Written Answers. - New Army Defence Headquarters.

20.

asked the Minister for Defence if he will make a statement on the recent report by the Committee on Public Expenditure on the proposed new Army Defence Headquarters.

I am glad to note that the committee accept that there is an acute need to provide proper office accommodation for my Department. It is, however, clear from their report that the members of the committee do not fully realise just how overcrowded, dilapidated and unsuitable most of the Department's present accommodation is.

The building at Parkgate was constructed about 200 years ago as a hospital and there is now serious deterioration in its fabric due to age, dampness and widespread dry rot. Only last week, extensive dry rot was discovered between the second and third floors of the building and a number of offices have to be evacuated.

The premises at Coláiste Caoimhín was built as a teacher training college in the early years of this century. Very little internal adaptation was done over the years. The building is simply not capable of being refurbished to a satisfactory standard.

The Government approved of the proposal to provide a new headquarters building in September 1985 and after the most detailed examination and planning over a period of years. I am satisfied that the proposal represents the best solution to the Department's accommodation problem and that none of the alternatives suggested in the committee's report would provide a satisfactory solution.

Tenders for the project have been received and are at present being analysed and examined.

22. D'fhiafraigh

den Aire Cosanta cad é buanachas agus lánlíon an Chéad Chatha, Dún Uí Mhaoilíosa, Gaillimh, agus an gcuirfidh sé in iúl cén dul chun cinn atá déanta ó 1978 chun an t-aonad seo a chur ar bun mar chathlán cainteoirí Gaeilge agus an méid atá liost-áilte ó réigiúin Ghaeltachta gach bliain.

Is iad seo leanas na sonraí a iarradh i dtaobh an Chéad Chathláin, Dún Uí Mhaoilíosa, Gaillimh:

Bunaíocht

Líon

Oifigigh

25

23

Céimeanna eile

491

294

Iomlán

516

317

Mar a dúirt an t-iar Aire sa Dáil ar an 13 Feabhra 1986, déantar gnó agus cúrsaí traenála an Chéad Chathláin trí Ghaeilge de gnáth. Nuair a bhíonn earcaíocht teoranta ar siúl, déantar gach iarracht chun muintir na Gaeltachta a ghríosadh chun teacht isteach san aonad. D'eagraíodh ranganna speisialta Gaeilge don bhuíon deireannach earcaigh a tógadh isteach ann agus tugadh gach cabhair dóibh an méid traenála agus a b'fhéidir leo a dhéanamh trí Ghaeilge.

Is iad seo a leanas na sonraí i dtaobh liostáil sa Chéad Chathlán ó réigiúin Ghaeltachta ó 1978 i leith: 1978—13; 1979—16; 1980—11; 1981—18; 1982—5; 1983—0; 1984—0; 1985—1; 1986—1.

23.

asked the Minister for Defence if he is satisfied that stocktaking was completed in accordance with the prescribed regulations at all military stores in 1983, 1984 and 1985; the expenditure on spare parts for defence in 1983, 1984 and 1985; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

There are approximately 500 stores accounted for by the Defence Forces. I am informed by the military authorities that stocktaking was completed in virtually all of these in 1983, 1984 and 1985 in accordance with Defence Forces Regulations. In the case of eight of the larger main technical stores it was not possible to complete stocktaking within the time limits prescribed by regulations.

On the assumption that the Deputy's question relates to spare parts for transport vehicles, I can only supply figures for maintenance expenditure on mechanical transport as follows:

1983 — £2,167,485,

1984 — £2,783,320,

1985 — £2,976,702.

In addition to the cost of spare parts, these figures include expenditure on labour etc., where it was necessary to have repair work undertaken in civilian garages. It is not possible to isolate expenditure on spare parts from other maintenance and repair costs except at disproportionate cost.

27.

asked the Minister for the Public Service if he will review the reforms agreed and implemented to date by the present Government in the area of Civil Service/public service reform; the reason the numerous legislation changes that were announced over the last few years in the areas of reform never materialised; the reason there has been no implementation plan for the White Paper, Serving the Country Better; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The public service reform programmes of this Government has been detailed in the White Paper Serving the Country Better. A separate chapter dealt with the question of implementation and made it clear that the White Paper was “a statement of decisions taken and a firm action plan”. These decisions are being implemented and the Government regularly review the progress being made. The answer to Question 26 outlines the substantial progress already achieved.

Some decisions require legal underpinning and the drafting of the necessary legislation is now at an advanced stage and is being pressed ahead as quickly as possible.

The legislation will propose some of the most significant changes in our public service system since the foundation of the State. These changes are aimed at freeing up Ministers and Departments from purely routine work and enabling them to concentrate on important policy issues and better management and at ensuring better co-ordination across the whole public service in relation to personnel and organisation.