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State Bodies

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 27 January 2011

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Ceisteanna (25)

Frank Feighan

Ceist:

25 Deputy Frank Feighan asked the Minister for Finance further to the report of the special group on public service numbers and expenditure which set out recommendations on the rationalisation of State agencies and quangos, the agencies or quangos that have been rationalised; the ones that remain to be rationalised; the total reduction in job numbers and the number employed in each agency or quango. [4333/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Finance)

The Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes outlined 43 rationalisation measures concerning State agencies and other bodies and information on the status of these proposals, including information on the numbers employed, as reported to my Department is set out in Table 1. In summary, 3 decisions have been taken to implement the proposed rationalisations in full. There will be a reduction of 20 bodies as a result. Decisions have also been taken to implement a further 11 proposals in part. Further information in relation to individual rationalisation decisions should be sought from the relevant Minister. These rationalisation decisions are in addition to the 30 decisions announced in Budget 2009, 19 of which have been implemented to date. Given the variety of factors that affect public service numbers policy, it is not possible to determine accurately the total reduction in public sector numbers associated with individual policy decisions taken to date. Overall public service numbers have reduced by over 12,000 since end 2008. This is due to a range of factors, including the moratorium on recruitment and promotion, the introduction of a new numbers control framework as recommended by the Special Group, the rationalisation of State Agencies and bodies and Government priorities in regard to public service provision. In addition, the public service numbers ceilings as set out on Page 64 of the National Recovery Plan 2011-2014 will see the number employed in the public service reduced to under 295,000 by the end of 2014.

I would also draw the Deputy's attention to Page 69 of the National Recovery Plan 2011-2014 where it is stated that the programme of State Agency rationalisation that commenced in 2008 will continue with a particular emphasis on:

reducing the number and range of agencies;

redeploying staff to areas of greatest need;

improving governance and performance arrangements; and

sharing services.

The reduction in expenditure allocations over the period of the National Recovery Plan 2011-2014 in conjunction with revised employment ceilings will, accordingly, require continued progress across Departments and Offices in the rationalisation of Agencies as appropriate.

Table 1: Agency Rationalisations in the Special Group Report

Proposal adopted

Numbers Employed

In Full

Partial

q4 2008

q4 2010

AGRICULTURE

Transfer export promotion function of An Bord Bia and BIM to Enterprise Ireland, transfer BIM’s other functions to D/AF&F and consider same for An Bord Bia

1

An Bord Bia

96

104

BIM

143

126

TOURISM, CULTURE & SPORT

Elimination of spending on Sports Campus Ireland

6

5

Transfer of Irish Film Board (IFB) functions to Enterprise Ireland and discontinuation of the investment fund

16

16

IFB only

COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY & NATURAL RESOURCES

Merge the Digital Hub Development Agency with EI/IDA

21

16

DHDA only

Merge ComReg and the new Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

Com Reg

120

125

Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

38

33

Transfer the Irish Film Classification Office into the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

Merge the OSI and the Valuation Office with the Property Registration Authority

317

290

OSI only

COMMUNITY, EQUALITY AND GAELTACT AFFAIRS

Discontinuation of Dormant Accounts Fund Board

1

0

0

Transfer Western Development Commission’s enterprise development functions to Enterprise Ireland

1

17

14

Discontinuation of the Family Support Agency

39

37

Table 1: Agency Rationalisations in the Special Group Report —continued

Proposal adopted

Numbers Employed

In Full

Partial

q4 2008

q4 2010

EDUCATION

Amalgamation of smaller primary schools

n/a

n/a

Discontinuation of Comhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG)

n/a

Rationalisation of VEC’s (33 to 16)

1

12,445

12,496

Rationalisation of third level institutions

1

11,785

10,907

Merge Higher Education Authority (HEA) and D/E&S

59

53

Discontinue funding for Grangegorman Development Agency

6

4

Discontinue National University of Ireland

1

no posts

no posts

Absorb National Education Welfare Board (NEWB) into D/E&S

103

101

Absorb National Council for Special Education (NCSE) into D/E&S

89

107

ENTERPRISE, TRADE & INNOVATION

Consolidate all indigenous enterprise support and sector marketing functions in Enterprise Ireland and rationalise the organisations losing functions as appropriate e.g. the County Enterprise Boards

903*

828*

EI only

County Enterprise Boards

122

130

Rationalise IDA & Enterprise Ireland overseas offices — will contribute to measures 19

282**

264**

IDA only

Shannon Development’s enterprise functions should be transferred to EI/IDA as appropriate. Surplus property assets should be realised for the benefit of the Exchequer.

