Decentralization Plan “Botched”

By Frank Shouldice, Contributor
Febuary / March 2006

Government plans to decentralize civil service employees from Dublin have met with stiff resistance within staff. Only one in nine employees have said they are prepared to relocate with their job. Most government departments are situated in the capital, but the decentralization program aims to move 7,400 workers to a variety of locations around the country.

With just 753 applications received for transfer, the unwillingness of departmental staff to relocate could pose serious problems, particularly in specialized agencies such as the Ordinance Survey of Ireland (marked for Dungarvan, Co. Waterford) and Development Corporation Ireland (with 123 staff earmarked to move to new premises in Limerick).

The proposed transfer of a number of state bodies — Pobail (headed to Clifden, Co. Galway), Bórd Iascaigh Mhara (to Clonakilty, Co. Cork) and Fáilte Ireland (to Killarney, Co. Kerry) — revealed that no staff member had taken up the offer of relocation. “The potential loss of experience and knowledge by these agencies and units is alarming,” claimed Fine Gael finance spokesman Richard Bruton, describing the whole program as “a botched job” that called for immediate review. ♦

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