Dáil Éireann - Volume 481 - 08 October, 1997
Written Answers. - Office of Public Works.
Mr. Penrose Mr. Penrose
25. Mr. Penrose asked the Minister for Finance the proposals, if any, he has to reorganise the Office of Public Works in view of the fact that the Government has decided not to transfer back  to the Office of Public Works any of the functions currently held by the Department of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15697/97]
Minister of State at the Department of Finance (Mr. Cullen) Minister of State at the Department of Finance (Mr. Cullen)
Minister of State at the Department of Finance (Mr. Cullen): I welcome this question which provides me with an opportunity to inform the House of my plans for the Office of Public Works.
I am currently overseeing an extensive reorganisation of the office. My intention is that best practice in national and international terms will be applied to all areas of the Office of Public Works's operations. The office will be structured as a number of business units which operate on commercial lines and have systems in place to measure performance and compare this with the private sector. Much progress has already been made to this end and I am happy to be able to inform the Deputy that initial indications are that Office of Public Works can provide services just as efficiently and cost-effectively as private sector equivalents.
OPW is a substantial organisation, employing 1,300 staff at locations throughout the country and handling business on behalf of other Government Departments and offices to the value of approximately £240 million per annum.
The Office provides services in the following areas:
— design and project management for building projects,
— conservation management and advisory service.
— provides a full range of engineering services including maintenance of arterial drainage schemes and management of flood relief schemes.
— manages State property for all Government Departments and Offices (approximately one million square metres of space) in 1,300 buildings all around the country.
Property Maintenance/Project Management
— maintains State buildings
— manages construction and conservation projects.
— provides a central procurement function for all Departments and Offices.
— provides a range of ancillary services including management of the State art collection, manages Dublin Castle conference centre, provides logistical support for major public and civic events. 
Dáil Éireann 481 Written Answers. Office of Public Works.