare display materials in hard copy for exhibitions, conferences and the like. For the first time staff participated in QC activity in offshore surveying associated with the Irish National Seabed Survey.
The Administration Service discharges key roles in relation to finance, staffing, accommodation and customer services. It undertakes these functions in cooperation with the Finance, Internal Audit, HR and Corporate Services Divisions of the Department. The service operates the GSI Customer Centre which markets GSI products and provides a one-stop shop for customers, ensuring enquirers receive comprehensive and timely information.
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Need more Information?
If you require more information on the work of GSI or think we may be able to assist you to find solutions to problems, do not hesitate to contact us. Geology Matters, the regular GSI newsletter, is available on our website or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or the Customer Centre. There is also additional information on www.gsi.ie about many facets of our activities, including an appendix to this Annual Report which covers the committees and working groups which have assisted GSI over the past year. It is a pleasure to acknowledge the contributions of all participants.
The website also contains details of the national and international representation undertaken by GSI staff, their participation in societies and working groups, details of all publications, presentations and field trips led by GSI staff, as well as overseas meetings attended.
The GSI Customer Centre answers public queries and provides access to databases and individual programmes. We recommend that you contact the Centre unless you have already established contacts in GSI. A brochure outlining services and prices is available from the GSI Customer Centre.
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