Thursday, 18 April 2013

Ceisteanna (192)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

192. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of new State bodies that have been established under the aegis of his Department since February 2011; the number of such bodies subject to a sunset clause; the number of new public bodies currently being planned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18339/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Environment)

The State Bodies established under the aegis of my Department since March 2011 are as follows:

- The Housing and Sustainable Communities Agency

- The Local Government Management Agency

These bodies were established under the Local Government Services (Corporate Bodies) Acts 1971 to 2012. Section 5 of the Act provides that the Minister may by order at any time revoke an establishment order.

The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2012, enacted in June 2012, provided the legal framework for further implementation of the Department’s Agency rationalisation programme with the overall number of Agencies reduced from 21 to 10. The Local Government Management Services Board and the Local Government Computer Services Board were merged with the establishment of the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) in August 2012. An Chomhairle Leabharlanna was dissolved on 1 November 2012 and its key residual functions were subsumed into the Local Government Management Agency. The Housing and Sustainable Communities Agency (HSCA), also established in 2012, rationalises the functions of the National Building Agency (NBA), the Affordable Homes Partnership (AHP) and the Centre for Housing Research (CHR).

The operations of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) will be wound up by the end of 2013; the intervening transitional period will allow the Authority to progress elements of on-going work and to make the necessary preparations for the migration to new arrangements, to be decided by Government. Critical Reviews of possible mergers between some of the Department’s Agencies and other Public Bodies were conducted in 2012 and resulted in a decision to merge the Environmental Protection Agency and the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland by mid-2014.

The Government decided in December 2011, based on the recommendations of an independent assessment and in line with the commitment in the Programme for Government, to establish a public water utility company, Irish Water, to take over the operational and capital delivery functions of local authorities in the water services area. Following further analysis by my Department together with NewERA, the Government decided that Irish Water should be established as an independent State owned subsidiary within the Bord Gáis Éireann Group.