Tuesday, 27 January 2004

Questions (778, 779)

Richard Bruton

Question:

900 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if assessments are under way in his Department on 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. [1982/04]

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Enda Kenny

Question:

914 Mr. Kenny asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if a survey of staff in his Department has been conducted to ascertain the number willing to take part in the Government decentralisation plans; if he will detail the results of any such survey and the number of staff who wish to decentralise; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2243/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 900 and 914 together.

The areas under my Department's aegis that were selected in the Government's decentralisation programme announced on 3 December 2003 are as follows: Data Protection Commissioner's Office; the Equality Authority; Office of the Director of Equality Investigations (The Equality Tribunal); staff from the Garda Headquarters area; Garda Síochána Complaints Board; Land Registry; the Irish Prison Service; Probation and Welfare Service; and Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform staff.

While large scale decentralisation of this nature undoubtedly presents challenges, I am confident that it will not impact adversely on service delivery or efficiency in the offices being decentralised. A high-level implementation group has been established in my Department, with representatives from the areas concerned, to deal with all issues arising from the decentralisation proposals approved by Government. The group will have regard to any decision of the central implementation committee that has been established by the Department of Finance. The Department has no plans to conduct a survey of staff.