Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (508)

Richard Bruton

Question:

625 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism if assessments are underway in his Department; the activities proposed for decentralisation; the impact on the operations of the Department; the risks to the organisation attendant on this move; the measures that will be put in place to minimise disruption; and if these reports will be presented to him at an early date for consideration. [1979/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism)

The Government has decided that the core Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism in its entirety will be transferred to Killarney. The cultural institutions which form part of my Department will remain in Dublin. Three State agencies under the aegis of my Department are also being decentralised. The Irish Sports Council will transfer to Killarney, the Arts Council to Kilkenny and Fáilte Ireland to Mallow.

The Government has set up a central implementation committee, chaired by Mr. Phil Flynn, which will prepare and submit an overall implementation plan by the end of March to the Cabinet sub-committee charged with overseeing the decentralisation programme. Until this implementation plan has been agreed it would be premature to out carry out a survey or an assessment pending the submission of the plan.

I am confident that the impact on the operations of my Department and any attendant risks will be minimal. Every effort will be made to ensure that the moves take place in a well-organised and structured manner so that there is a seamless transition between the operation of my Department in Dublin and in Killarney. To that end, a decentralisation committee has been established within my Department which will plan the programme in respect of this Department in liaison with the central committee. As Minister, I will be driving the implementation of the programme in the Department and reporting on a regular basis to the Cabinet sub-committee.