Written Answers - Decentralisation Programme.

Thursday, 29 June 2006

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 622 No. 31

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  94.  Mr. Deasy  Information on John Deasy  Zoom on John Deasy   asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs  Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern   the reason the decentralisation of Irish Aid will take place on a phased basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25170/06]

  99.  Mr. Noonan  Information on Michael Noonan  Zoom on Michael Noonan   asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs  Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern   the timescale for the decentralisation of divisions within his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25158/06]

  104.  Mr. Gogarty  Information on Paul Nicholas Gogarty  Zoom on Paul Nicholas Gogarty   asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs  Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern   the progress which has been made in the decentralisation of his Department’s overseas aid division, Irish Aid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25211/06]

  115.  Mr. Ring  Information on Michael Ring  Zoom on Michael Ring   asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs  Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern   the number of staff, working with Irish Aid, volunteering to decentralise; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25162/06]

  122.  Ms Burton  Information on Joan Burton  Zoom on Joan Burton   asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs  Information on Dermot Ahern  Zoom on Dermot Ahern   if he will report on the decentralisation of his Department and it’s overseas aid division, Irish Aid; if he will clarify reported remarks that his Department are pursuing a very strong integrationist agenda and that the decentralisation of Irish Aid will take place on a phased basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24945/06]

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs (Mr. C. Lenihan): Information on Conor Lenihan  Zoom on Conor Lenihan  I propose to take Questions Nos. 94, 99, 104, 115 and 122 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 Limerick. Already, a total of 37 posts in Irish Aid Headquarters, including that of Director General, are filled by officers who have signalled their intention to decentralise to Limerick. A further fifteen officers are expected to take up duty at headquarters by early September and six officers serving elsewhere in the Department, mostly abroad, have also applied to decentralise to Limerick. The above total of 58 represents some 47% of the posts being transferred to Limerick.

It is expected that the move will take place in mid-2007. With any move of 124 staff, manage[1705]ment concerns would dictate that the move be carried out in a manner that will minimise disruption. This may mean that there is some phasing of the move over a relatively short period of time.

Irish Aid’s development assistance programme will remain an integral part of the foreign policy of the Government of Ireland. Development co-operation policy is rooted in our foreign policy, in particular its objectives of peace and justice and reflects our long-standing commitment to human rights and fairness in international relations and as such is inseparable from Irish foreign policy as a whole.


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