Written Answers - Decentralisation Programme.

Wednesday, 2 June 2004

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 586 No. 6

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  286.  Mr. J. Bruton  Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   if she has had a risk assessment carried out on possible consequential risks to the effectiveness of services provided by each Department or agency under her aegis which is to relocate under the Government’s decentralisation programme; if not, the reason therefor; and if so, if the risk assessment will be published, furnished to the Comptroller and Auditor General and accessible under the Freedom of Information Act 1997. [16855/04]

  287.  Mr. J. Bruton  Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   if the Secretary General of her Department has provided her with advice in pursuance of the Secretary General’s responsibility as Accounting Officer under public finance procedures as set out in table 2 of the Mullarkey report; and if not, if she has requested such advice from the Secretary General. [16870/04]

  289.  Mr. J. Bruton  Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   if she will take steps to ensure that the annual report of her Department will [1726]contain a risk assessment of decentralisation, as it affects her Department or agencies under its aegis, dealing with strategic, operational, financial and reputational risks as set out in paragraph 6.31 of the Mullarkey report. [16900/04]

  290.  Mr. J. Bruton   Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   if the audit committee of her Department will consider a risk assessment with regard to strategic, operational, financial and reputational risks of the implementation of the Government’s decentralisation proposals as they affect her Department or its agencies; and if not, the reason therefor, in view of the recommendation of the Mullarkey committee that such risk assessment be carried out. [16915/04]

  291.  Mr. J. Bruton   Information on John Bruton  Zoom on John Bruton   asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs  Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan   if her Secretary General has tendered advice to her in pursuance of his personal responsibility as Secretary General under public financial procedures for economy and efficiency in the administration of her Department on the impact in the short or long-term on the economy and the efficiency of administration of her Department or its agencies arising from the Government’s proposals for decentralisation. [16973/04]

Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Mary Coughlan): Information on Mary Coughlan  Zoom on Mary Coughlan  I propose to take Questions Nos. 286, 287 and 289 to 291, inclusive, together.

Following on the Government’s decision in relation to decentralisation of my Department, it is the responsibility of the Secretary General and the Department to ensure that this decision is implemented efficiently and in a cost effective manner. A key objective of the decentralisation programme for my Department will be to ensure that the relocation of staff and business areas is implemented in a planned way with minimal disruption to customer service.

A detailed implementation plan covering all aspects of the programme for my Department and its two agencies involved is currently being finalised and will be submitted to the Decentralisation Implementation Group in the coming week. This plan will include a high level risk analysis will be undertaken over the coming months by each business unit involved in the programme. The audit committee of my Department will review the structures and arrangements in place to identify and deal with the risks associated with decentralisation.

The undertaking of a risk analysis is a standard aspect of my Department’s planning process. It is not my intention to publish the findings or to include details of this analysis in my Department’s annual report. However, details will be made available to the Comptroller and Auditor General on request and any freedom of [1727]information requests will be dealt with within the freedom of information framework.

Question No. 287 answered with Question
No. 286.


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