Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Questions (285)

Denis Naughten


285. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of vacant desk spaces available in accommodation allocated to her Department in Civil Service accommodation outside Dublin city; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [46287/19]

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Written answers (Question to Business)

Accommodation for my Department and its Offices is provided by the Office of Public Works (OPW) in buildings which are either State owned or leased by the OPW on our behalf. Typically, the Department and its Offices are in shared accommodation, either with other Government Departments, public bodies or the private sector.

The Department and its Offices are located in 11 locations across the country, six of which are in Dublin and five regionally, as set out in the table below.

The Department works closely with OPW colleagues to ensure the provision of appropriate, fit-for-purpose accommodation for our staff which must be tailored for any services being provided to the public. Every effort is made to optimise the physical space that is made available to us through the OPW.

The accommodation portfolio typically includes the provision of desk space, training rooms, meeting rooms, public hearing areas, public office areas, canteen facilities, secure onsite file storage, toilets and shower facilities amongst other things. The desk provision to staff must also take into account various working patterns in line with family friendly policies available across the Civil Service.

In addition, given the nature of certain functions carried out by the Offices, certain locations also provide for a “hot desk” option for staff to avail of from time to time. For example, the role of Inspectors in the Workplace Relations Commission involves them undertaking inspections across the country and away from their own head office.

As can be seen from the table below each location has a different scale of operation. From time to time, an office layout can be repurposed to meet business needs. The installation of additional desks must be balanced with the need to ensure compliance with health and safety legislation and its impact on other requirements such as meeting, hearing and training rooms and areas for public access. Such changes must also not adversely impact on existing lease arrangements with the landlord nor on other tenants in the building. Currently there is a 1% staffing vacancy rate across the locations below.

Office of the Department


Number of posts (198 in total)

Patents Office

Government Buildings, Lower Hebron Road, Kilkenny


Companies Registration Office and the Workplace Relations Commission

O’Brien Road, Carlow


Workplace Relations Commission

Building 400, Westpark Business Campus, Shannon, Co Clare.


Workplace Relations Commission

Marino House, Finisklin Business Park, Sligo


Workplace Relations Commission

Centre Park House, Cork.