herald

Tuesday 19 February 2019

Taoiseach's offices get €30k revamp as schools go without

While schools struggle to get grants for simple repairs, ¤30,000 has been splashed out over the holidays on plush new open-plan offices at Government Buildings.

The inside of the Department of An Taoiseach was gutted by builders as part of plans to create the open-plan offices.

Most of the work was carried out before Taoiseach Enda Kenny returned from his summer holidays this week.

It is understood some staff were displaced during the summer months as walls were knocked and remedial works carried out.

The work is being carried out by staff from the Office of Public Works.

A spokesperson for the OPW said: "Work is nearly complete in converting a number of offices in Government Buildings to an open-plan system which will over time lead to greater efficiencies and savings."

It is not yet known what the final cost of the works will be but the OPW has estimated the bill at €30,000.

The spokesperson defended the costs, saying that the open- plan arrangement would provide "a better use of space enabling the press office, communications unit and web team to work in a centralised area while freeing up other office space".



Noisy

Once the work is complete it is expected some staff will move over from the EU division of the Department of Foreign Affairs as part of the Government's plans to streamline the co-ordination of European affairs.

The Herald can reveal that works were also carried out to spruce up Leinster House over the summer recess.

Contractors have been investigating the possibility of rewiring the building and upgrading access routes.

They added phase one of a "universal access link" has also begun.

"Because of the noisy and disruptive nature of the work, it was necessary that it would be carried out during the summer recess," the Herald was told.

hnews@herald.ie

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