Minister for Social Protection,
Éamon Ó Cuív,
TD was in Buncrana, County Donegal this afternoon (Friday 10
th September 2010) where he officially opened a new building which encompasses both decentralised offices and the district local office of the Department of Social Protection.
Speaking today in Buncrana, Minister Ó Cuív said: “The completion of this building under the Government’s decentralisation programme has enabled the bringing together into one location of a number of different sections of my Department.”
The new building accommodates four Department of Social Protection scheme areas. These are the local
Social Welfare Office; Client Eligibility Services; Maternity Benefit and the
Social Welfare Inspectorate. The building also accommodates the Road Safety Authority’s local driver testing centre as well as the Medical Assessor’s offices.
Under the Government’s decentralisation programme, the Department of Social Protection and its agencies has relocated staff to a number of locations including Sligo, Carrick-on-Shannon and Buncrana.
The Minister said: “Maternity Benefits Section was the first to move to the new building, having transferred from Letterkenny in late October 2009. There are 24 staff members working in this busy section at present.
“Since 1988, the important work of Client Eligibility Services had been spread across two office locations and multiple buildings in Dublin. The role of Client Eligibility Services (CES) is central to the work of my Department as the contribution records established and maintained by CES are used to determine a customer’s eligibility for payment by all contributory scheme areas in the Department. One of the benefits of the move to Buncrana for CES is that it has enabled the introduction of newer, more streamlined processes, facilitating the provision of more accurate, accessible customer data. Further enhancements to our services, taking advantage of the latest technological developments are also in the pipeline.”
Minister Ó Cuív also said: “The provision of this new office also benefits our local customers here in Buncrana and its surrounds. Staff from the Local Office - including four inspectors and one facilitator - who up until recently had been housed in three separate locations in Buncrana, transferred to the new building last November.”
The Minister acknowledged the work of his Department’s Facilities Management Unit and the OPW and said that between them they had; “produced and equipped an excellent purpose built modern office complex which has added considerably to my Department’s service delivery capacity.”
Minister Ó Cuív
concluded by thanking all; “whose commitment and dedication saw the transfer of operations to this building with the minimum disruption to the Department’s customers.”
Note to Editor
DEPARTMENT of SOCIAL PROTECTION
McCarter’s Road, Ardaravan, Buncrana.
Social Welfare Local Office contact details:
Telephone: (074) 9364600
Opening Hours: 9:15 - 12:00, 14:00 - 16:00
Department of Social Protection
10 September 2010