Written Answers - Decentralisation Programme.

Thursday, 25 May 2006

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 620 No. 92

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  156.  Mr. Bruton  Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton   asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs  Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern   the number of persons who have opted to remain in Dublin who have been reassigned from decentralising offices; and the numbers who remain to be assigned. [20310/06]

  157.  Mr. Bruton  Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton   asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs  Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern   the date on which it is expected that each of the decentralisation moves within his Department or of agencies under his Department will be completed. [20324/06]

  158.  Mr. Bruton  Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton   asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs  Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern   the posts of specialist skill which are planned for removal under the decentralisation move; and the number of those who have indicated a willingness to move their posts within units of and agencies under his Department. [20338/06]

  159.  Mr. Bruton  Information on Richard Bruton  Zoom on Richard Bruton   asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs  Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern   the number of persons who have been assigned to each of the decentralised locations; the number of those who are new recruits; and the number moving on promotion. [20360/06]

Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. D. Ahern): Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern  I propose to take Questions Nos. 156 to 159, inclusive, together.

Under the Government’s decentralisation programme, the Development Cooperation Directorate of the Department of Foreign Affairs, which is Irish Aid’s Headquarters and currently based in Dublin, will decentralise to [913]Limerick. This is scheduled to take place during the first half of 2007 and will involve the relocation to Limerick of 124 posts.

Already, a total of 35 posts in Irish Aid Headquarters, including that of Director General, are filled by officers who have signalled their intention to decentralise to Limerick. Nine of these officers were already serving within the Department and the remainder is made up of 18 officers who have been recruited from other Departments and Offices via the Central Applications Facility, five officers who have been assigned from inter-Departmental promotion panels and three newly-recruited officers. Sixteen officers who are serving elsewhere in the Department, mostly abroad, have also applied to decentralise to Limerick and will be taking up duty in Irish Aid.

The above total of 51 represents some 41% of the posts being transferred to Limerick. The process of recruiting staff via the Central Applications Facility is ongoing. It is envisaged that the staff in general service grades, some 65 officers, who are not decentralising to Limerick, will move to other sections within the Department on a phased basis, as incoming staff who wish to do so are assigned.

There are three categories of development specialists assigned to Irish Aid: Principal Development Specialists, Senior Development Specialists and Development Specialists.

Three Principal Development Specialists serve in Irish Aid headquarters in Dublin. None of the three has applied to decentralise to Limerick.

There are twelve Senior Development Specialists in Irish Aid headquarters. None of the twelve has applied to decentralise to Limerick. Two Senior Development Specialists originally applied to decentralise to Limerick, but subsequently withdrew their applications.

There are nine Development Specialist posts in headquarters. Five Development Specialists are scheduled to decentralise. Of these, four commenced employment since the announcement of the decentralisation programme in December 2003, and one applied via the Central Applications Facility.

Discussions are ongoing centrally and locally with the trade union IMPACT about the issues involved in decentralisation, many of which have a wider Civil Service dimension. It would be my hope that a greater number of specialists will, in time, volunteer to decentralise to Limerick.

I should say finally that there are 18 specialists in our Aid Embassies abroad, which embassies have of course a crucial role in the implementation of the programme.


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