Dáil Éireann - Volume 374 - 14 October, 1987
Written Answers. - Social Welfare Regional Centres.
Mr. J. Fahey Mr. J. Fahey
132. Mr. J. Fahey asked the Minister for Social Welfare if Waterford is to be one of the six regional centres outside Dublin to benefit under the decentralisation programme of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods) Michael J. Woods
Minister for Social Welfare (Dr. Woods): The decentralisation programme for my Department does not envisage the setting up of six regional centres outside of Dublin. The programme as recently announced by the Government envisages the transfer of a  bloc of staff to Sligo and planning for this move is in progress.
Apart from this, the Department are devising a range of measures to provide a more localised service for its clients. This is an ongoing programme involving practically all aspects of the Department's operations. One-stop-shop facilities where claimants can inquire about and conduct the full range of their social welfare business are being provided in a number of the Department's local offices. In Cork recently a pilot scheme was begun of accepting medical certificates, which are normally posted to Dublin, from disability benefit claimants and keying them in directly to the Department's computers for processing and issue of cheques.
It is intended over time to make facilities of this nature available as widely as possible throughout the country as resources allow. This may require a strengthening of the Department's management at local and regional levels. However, decisions on this have not yet been taken as developments are still at an early stage.
Dáil Éireann 374 Written Answers. Social Welfare Regional Centres.