€44m paid for sites that will never be used, report finds

THE Government paid out almost €44 million under its decentralisation programme for 12 sites for which there is now no intention to progress the relocation of staff.

Under the plan, 11,000 civil and public servants were to move from Dublin to 95 locations across the country. Last April, the Government deferred some of the moves. By that stage, just 3,621 had been relocated.

The Comptrollor & Auditor General’s report said 22 sites were acquired at a cost of €67.4 million. Of those, 15 were acquired at prices below the average benchmark level for the land while in seven cases the price paid exceeded that level.

However, the C&AG’s conclusion seemed to mitigate some of the blame. “Local authorities may have pitched prices (for sites) at levels that would attract jobs to their areas.

“Private vendors with property in town centre locations would be able to demand a premium based on the need for OPW to implement the decentralisation decision.”


Lifestyle

Get ready for Stir-Up Sunday with this classic recipe.How to make Bake Off finalist Steph’s Great Grandma’s Christmas fruitcake

A dark episode from Ireland's emigrant history makes for fine drama in the hands of Rory Gleeson, writes Alan O'Riordan.Review: Blood in the Dirt, New Theatre, Dublin

REVIEW: This superb adaptation of A Christmas Carol puts a contemporary twist on Dickens' classic tale, writes Alan O'RiordanReview: A Christmas Carol, Gate Theatre, Dublin

Move over quinoa.Everything you need to know about fonio, the ancient grain we’ll all be eating in 2020

More From The Irish Examiner