The rationalisation of State bodies is a part of this Government's reform programme. As the Deputy is aware, in November 2011, the Government set out 2 commitments in relation to agency rationalisation:
- to implement 48 measures. These measures (involving over 100 bodies) either have been fully delivered or will be delivered this year, apart from the small number where the Government decided on reflection not to proceed (viz. the rationalisation concerning the National Cancer Registry, the proposed merger of the Commission for Aviation Regulation and the Irish Aviation Authority, and the proposed measure merging functions of the Language Commissioner with the Office of the Ombudsman); and
- to critically review proposals for a further 46 measures. In late 2012, following detailed consideration of these critical reviews, the Government decided to implement 25 measures (involving more than a further 100 State bodies). Work on these is well advanced; some are already completed and as set out in the Public Service Reform Plan 2014-2016 the remainder are scheduled to be delivered during 2014.
My Department monitors the implementation of the measures on a quarterly basis and publishes these updates. The latest information, which details the progress to end Quarter 1 2014, can be found on my Department's website.
Within my own area of control the Commission on Public Service Appointments was merged into the Office of the Ombudsman with effect from October 2012. Arrangements are also currently underway for the merger of the Valuation Office, the Property Registration Authority and Ordnance Survey Ireland; and the measure concerning the State Laboratory and the Forensic Science Laboratory is progressing.
In total, full implementation of all of the measures the original 48 measures and the further 25 decided later in 2012 will affect over 200 State bodies, achieving the targeted saving of €20m set out in the Reform Plan in 2011. The bulk of the savings are derived from a reduction in the number of public servants working in the merged entities and from other administrative efficiencies.