Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (171)

James Browne


171. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the position regarding decentralisation within the Civil Service; his plans to extend this policy to the southeastern region and County Wexford; if he will consider the region’s co-working hubs as possible alternatives to lengthy commutes for Civil Service employees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39790/19]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

As the Deputy will be aware, there was a Decentralisation Programme announced in December 2003 which set out a goal of relocating over 10,000 civil and public service jobs to 53 locations in 25 counties.

The Government decided in 2011 that the Decentralisation Programme be cancelled in light of the budgetary and staffing outlook at that time. Up to that date, about a third of the target numbers, over 3,400 posts were decentralised.

The proportion of civil servants working outside Dublin is now in the region of just over 50%. 

Initial costings of the Decentralisation Programme estimated a gross cost of approximately €900m in respect of procuring sites and office accommodation for the Programme. 

There are currently no further plans at the present time to introduce a further programme of decentralisation.

The Deputy will also be aware that a new Civil Service Mobility scheme has recently been developed. The scheme offers an opportunity for staff members to apply for mobility through an open and transparent system.

The scheme, which is being implemented on a phased basis, went live for Mobility moves in September 2018 for the general Civil Service grades of Clerical Officer (CO) and Executive Officer (EO) to move between and within 46 location zones outside Dublin

Figures at the end of July this year show that 13% of Dublin based Civil Servants have applications for Mobility to organisations located outside of Dublin.

 Further information on the Mobility scheme is available to view at http://hr.per.gov.ie/civil-service-mobility/