Dáil Éireann - Volume 628 - 22 November, 2006
Written Answers. - Decentralisation Programme.
Mr. Ring Mr. Ring
Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Finance the number of the proposed decentralisation moves announced in December 2003, in respect of which no property solutions have yet been identified. [39184/06]
Mr. Cowen Mr. Cowen
Mr. Cowen: The Decentralisation Programme envisages the relocation of some 10,600 civil and public servants to more that 50 locations outside of Dublin. By any standards, this represents a major undertaking, involving property procurement, legal, construction, H.R. and operational issues.
The Office of Public Works has direct responsibility for the property aspects relating to most of these locations. In the case of a small number of locations e.g. Birr (FÁS), Mitchelstown (Bus Éireann), Shannon (Enterprise Ireland) and Wexford (N.B.A.), the responsibility for the acquisition of property solutions rests with the relevant agencies.
Since the announcement of the programme, the Office of Public Works has been engaged in an extensive exercise with the aim of sourcing a range of property solutions covering all of its locations. The solutions include development sites, purchase or lease of existing buildings as well as purchase or lease of proposed buildings with planning permission.
To date, property acquisition negotiations have been completed or significantly advanced by the Office of Public Works in 35 locations in respect of permanent accommodation solutions. The solutions to date include a combination of O.P.W. owned sites, local authority owned sites and privately owned sites. In a number of cases, it has been decided to lease or purchase buildings. In parallel with the acquisition of permanent accommodation solutions, the Office of Public Works has been involved in sourcing temporary sol utions in some 20 locations in order to accommodate advance parties. These temporary solutions will allow the early movement of staff to their desired locations and will also facilitate them regarding their domestic family arrangements.
In a number of locations various proposals are still being evaluated and firm, preferred solutions have yet to be identified. These locations include Dundalk, Kildare, Monaghan, Arklow, Portarlington, Ballinasloe, Mallow, Carrick-on-Shannon (Central Fisheries Board) and Macroom.
The Decentralisation Implementations Group on its recent report expressed its satisfaction on progress to date in terms of property acquisition. The Group noted that significant progress has been made as is evidenced by the fact that approximately 500 staff are currently in new locations and that over 2,100 staff have already been reassigned to decentralising posts.
Taking into account the permanent and temporary solutions already sourced, the expectation is that there will be accommodation for approximately 2,000 staff in 29 locations by the end of 2007. Furthermore, it is expected that upwards of 6,800 staff will be accommodated in decentralised locations by the end of 2009. The progress achieved to date on the property front confirms that the Decentralisation Programme is well advanced and on course to achieve the Government’s objective.
Dáil Éireann 628 Written Answers. Decentralisation Programme.