Wednesday, 5 November 2008
Dáil Eireann Debate
290. Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the current and capital expenditure which has been incurred to date in respect of the decentralisation projects which have been deferred until a further review occurs in 2011. [38895/08]
291. Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the number of persons who have been relocated to each of the decentralised locations established by units or agencies under his Department; the floor areas and occupancy capacity of each of the facilities concerned; and the date by which it is intended to complete the transfer of remaining staff. [38910/08]
292. Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the number of staff moves that have been necessitated by the decentralisation programme in units or agencies in his Department distinguishing the moves at managerial or technical level. [38925/08]
Under the Government’s decentralisation programme announced in 2003, 125 posts attached to the Development Co-operation Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs were to decentralise to Limerick. The Division is the Headquarters of Irish Aid. Following sanction of an additional 20 posts by the Department of Finance in 2005, the total number of posts attached to Irish Aid Headquarters increased to 145. Of these, 138 are transferring to Limerick.
The decentralisation of Irish Aid has not been postponed due to budgetary considerations. No expenditure has therefore been incurred in respect of a deferred decentralisation project. Currently 95 staff of the Department of Foreign Affairs are working in interim office accommodation in Limerick City. The decentralisation of Irish Aid will be completed next week, when staff move into a new headquarters building in the city. The Office of Public Works has sourced the permanent office accommodation for Irish Aid in Limerick. They have stated that the floor space measures approximately 4,300 square metres, with capacity to accommodate a total of 170 staff, to allow for any future expansion.
Of the 108 staff assigned to Irish Aid at the time decentralisation was announced, 17%, or 18 officials, were transferred to other areas of the Department or to other Departments as a direct result of decentralisation. It is in the nature of the work of the Department that staff transfer between Divisions at HQ, and indeed to Embassies abroad, on a regular basis. This routine rotation accounts for the balance of the staff transfers from Irish Aid. While a small number of specialist or technical staff have left Irish Aid in recent years, none has done so as a direct result of decentralisation. Of the 18 officials transferred as a direct result of decentralisation, 6 were at Assistant Principal Officer level or higher.
293. Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the facilities in Dublin which units or agencies under his Department, plan to vacate as a result of the decentralisation programme; the floor areas involved; and when it is planned that they will be realised. [38940/08]
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Deputy Micheál Martin): Under the Government’s Decentralisation Programme, the Development Co-operation Directorate of the Department of Foreign Affairs, which manages the Irish Aid programme, is currently completing its decentralisation to Limerick. In the coming weeks, the staff of the Directorate will move into the new permanent Headquarters in Limerick.
We are advised by the Office of Public Works that, following the completion of this move, approximately 3,600 square metres of floor area will be vacated in the Directorate’s current offices in Bishop’s Square, Dublin 2.
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