The Department of Enterprise is looking at the future of the various enterprise agencies as it moves to find cost saving measures for the budget later this year.
The department, which is headed by minister Richard Bruton, is understood to be looking at proposals to restructure and merge the agencies, which could lead to a reduction in staff numbers.
A spokeswoman for the department would not comment on the specific measures that were being considered.
‘‘All programmes of expenditure are being looked at as part of the Comprehensive Expenditure Review, which the government will be considering in September in the lead up to the budget for 2012,” she said.
The report of Bord Snip Nua, published more than two years ago, recommended that several agencies should effectively be shut down and their functions transferred to a revamped Enterprise Ireland, giving it sole responsibility for domestic enterprise.
It recommended that Enterprise Ireland should take over the enterprise support and marketing roles of Údarás na Gaeltachta, Shannon Development, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Bord Bia and the Irish Film Board. The group, chaired by economist Colm McCarthy, also recommended discontinuing Shannon Development, the regional jobs and tourism agency. It said IDA Ireland should have sole responsibility for multinational investment.
However, Údarás na Gaeltachta has already been told that it will keep its existing functions, including its employment creation brief.
The government also has plans to formalise cooperation between the various enterprise development agencies in order to attract investment and jobs to the Gaeltacht regions.
Source: The Post.ie – Enterprise Agencies now in Firing Line