Wednesday, 28 January 2004

Questions (112)

Olivia Mitchell

Question:

224 Ms O. Mitchell asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs if a survey of staff to determine interest in participating in the decentralisation programme has been undertaken in his Department; when it will be completed; and if the results will be published or otherwise made available to Deputies. [2329/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Foreign)

Under the Government's recent announcement my Department's development co-operation directorate is scheduled for the decentralisation of 130 posts to Limerick. My Department has set up a committee to liaise with the Government's decentralisation committee and to plan and implement the programme.

A number of important questions on decentralisation remain to be clarified. In particular, the timing of the move will be a central issue. We wish to give staff as much information as possible prior to asking them to indicate whether they wish to decentralise. The implementation committee for the Cabinet sub-committee on decentralisation hopes to have prepared a central implementation plan by the end of March. Its contents will be of particular relevance in this regard. I anticipate that my Department will conduct a decentralisation survey shortly after the presentation of the report. The results of the survey will be made known to the Department of Finance, the unions and staff.