I propose to answer Questions Nos. 816 and 827 together.
I have established a decentralisation implementation group in my Department to manage the decentralisation process. It is chaired by an assistant secretary and includes representatives from the areas-agencies scheduled for decentralisation. This group is considering the specific issues raised in the context of this Department and its agencies, is conscious of the need to minimise disruption and is preparing plans to implement the programme in so far as it impacts on my Department. Information regarding the number and grade of staff decentralising and their associated accommodation needs has been furnished to the Department of Finance implementation committee. My Department will continue to co-operate with the Department of Finance and the Office of Public Works in advancing the decentralisation programme. I also refer the Deputy to my answer to Questions Nos. 231, 232 and 233 on Wednesday, 10 December 2003.