The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2012 has been given the go ahead by Government to be published. This legislation will allow the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government to finalise arrangements for the rationalisation of state agencies under control of the Department from 21 to 12.
Changes to the agency structure include: the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland is the merge with the Environmental Protection Agency; the Local Government Audit Service is to merge with the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General; the Building Regulations Advisory Body will absorb into the Department; Limerick Northside and Limerick Southside Regeneration Agency will be merged into Limerick Local Authorities; Comhar (Sustainable Development Council) is to be integrated into the National Economic & Social Council (NESC); the Dormant Accounts Board will be dismantled; Local Government Management Service Board and the Local Government Computer Services Board will merge into the Local Government Management Agency, which will provide the shared services in industrial relations, ICT, procurement and library services for all 34 local authorities; and the library Council will be subsumed into an existing public body.
The Government has also approved the amendment of the Local Government Act 2001 to provide for the establishment of appropriate management arrangements for Limerick City and County Councils and North and South Tipperary County Councils prior to their respective mergers in 2014. The principal objective of the change will be to enable the same person to be manager for more than one city/county council. The amendments are to be brought forward at Committee Stage of the Bill.