Thursday, 4 March 2004

Questions (55)

Joe Costello

Question:

43 Mr. Costello asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will report on the work undertaken to date by the internal implementation team within his Department dealing with decentralisation; if sites for decentralisation have been agreed; if the team has undertaken or plans to undertake a survey to establish the number of persons employed in his Department in boards or agencies operating under the aegis of his Department who are willing to move to the new locations announced by the Minister for Finance in his Budget speech; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7135/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government)

The internal implementation team in my Department is actively co-operating with the decentralisation implementation group, the Department of Finance and the Office of Public Works on the decentralisation programme announced in budget 2004. The internal implementation team is committed to developing innovative approaches to information management, communications and logistics so as to maintain and improve the quality of service to be delivered under decentralised arrangements and to minimise disruption. The team is also providing an avenue for full and timely communication with staff of the Department on the progress of the decentralisation programme, through the Department's partnership committee and otherwise.

The decentralisation programme envisages all Dublin based functions of my Department, with the exception of Met Éireann and some local based services, transferring to Wexford, which will serve as headquarters, Waterford, New Ross and Kilkenny. The Office of Public Works is currently assessing proposals from interested parties for the supply of suitable accommodation or suitable sites at the decentralised locations.

My Department considers that a survey of its staff to determine interest in transferring to the south eastern locations will most valuably be undertaken when greater clarification on detailed arrangements is available following,inter alia, the report of the decentralisation implementation group.

Question No. 44 answered with QuestionNo. 29.