Tuesday, 24 February 2004
Dáil Eireann Debate
512. Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if his Department has carried out a risk assessment of the decentralisation plans announced by the Minister for Finance on budget day, in so far as they may impact either directly or indirectly on his Department, or an agency or body operating under the aegis of his Department; when he expects to receive the risk assessment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6015/04]
Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Éamon Ó Cuív): The assessment of the impact of risks arising from decentralisation is clearly important. Strategies identified and mitigating any risks will be pursued, drawing on the resources of the departmental decentralisation committee and the experience of Departments which have decentralised functions in the past. My Department’s membership of the central liaison committee will also assist in this regard.
513. Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the locations to which any part of his Department has already been decentralised; the years in which each such decentralisation took place; the total number of staff who are now employed by his Department in each such location; the number of such staff who were relocated from within his Department; the number of such staff who were transferred from other Departments; the number of such staff who were directly recruited; the total number of job changes and people changes which were required to achieve the decentralisation; the cost of the decentralisation to each such location; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6030/04]
Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Éamon Ó Cuív): As the Deputy is aware, my Department was established in June 2002. The Gaeltacht division of my Department was decentralised to Na Forbacha, County Galway, since 1980. The total staff now employed in this location is 46. The detailed records sought by the Deputy are not readily available given the passage of time and the various changes of Departmental functions which have occurred since that time.
514. Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs the number of staff within his Department who have to date volunteered for the programme of decentralisation announced by the Minister for Finance on budget day; the grades of the staff concerned; the locations for which they have volunteered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6045/04]
Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Éamon Ó Cuív): I should say at the outset that my own Department has received 150 unsolicited applications from staff of other Departments wishing to decentralise to Knock Airport.
The staff of my Department have not yet been requested to indicate their interest in decentralising, pending resolution centrally of a co-ordinated process for such arrangements. Six officials in my Department have applied through personnel division for posts in other Departments decentralised locations as follows: one higher executive officer — Donegal town and Buncrana; one higher executive officer — Drogheda, Carrick-on-Shannon, Longford and Sligo; one higher executive officer — Limerick; one executive officer — Tullamore, Kilkenny, Newbridge, The Curragh and Portlaoise; one clerical officer — Achill Sound, Ballina, Castlebar and Sligo; and one clerical officer — Tullamore.
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