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Originally published by
O Cuiv insists decentralisation on schedule
Tuesday, 27th July, 2004

The Minister for Community, Rural Affairs and the Gaeltacht, Mr Ó Cuív said today the decentralisation of his department to Co Mayo will be completed within the next three years.

The Minister made his comments today after two senior ministers yesterday said that decentralisation would not be completed in the three-year deadline set out by the outgoing Minister for Finance, Mr McCreevy, in his budget last December.

Mr Ó Cuív said it would be important that there would be no row back or fundamental change in the objective of the Government to introduce radical decentralisation around the country.

However, he said he felt that most, but not all, of the Government departments which have been targeted would be decentralised within the time frame.

Meanwhile, the IMPACT trade union has welcomed today’s statement by Minister of State, Mr Willie O’Dea, which advocated building a consensus on the future of public service decentralisation . But the union, which represents 1,600 staff earmarked for decentralisation , said it would not be enough to simply implement existing decentralisation proposals over a longer time period.

IMPACT National Secretary Peter Nolan said a new timetable was necessary, but not sufficient, to develop workable decentralisation .

Mr Nolan said: “We welcome Minister O’Dea’s call for consensus building. But this requires a reassessment of the entire programme, not just the time scale. Earlier this month the Finance Department published data that showed most specialist public servants were unwilling to relocate with their existing organisations. The inevitable result is that decentralisation is simply not practical for organisations that depend heavily on specialist staff.

You cannot run the probation service without qualified probation officers, the Health and Safety Authority without qualified safety inspectors, or Comhairle without specialist advisors. We need a new approach that focuses on practical decentralisation , which protects service delivery and which does not cost the taxpayer a fortune,” he said.

Does a potential Minister for State need to publicly declare support for Decentralisation for consideration or is our Eammon making sure he keeps his job by putting the location in such a place that there would be no other contenders for the position?

Appeasement is a skill both myself and this current government might want to learn 😀


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