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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 16 May 1996

Vol. 465 No. 5

Written Answers. - Task Forces.

Desmond J. O'Malley


23 Mr. O'Malley asked the Minister for Enterprise and Employment the current number of task forces which have been established by his Department; and the number of completed reports which are currently with his Department. [9945/96]

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.

A Task Force for Industry Adjustment was established in March 1995 and its primary purpose was to identify areas of business at risk from competitive forces and to propose competitive strategies. In December 1995, the task force approved a change management programme which is designed to facilitate companies in implementing initiatives to increase their competitiveness. The enterprise development agencies will be responsible for administering this programme. The work of the task force is ongoing.
In March 1996, an Expert Advisory Group on Beef Products was established to advise consumers, Government and the trade arising from the EU export ban on products derived from cattle slaughtered in the UK and to make such recommendations, if any, as they conclude are necessary. In March 1996, the terms of reference and composition of a Task Force on Enterprise and the Environment were announced. Broadly the aim of the task force will be to identify the challenges which industry will face arising from environmental concerns and to identify opportunities for business in providing environmental services and responding to the growing environmental consciousness of consumers. The first meeting of the task force was held on 13 May.
A Task Force for Tallaght was established in April 1996 to make proposals in response to the situation in Tallaght arising out of the announcement of the closure of Packard Electric Limited. The work of this task force is ongoing.
In all nine task forces or implementing bodies have been established and reports were published or submitted to my office in respect of five of these. The foregoing list does not include action groups or task forces established by agencies under my Department or the various review groups which are convened periodically to inform and advise my Department on matters of policy in areas such as company law, enterprise strategy and the information society.