Dáil Éireann - Volume 662 - 07 October, 2008
Written Answers. - Departmental Bodies.
Deputy Ciarán Lynch Deputy Ciarán Lynch
Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the semi-State bodies, boards or agencies for which his Department is responsible; the number he was responsible for setting up; the number that will be merged or abolished; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33512/08]
Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív
Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív: Details of the public bodies funded by, or within the ambit of, my Department are:
An Coimisinéir Teanga
The Board of the Commissioners of Charitable Donations & Bequests for Ireland
The Dormant Accounts Board
 National Advisory Committee on Drugs
National Drugs Strategy Team
Údarás na Gaeltachta
Western Development Commission
My Department also provides funding for the following North/South Implementation Bodies jointly with the Department of Culture Arts and Leisure in Northern Ireland:
An Foras Teanga — which is comprised of Foras na Gaeilge and Tha Boord o Ulstèr-Scotch
and Waterways Ireland.
In addition, my Department provides funding to Pobal to centrally manage a number of programmes.
For the sake of completeness, I should also mention that a number of local development agencies receive funding either directly through my Department or through Pobal for local delivery of community and rural development measures. This number comprises a total of 94 local development bodies and 184 community development projects. Arising from the cohesion process, which involves the merger of overlapping LEADER and Partnership groups, the number of local development bodies will ultimately be reduced from 94 to 54.
Since my appointment as Minister in 2002, one new agency, Oifig Choimisinéir na dTeangacha Oifigiúla was established. For completeness I should add that during this time Pobal was reconstituted from the former Area Development Management Limited and that the Dormant Accounts Disbursement Board was replaced by the Dormant Accounts Board.
The Charities Bill, which I anticipate will go to Report Stage in Dáil Éireann in the current Dáil session, provides for the dissolution of the Commissioners of Charitable Donations & Bequests for Ireland. The Bill further proposes that a new Charities Regulatory Authority will take over the functions of the Commissioners, as well as assuming a broader regulatory role for charities operating in Ireland, so as to ensure accountability and to protect against abuse of charitable status and fraud, thus enhancing public confidence in the charities sector.
In accordance with recent decisions adopted by the North South Ministerial Council and in order to secure good practice and value for money, the functions and funding for Bord na Leabhar Gaeilge, in addition to the functions of Colmcille in Ireland and Northern Ireland, have now transferred to Foras na Gaeilge.
I would also advise the Deputy that Foras na Gaeilge — an agency of the North South Language Body -, in order to promote the Irish language on an all-island basis, is currently engaged in a review of the funding provided to 19 Irish language organisations with a view to ensuring optimum value for money going forward.
In the Budget for 2008, the Minister for Finance announced an efficiency review that required all Departments to review the scope for savings in a wide range of areas including the scope for the rationalisation of State Agencies. This was taken further in July, when the Minister for Finance specifically asked for a further review of all State Agencies to examine whether they can share services, whether it would be appropriate to absorb some of their functions back into their parent Departments or whether some agencies should be amalgamated or abolished.
The Department of Finance is working with all Government Departments on this matter and issues arising from this are being considered in the context of the Budget for 2009.
Dáil Éireann 662 Written Answers. Departmental Bodies.