Thursday, 12 February 2004

Questions (190)

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

190 Mr. O'Dowd asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the progress on proposals for decentralisation for Drogheda; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [4496/04]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Family)

Under the Government's decentralisation programme all sections of my Department currently headquartered in Dublin will move to provincial locations. This includes the move of 300 posts in the Department's headquarters to Drogheda.

There are five locations involved in my Department's decentralisation programme and management of the programme overall will be a challenging task. The programme involves the development of an overall strategy in relation to the business areas to be moved to each of the five locations and the timing of those movesand, subsequently, the development of implementation plans for each location. An overall project plan is currently being prepared.

In line with a request to all Departments a preliminary response has been sent to the decentralisation implementation committee established by Government to oversee the programme. The committee will be considering the responses from all Departments involved, and is due to submit an initial report by end March on the implementation of the overall programme. It is not possible at this stage to give a precise timescale for any of the locations involved.