Tuesday, 3 February 2004

Ceisteanna (178)

Seán Ardagh

Ceist:

306 Mr. Ardagh asked the Minister for Education and Science the way in which the employees who wish to remain in Dublin will be facilitated in relation to the decision to decentralise the offices of HETAC; and the assurance he can give that the jobs to which they will be transferred will be of the same type, status and have the same promotion prospects or career path as those they currently have. [2755/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Education and Science)

The decentralisation policy decided by the Government and announced by the Minister for Finance on budget day 2003 provides for the transfer of some 10,300 civil servants to various locations outside of Dublin. Included in this policy is the transfer of the Higher Education and Training Awards Council, HETAC, and its staff to Edenderry, County Offaly.

It is not open to me to make an exception to this stated Government policy nor do I see any reason this should be done. I would reiterate that the decentralisation is voluntary and that those members of HETAC staff who do not wish to transfer to the organisation's new location will not be compelled to do so. It has also been made clear that this policy will be implemented in an orderly fashion with full consultation with staff interests.