Dáil Éireann - Volume 641 - 20 November, 2007
Written Answers. - Decentralisation Programme.
Deputy Denis Naughten Deputy Denis Naughten
Deputy Denis Naughtenasked the Tánaiste and Minister for Finance the timetable for the completion of decentralisation of Government Departments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29715/07]
Deputy Brian Cowen Deputy Brian Cowen
Deputy Brian Cowen:A progress report by the Decentralisation Implementation Group (DIG) was submitted to me and published on 8th October last. The Group reported that implementation of the civil service element of the Decentralisation Programme is progressing satisfactorily. At the end of October 2007, over 3,000 staff had been assigned to decentralising posts. Almost 1,300 of these are currently in place, in 20 new locations, while the remainder are being trained in advance of decentralisation to a new location, as soon as accommodation becomes available. In addition to these 20 locations there are a further 9 locations in which state agencies have established a presence.
It is envisaged that by the end of 2007 public services will be delivered from 33 of the decentralisation towns with approximately 2,000 staff transferred. The precise numbers moving within that time frame will depend on the availability of property as well as timeframes for completion of fit out and installation of necessary ICT (information communications technology) and telecommunication cabling and equipment.
The OPW conducts a review of the property timeframes for permanent accommodation on an ongoing basis. Based on its experience to date in relation to timeframes for property selection and acquisition, brief and design issues, tendering periods, planning issues and contractual arrangements, it has provided an updated schedule of the likely availability of accommodation. In that context I expect that the Civil Service elements of the programme should be substantially completed by end 2009.
While I am satisfied with the progress reported so far, I am anxious to ensure that the momentum of the programme is maintained and developed and in that context my Department has now asked Secretaries General of decentralising departments to review these timeframes in association with the OPW and the DIG to assess where earlier progress could be made either in relation to permanent accommodation or advance accommodation.
Dáil Éireann 641 Written Answers. Decentralisation Programme.