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Written Answers. - Restructuring of CIE.

Tuesday, 26 November 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 558 No. 1

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 82. Mr. Hogan Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan  asked the Minister for Transport Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan  the implications, including cost, for the abolition of CIE; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23509/02]

 96. Mr. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan  asked the Minister for Transport Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan  his proposals for splitting CIE into three separate independent companies; the discussions he has had with trade unions representing CIE workers on these proposals; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23437/02]

Minister for Transport (Mr. Brennan): Information on Seamus Brennan Zoom on Seamus Brennan I propose to take Questions Nos. 82 and 96 together.

[166]On 7 November 2002 I made a statement to the public transport partnership forum in which I outlined in detail my proposals for the restructuring of the CIE group. I have no plans to privatise any of the three CIE operating companies. Instead, I propose to dissolve CIE and establish Bus Átha Cliath, Bus Éireann and Iarnród Éireann as independent commercial State companies with strong commercially focused boards. Arrangements will be made to redeploy staff who work in the holding company.

In my statement I also indicated that I am anxious to deal with these issues on a partnership basis but that it was also important that we made speedy progress. The restructuring proposals will be the subject of detailed discussions with the trade unions.

A technical report on the financial and other implications of restructuring CIE has been prepared by consultants for my Department. I will be briefing the CIE board and the trade unions shortly on the content of that report. Following this briefing I intend to publish the report.

I also intend to establish a restructuring implementation group, reporting to me and including representatives of the Departments of Transport and Finance, CIE and its three operating subsidiaries to drive forward the restructuring process, based on policy decisions taken by Government.

Implementation of the CIE restructuring proposals will take account of the provisions of Section 14 of the Transport (Re-organisation of CIE) Act, 1986, which provides for the transfer back to CIE of the employees of a subsidiary company where that subsidiary is wound up. It is not proposed to wind up any of the subsidiary companies.

The financial implications of the restructuring of CIE will be addressed in the course of the detailed preparatory work which is being undertaken by my Department and CIE. However, given the constraints on the Exchequer, it would be my objective to complete the restructuring without imposing any significant additional cost burden on either the Exchequer or the CIE group.

Question No. 83 answered with Question No. 60.


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