Tuesday, 3 February 2004

Ceisteanna (216)

Joe Costello

Ceist:

345 Mr. Costello asked the Minister for Education and Science if it is proposed to decentralise the Higher Education and Training Awards Council to Offaly; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that three quarters of the staff are opposed to the proposal; the plans he and the Government have to facilitate those public servants who do not wish to move; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3080/04]

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 in 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 why this should be done. Decentralisation is voluntary and 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.