Tuesday, 15 September 2020
Department of An Taoiseach
Following its formation, the Government established the following Cabinet Committees:
Cabinet Committee on COVID-19
·Cabinet Committee on Economic Recovery and Investment
·Cabinet Committee on Brexit and Northern Ireland
·Cabinet Committee on Environment and Climate Change
·Cabinet Committee on Housing
·Cabinet Committee on Health
·Cabinet Committee on Social Affairs and Equality
·Cabinet Committee on Education
·Cabinet Committee on Europe, and
·Cabinet Committee on Government Co-ordination.
Each of these Cabinet Committees will work to advance Government's priorities as set out in the Programme for Government particularly where cross-government collaboration is critical.
Cabinet Committees, where appropriate will be supported by a corresponding Senior Officials Group, generally chaired by an Assistant Secretary in my Department and with membership drawn from the relevant Government Departments. As in previous administrations, supporting Cabinet Committees is a core function of the relevant policy Division in my Department and is undertaken in addition to other responsibilities of the staff involved.
As set out in the Programme for Government, a new Shared Island Unit has been established within the Department of the Taoiseach to support a renewed push to use the potential of the Good Friday Agreement to deliver sustained progress for all communities.
This unit will work towards a consensus on a shared island and will examine the political, social, economic and cultural considerations underpinning a future in which all traditions are mutually respected. Staffing and further development of the work programme for the Unit is well underway and information on this will be provided over the coming weeks.
A Social Dialogue Unit has also been established as part of the Economic Division in the Department of the Taoiseach. This will look to build on existing work and structures already in place to support social dialogue such as the Labour Employer Economic Forum.
A number of cross-departmental groups already in place, will continue to operate - for example those dealing with COVID-19, Brexit Preparedness and Climate Change.
The Cabinet Committee on Education was established by Government decision on 6 July last. The first meeting will take place in the coming weeks.
It will oversee implementation of Programme for Government commitments in the area of Education.
In addition to the meetings of the full Cabinet and of Cabinet Committees, I meet with Ministers on an individual basis to focus on particular issues.