Written Answers. - Decentralisation Programme.

John Deasy

Question:

232 Mr. Deasy asked the Minister for Finance the progress which has been made regarding the decentralisation of a Department to Waterford city and the outlying towns; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18612/03]

As I have said on many occasions, a wide range of important issues must be considered in the process of reaching a Government decision on decentralisation. That decision has not yet been taken and before it is taken it is vital that all concerned are fully consulted, be they staff concerned about their futures or departmental management concerned about the delivery of public services.

I am not in position at present to state when the Government will make a decision on the matter but while the deliberative process is ongoing, it would be premature and inappropriate to identify a particular location which might be selected for inclusion in the new programme of decentralisation. I am aware of the case made for Waterford city and the outlying towns and it will be given consideration, along with all submissions received on behalf of towns around the country, as part of the deliberative process.