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Department of Finance Update on the Decentralisation Programme

September 2009

Current Position on the Programme (September 2009)

 

Current position on the Decentralisation Programme

The Minister for Finance announced in the Budget in October 2008 that the Government had reviewed the Decentralisation Programme and had identified priority elements on which implementation should proceed.  This would result in the relocation of approximately 5,900 public service jobs to over 40 locations outside of Dublin.  Of this almost 2,700 posts have already relocated.  A list of these projects is at Appendix A.

 

Decisions on the timing of further work on implementation of the balance of the programme, other than those priority locations announced on Budget day, are being deferred pending a review in 2011 in light of budgetary developments. A list of these projects is at Appendix B. This is a prudent approach in the current economic climate.   

 

In the context of policies affecting overall public service numbers and arrangements for the filling of vacancies, the Decentralisation Implementation Group (DIG) has recently reviewed the property, staffing and business position of each of the priority locations where contractual commitments have not yet been finalised and has reported back to the Minister for Finance on the matter.  The views of the DIG will be taken into account in deciding on the capital allocation and phasing of the property projects in the context of the 2010 - 2012 Estimates decisions. 

  

Programme costs

Overall, approximately €321m (gross) had been spent up to the end of July 2009 in relation to the property aspects of the Programme. 

 

Non-property costs have been increasing as more advance accommodation is in place, staff training has increased and actual moves have taken place. The total expenditure on non-property costs to the end of June 2009 is approximately €14.5m. In addition, the OPW has recently advised that its spend to date on staffing costs on the property aspects of the Programme is €12.6m.

  

Receipts from the Programme

The property costs of the Programme have been offset by savings/reallocation of property by the OPW to other schemes valued in the region of approximately €550m. Of this amount, approximately €350m relates to disposal of high value sites in Dublin at the height of the property market.  In addition, property valued at €75m was transferred to the Affordable Homes Partnership.  The OPW has also agreed joint venture development schemes with a value of circa €125m (but subject of course to volatility in the current property market).

  

Accommodation issues

The Decentralisation Implementation Group (DIG) has a robust process in place to ensure that the staffing and business elements are in place before proceeding to construction in any location.