Thursday, 16 June 2016
Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
16. To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the sections of his Department and the remit which have been transferred to the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht; and the State agencies and bodies he will have responsibility for. [16245/16]
As part of the re-configuration of Government Departments, responsibility for certain elements of the National Broadband Plan and the post office network will transfer to the Department of Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts and the Gaeltacht.
In relation to the National Broadband Plan, the Department of Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts and the Gaeltacht will assume responsibility for the establishment of county or regional mobile phone and broadband taskforces, working with Local Authorities, Local Enterprise Offices, LEADER Groups and other relevant agencies to help accelerate the broadband network build in rural Ireland, once the procurement process being conducted by my Department is complete. This will also include the development of Rural Digital Strategies for specific areas and work on the advancement of mobile communications in rural areas.
In so far as the post office network is concerned, the implementation of the Final Report of the Post Office Network Business Development Group will be managed by the Department of Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts and the Gaeltacht. Oversight of An Post as a corporate entity remains with my Department.
The details of the new working arrangements are being finalised by both Departments. I am confident that the new approach will support the achievement of the objectives in the Programme for Government in relation to the National Broadband Plan and the re-vitalisation of the post office network and I look forward to working with my colleague Minister Humphreys in this regard.
With regard to state agencies and bodies, my Department will assume responsibility for the Environmental Protection Agency as part of the transfer of environment functions from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government. I also have responsibility for the following State agencies and bodies:
- An Post
- Board na Móna
- Electricity Supply Board (ESB)
- Raidió Teilifís Éireann
- Inland Fisheries Ireland
- Digital Hub Development Agency
- Foyle, Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission (Loughs Agency)
- National Oil Reserves Agency
- Irish National Petroleum Corporation
- Mining Board
- Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
- Broadcasting Authority of Ireland
- Commission for Energy Regulation
- Commission for Communications Regulation