Dáil Éireann - Volume 567 - 29 May, 2003

Written Answers. - Departmental Bodies.

[1777]  240. Mr. Ring asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the position regarding Dúchas; the body which will have responsibility for Dúchas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14991/03]

  Minister for the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Cullen): Dúchas was the title of the organisational division and the brand name used by that division of my Department which had responsibility for the State's built and natural heritage functions. Following the recent Government decision announced by me on 16 April 2003, my Department will have responsibility for policy in respect of the built heritage and for both policy and operational matters relating to the natural heritage. Operational and management functions in relation to the built heritage are transferring to the Office of Public Works. The Dúchas brand is being discontinued but my Department is being re-titled as the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.

  These changes are intended by Government to make better use of organisational resources. They build on my own Department's strengths in regulation and policy development, particularly in the environmental area, and on the Office of Public Works's strong tradition in building conservation and property management.