Written Answers - Local Government Policy.

John McGuinness

Question:

430 Mr. McGuinness asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if there is any legislation planned to put in place a protocol at local government level to deal with queries raised by members of Dáil Éireann and to improve the communication flow between national and local government and the general public; if, in view of the ombudsman's report regarding the efficiency of local government in dealing with his office and the general public, he has any plans to introduce measures to improve the situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12143/01]

The question of provision for the availability of local authority information to Oireachtas members is being considered in the context of the termination of the dual mandate in the Local Government Bill, 2000, currently before the Dáil. I have noted the references to local authorities in the report of the Ombudsman for 2000. Despite the increasing demands being placed on them, local authorities are striving to improve their performance in this regard. In particular, I am satisfied that the delivery of the range of services to customers of local authorities will continue to improve as they develop their customer service ethos in line with the strategy outlined in Modernising Government – The Challenge for Local Government.