The following is the position in relation to task forces which have been established by my Department since its establishment in January 1993. In February of 1993 the Galway Task Force was established with the objective of redressing the employment situation in Galway following the announcement by Digital Equipment Corporation to close their hardware manufacturing facility. The group reported in March 1994 to the then Minister having secured substantial investment and jobs for the region.
The Enterprise Development Task Force on Dublin Airport was established in July 1993 in order to identify new employment opportunities based around Dublin Airport and within the Aer Lingus structure in response to the difficulties in Team Aer Lingus at the time.
Its report was presented to me in April 1995 and it is scheduled for publication this week. The Task Force on Small Business reported in March 1994 on a comprehensive agenda for improving the operating environment for small business.
A report has been received in my Department on the recommendations of the Cobh and Harbour Area Response Group which was set up to propose measures that would offset the economic and employment effects on the area of the restructuring of Irish Steel announced in July 1994. I expect to make an announcement shortly about the matter. In May 1995, the Government established a task force, under the chairmanship of Mr. John Travers, chief executive officer of Forfás, to examine the recommendations of the Science Technology and Innovation Advisory Council, STIAC. The Travers Task Force reported in November 1995. The Government response to the STIAC report, based on the views of the task force, is expected to be published in the near future.