Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Ceisteanna (495)

Seán Fleming

Ceist:

495. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of State agencies and public bodies that have been merged or abolished in each year since 2011, under the remit of his Department; the annual savings associated with each body; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21793/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Environment)

My Department’s agency modernisation/rationalisation programme has seen the number of agencies reduce from 21 to 11. A further reduction to 9 is planned for 2014 with the merger of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland and the dissolution of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority. The details are set out in the following Table.

Action

Status

Merge Local Government Computer Services Board & Local Government Management Services Board

Completed August 2012, new Local Government Management Agency established.

Merge 2 Regeneration Agencies in Limerick into Local Authorities

Completed in July 2012.

Subsume An Chomhairle Leabharlanna into existing public body

Completed November 2012 – subsumed by Local Government Management Agency

Comhar to be integrated into the National Economic and Social Council.

Completed January 2012

Merge the Affordable Housing Partnership, National Building Agency and Centre for Housing Research into a new body

Completed August 2012 - Housing and Sustainable Communities Agency established

Discontinue the Dormant Accounts Board

Completed December 2012

Merge Environmental Protection Agency and Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland

Preparatory work well advanced. Merger to be completed later in 2014, following enactment of underpinning legislation

Dissolve the Dublin Docklands Development Authority

To be completed late in 2014 following enactment of necessary legislation

Fire Services Council

Functions assimilated into the Department in 2011

Rent Tribunal to merge with the Private Residential Tenancies Board ( PRTB)

Administrative functions transferred to the Private Residential Tenancies Board, pending the enactment of the necessary legislation

The savings achieved through the rationalisation programme to date include savings in terms of annual operating costs of the order of €1m arising from the dissolution of An Chomhairle Leabharlanna and an annual saving on rent for the Housing and Sustainable Communities Agency of €150,000, due to the transfer of the properties of An Chomhairle to the Housing Agency. In addition, the NBA headquarters was sold in March 2012 for €2.84 million and savings arising from the Rent Tribunal/PRTB merger are estimated at €70,000 – €100,000 annually. The most significant savings arising in the Department’s group of agencies flow from the reduction in staff numbers, which have fallen to 690 as of end of Q1 2014, the latest date for which figures are available, as compared to a peak of 951 at the end of 2008 – a reduction of 261 (27%).