31/10/12

31/10/2012 Minister of State outlines reform actions for An Coimisinéir Teanga (Irish Language Commissioner) and An Coimisiún Logainmneacha (Placenames Commission)

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Dinny McGinley TD, today (31 October 2012) outlined the reforms now being progressed for An Coimisinéir Teanga (Irish Language Commissioner) and An Coimisiún Logainmneacha (Placenames Commission).

In November 2011, the Government agreed a Public Service Reform Plan, presented by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan Howlin TD. Following a period of assessment, consultation and review, the Government today considered the progress made to date, and noted and agreed the range of reform actions to be undertaken.

Minister of State McGinley stated:
“As a result of the Government decision today, a statutorily appointed Coimisinéir Teanga will continue to be based in the Gaeltacht and will continue to independently exercise existing powers under the Official Languages Act 2003.

In addition, the Placenames Commission will be replaced with an expert committee operating pro bono. This approach will ensure the retention of an external review mechanism of Irish language placenames, in line with best practice.”

The actions now being progressed with regard to An Coimisinéir Teanga and An Coimisiún Logainmneacha are as follows:

• An Coimisinéir Teanga (Irish Language Commissioner): The Office of An Coimisinéir Teanga is to be merged with the Office of the Ombudsman. A statutorily appointed Coimisinéir Teanga, based in the Gaeltacht, will continue to independently exercise existing powers under the Official Languages Act.

• An Coimisiún Logainmneacha (Placenames Commission): The Placenames Commission will be replaced with an expert committee operating pro bono, and with its work being primarily undertaken online.

Ends

Note to Editors:

The 2 organisations under the remit of the Minister of State in the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and included in the Government’s Public Service Reform Plan are An Coimisinéir Teanga (Irish Language Commissioner) and An Coimisiún Logainmneacha (Placenames Commission).

A summary of reform actions is set out below.
An Coimisinéir Teanga (Irish Language Commissioner)

• The Office of An Coimisinéir Teanga is to merge with the Office of the Ombudsman.
• The statutory powers and functions of An Coimisinéir Teanga under the Official Languages Act 2003 will transfer to the Ombudsman and will be delegated to An Coimisinéir Teanga under the amending legislation.
• An Coimisinéir Teanga will continue to be statutorily appointed and exercise independent powers under the Official Languages Act 2003 and will also continue to be based in the Gaeltacht.

An Coimisiún Logainmneacha (Placenames Commission)

• The Placenames Commission, currently operating with a membership of 17, will be replaced with an expert committee with a membership of between 7 and 10 members operating pro bono.
• The work of this committee will primarily be undertaken online, with quarterly meetings being held to discuss complex issues.

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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