Dáil Éireann - Volume 672 - 28 January, 2009
Written Answers. - Decentralisation Programme.
Deputy Joanna Tuffy Deputy Joanna Tuffy
Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism when the decentralisation to Killarney will be completed; the number of employees who chose to transfer from Dublin to Killarney; his views on the fact that there may be an issue with the institutional memory in the Department, particularly at a time when funding is contracting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2268/09]
Deputy Joan Burton Deputy Joan Burton
Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism if accommodation has been purchased to facilitate the decentralisation of bodies under the aegis of his Department; when he expects to begin again the decentralisation process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2269/09]
Deputy Martin Cullen Deputy Martin Cullen
Deputy Martin Cullen: I propose to take Questions Nos. 133 and 135 together.
The Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism was designated for relocation to Killarney, Co. Kerry, under the Government’s Decentralisation Programme, which was announced in the 2004 Budget. The Department, with a staff of 130, excluding the National Archives, was designated an “early mover” by the Decentralisation Implementation Group (DIG).
As only 10 of the existing staff of the Department opted to transfer to Killarney, it was clear that the impact of the implementation of decentralisation could be significant if not managed properly, particularly in relation to the potential loss of institutional memory. Accordingly the Department set itself a key corporate goal in its 2005-2007 Statement of Strategy to manage the organisational challenge while continuing to deliver a quality customer service during the implementation of the Decentralisation Programme. In order to meet the needs of new staff transferring into the Department a comprehensive training plan was put in place, which was regularly reviewed and revised. Procedures Manuals were also prepared in the financial area and in the case of the Department’s major capital programmes.
To specifically address the potential loss of institutional memory, the transfer of staff into the Department was planned carefully and carried out on a phased basis over a number of years with appropriate training given to new staff as required. The Department has continued to operate successfully and at full capacity throughout the process. To date, 79 members of staff (including two service officers who were recruited locally) have relocated to new purpose built offices in Killarney. Of that number, 37 staff members relocated from Dublin.
 The Department is currently in the process of arranging for the transfer of the remaining officials from the Department in Dublin who have opted to transfer to Killarney while simultaneously assessing how best to provide an efficient and effective service to its stakeholders, including meeting the needs of the Minister, the Minister of State and the Houses of the Oireachtas in the context of implementing Government decisions on decentralisation. No accommodation has been purchased to facilitate the decentralisation of the three State Agencies under the aegis of the Department — the Arts Council, the Irish Sports Council and Fáilte Ireland. The decentralisation of these Agencies has been deferred pending a review in 2011.
Question No. 134 answered with Question No. 124.
Question No. 135 answered with Question No. 133.
Question No. 136 answered with Question No. 99.
Dáil Éireann 672 Written Answers. Decentralisation Programme.