Wednesday, 26 May 2010
Dáil Éireann Debate
254. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding the regional education offices; her plans in this regard; and the rationale for same. [22139/10]
Tánaiste and Minister for Education and Skills (Deputy Mary Coughlan): Due to staffing constraints the Department has decided to cease its regional office service and re-allocate staff to priority work in the Department. This decision has been taken based on a combination of factors the outcome of a review of the Regional Offices in 2009 following a Government budget decision to scale back their activity; the impact on the Department of various measures to reduce civil service numbers; the outcome of work prioritisation across the Department which has identified significant capacity shortfalls in several priority areas.
Staff will continue to be allocated to work in their current offices. They will continue to deal with certain priority issues such as the National Drugs Strategy, Limerick Regeneration and Dormant Accounts as well as other priority areas. The Department will be represented on key strategy national committees. However generic representational activity at regional and local levels will cease. This decision arises from the need to make the best possible use of resources in these challenging times.
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