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Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 11 December 2008

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Ceisteanna (11)

Ulick Burke

Ceist:

9 Deputy Ulick Burke asked the Minister for Finance the implications in terms of a reduction in staff numbers and savings in annual costs of the programme of rationalisation of State agencies outlined in budget 2009. [45145/08]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Finance)

In my Budget Statement on 14 October last, I announced that the Government had decided to implement 30 rationalisation decisions spread across 11 Government Departments. The details of the rationalisations, which will result in a reduction of some 41 bodies, were set out in Annex D of the Summary Budget Measures.

Implementation of these rationalisation decisions, which are a matter for the relevant parent Government Departments, involves amalgamating bodies, reassigning legislative and administrative functions, and discontinuing bodies in some cases, is a complex exercise. In light of this, my Department has requested all relevant Departments to prepare Implementation Plans by the 12th of December. Each Plan should cover the projected savings and the timeframes for implementation.

Consequently, it is not possible at this stage to identify the specific savings that this round of rationalisations will deliver or to set out a precise deadline for their delivery, as most of the proposals involve the amendment of legislation. However, it is Government policy that these changes should be implemented urgently with the objective of enhancing the relationship between citizens and the State while maximising the level of savings.

While cost-savings and economy are important, I wish to emphasis that alongside major savings in administrative overheads including staff numbers, a key outcome of this process is to deliver a more citizen-friendly system of government with better, more focused delivery of services.

I also hope to identify further bodies to be rationalised in the context of the next Estimates process.

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