Ceisteanna — Questions. - Task Forces.

John Bruton

Ceist:

3 Mr. J. Bruton asked the Taoiseach the task forces, if any, on which his Department is represented that have concluded their work. [14418/98]

My Department is represented on three task forces, none of which has concluded its work. The task forces are the Task Force on the Implementation of the Report of the Commission on the Status of People with Disabilities, which is under the aegis of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform; the Implementation Task Force on Communicating Europe, which is now under the aegis of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Task Force on the Integration of Local Government and Local Development Systems which is under the aegis of the Department of the Environment and Local Government.

What about the taxi forum?

The taxi forum comes under the remit of the Minister for the Environment and Local Government and is working extremely well I am told it will report in July.

Can we take it the Oscar Faber report will be implemented and the taxi forum will not be used to delay it?

That is the last thing the Deputy can take.

Is Deputy Bruton in favour of the Oscar Faber report?

Unambiguously.

The taxi men will be interested in that.

I know that. My eyes are wide open. Choices have to be made and that is why I spoke about political decisions. A political decision must be made about more taxis.

I do not think that report is as a result of a political decision.

Is the Taoiseach aware that under my predecessor, the Minister of State with responsibility for European affairs, Deputy Tom Kitt, £30,000 was spent publishing a report on the Communicating Europe task force and on the need for an implementing task force? Given the great concern that there is not enough information about Europe, as expressed by many people in the recent Amsterdam Treaty, how many times has the Communicating Europe task force met since it was transferred to the Department of Foreign Affairs and how many times has the Taoiseach's Department attended to such a task force? Is it accurate that since the last Government left office, the task force has met on one or two occasions only, if it has met at all?

That task force is under the remit of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and I have no information on it. The Deputy should table a question for the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Will the Taoiseach say if the representative of his Department attended any meetings of the task force since the last Government left office? There is constant complaint in the House and outside about the dearth of information on Europe. The Communicating Europe task force was set up, met regularly under my chairmanship when I was Minister and was transferred to the Department of Foreign Affairs. The Taoiseach has a representative on that task force. How many meetings has he or she attended?

If the Deputy asks me a question about that matter I can get him the information. I do not accept there is a dearth of information about Europe. In the last referendum, with the help of the media, there was an enormous amount of information about Europe.

Why has the Taoiseach a task force?

The Deputy set it up.

Deputy Tom Kitt set it up, I chaired it. Why is it not meeting?

The Deputy is not opposed to it. It is still working.

Why is it not meeting? During the last referendum campaign there was an enormous amount of information about Europe.