132***

116***

SFADCO only

Rationalise all employment services provided/funded by the State into a single operation offering a consistent nationwide service

1

FÁS

2,242

1,936

Relocate all IR institutions to a single location with increased potential for shared services and efficiencies, and rationalise the industrial relations institutions over the medium term

Merge the Health and Safety Authority and the National Employment Rights Authority into one Work Place Inspectorate.

200

185

HSA only

Formally merge the functions of the Registrar of Friendly Societies and Companies Registration Office and secure additional efficiencies

Merge the Irish Takeover Panel with the Competition Authority

Table 1: Agency Rationalisations in the Special Group Report —continued

Proposal adopted

Numbers Employed

In Full

Partial

q4 2008

q4 2010

ENVIRONMENT, HERITAGE & LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Rationalise housing agencies and schemes

1

72

59

Rationalise the number of local authority structures into a single tier by discontinuing town councils and regional authorities, and reduce the remaining single tier from 34 city and county councils to 22 local authorities.

35,008

30,703

Merge the functions of Comhar into the Department

0

0

Valuation Office

Merge the Valuation Office and the Ordnance Survey of Ireland (OSI) with the Property Registration Authority (PRA)

Valuation Office

158

146

OSI

310

290

Office of the Commission for Public Service Appointments

Potential to merge the Office of the Commission for Public Service Appointments with the Office of the Ombudsman [It is intended that this proposal will be given legislative effect in the forthcoming Ombudsman (Amendment) Bill]

1

Office of the Ombudsman

94

88

CPSA

12

8

Office of the Ombudsman

Amalgamate ombudsmen/regulators offices into the Office of the Ombudsman

HEALTH

Merge the Health Research Board with single stream of science funding

84

71

Merge the Health Insurance Authority into the Financial Regulator

9

9

Table 1: Agency Rationalisations in the Special Group Report —continued

Proposal adopted

Numbers Employed

In Full

Partial

q4 2008

q4 2010

JUSTICE

Merge the Property Services Regulatory Authority with the Private Residential Tenancies Board

1

Property Services Regulatory Authority

11

11

Private Residential Tenancies Board

23

85

Transfer the Irish Film Classification Office into the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

8

I7

IFCO ONLY

Merge the Valuation Office and the Ordnance Survey of Ireland with the Property Registration Authority

1

686

588

PRA ONLY

SOCIAL PROTECTION

Merge Pensions Ombudsman with the Financial Service Ombudsman

Pensions Ombudsman

10

10

Merge Pensions Board with the Financial Regulator

Pensions Board

40

39

Department of the Taoiseach

Discontinue NESF and NCPP

1

24

19

Staff to NESDO

Table 1: Agency Rationalisations in the Special Group Report —continued

Proposal adopted

Numbers Employed

In Full

Partial

q4 2008

q4 2010

Attorney General’s Office

Discontinuation of Law Reform Commission

1

27

19

TRANSPORT

Merge the National Vehicle and Driver File into the Road Safety Authority

N/A

N/A

Proposed amalgamation of NRA and RPA (This is currently still a proposal and a Steering Group has been set up to examine the possibility) Numbers for 2008 NRA=146, RPA =257; Number for 2010 NRA=135, RPA=295

403

430

Examine the possibility of creating a single transport safety body comprising existing separate bodies (RSA, RSC, MSD, IAA) [The administrative co-location of the three units Air Accident Investigation Unit, Marine Casualty Investigation Board, and Railway Accident Investigation Unit will be achieved in the week commencing 31 January 2011 and work on the legislation to give statutory effect to the measures necessary to amalgamate the investigation units has commenced]

1

N/A

N/A

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