The Government last week announced its intention to implement the recommendations of the Review of Certain Decentralisation Programme Projects, which was carried out by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in liaison with the OPW and the relevant Departments.
The review looked at key areas including: property and cost issues; the possibilities for integration with other regional or national offices; staffing and IR issues; and any business, operational effectiveness and related considerations that pertained, including any proposals to curtail and close down programmes and agencies. The decentralisation programme was described by Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin TD, as “ill-conceived”.
Of the projects reviewed, 13 of those in temporary accommodation are to remain in situ. These will be managed in the same way as other regionally based offices and Departments. These projects include: Athy (Office of the Revenue Commissioners); Carlow (Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation); Cavan (Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources); Claremorris (OPW); Clifden (Department Environment, Community and Local Government); Dundalk (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland); Kilkenny (Health and Safety Authority); Portarlington (Department of Justice and Equality); Portlaoise (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment); Portlaoise (Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine); Roscrea (Equality Authority); Shannon (Enterprise Ireland); and Thurles (Garda Fixed Penalty Office and Garda Central Vetting Unit).
The following projects are cases where the temporary accommodation currently being provided is no longer viable and should be wound down: Birr (FAS); Portlaoise (Equality Tribunal); and Tubbercurry (Department of Environment, Community and Local Government).
Permanent accommodation projects which are to remain in situ include: Clonakilty (Bord Iascaigh Mharaigh); Limerick (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade); Roscommon (Property Registration Authority); and Tipperary (Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service).
Furthermore, the Department of Defence believe that a move of the Defence Forces to The Curragh would be the optimal choice for business effectiveness reasons. The review also suggests that administrative centres are to be retained at Newbridge (Department of Defence).