Tuesday, 15 November 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
468. Deputy Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Defence the number of Croke Park agreement projects that each State agency under his aegis is progressing; if he will list each project by Department in tabular form; the amount to be saved by each project; the number that have been completed since the agreement came into force; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34154/11]
Minister for Defence (Deputy Alan Shatter): The bodies under the aegis of my Department are the Civil Defence Board, the Army Pensions Board and Coiste an Asgard. In July, the Government approved a proposal to begin drafting legislation to transfer the functions of the Civil Defence Board back into the Department of Defence. The Heads of the Civil Defence (Repeal) Bill were subsequently agreed by Government in August. The Bill is currently being drafted and it is anticipated that it will be published in early 2012. If enacted, the Bill will repeal the Civil Defence Act, 2002, dissolve the Civil Defence Board and transfer its functions, property rights, liabilities and other responsibilities to the Department of Defence.
The Army Pensions Board is an independent statutory body whose main function is to investigate applications for pensions, allowances and gratuities under the Army Pensions Acts. The Board has two staff members.
Coiste an Asgard was the company set up to manage the National Sail Training Scheme. In September 2008, the company’s sail training vessel ‘Asgard II’ sank in the Bay of Biscay. In December 2009, the previous Government announced that the National Sail Training Scheme was to be discontinued and the funding for 2010 was cancelled. The Company has been inactive since and there is no crew or staff left on the payroll. The winding-up process is well advanced and it is anticipated that the company will be in a position to close by the end of this year, following a final audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General.
It should be noted that the Implementation Body for the Agreement is currently considering the progress reported on the implementation of Action Plans under Croke Park in each sector during the period April to September 2011. The Body is due to publish a summary of the progress reported to it on its website shortly.
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