Interdepartmental Flood Policy Co-ordination Group

Establishment and work programme pre-2015

A number of implementation structures were established following the Government's approval of the 2004 Flood Risk Management Policy, including an Interdepartmental Flood Policy Co-ordination Group.

Its initial role, chaired by the OPW, was to co-ordinate and inform the progress with implementing the recommendations of the Report of the Flood Policy Review Group. The Interdepartmental Group met on four occasions between March 2006 and September 2009. During this period, many elements of the Outline Implementation Plan for the 2004 Policy that involved parties in addition to the OPW were undertaken and/or completed.

 

Reconvened in July 2015 

The CFRAM Programme commenced in 2011 and the Group was reconvened in July 2015 when the CFRAM draft flood maps were being put out to public consultation. The Terms of Reference for the reconvened Group are to:

  • explore the impact on individuals and communities of the OPW's Flood Risk Management Plans,
  • recommend to Government policies and measures that would reduce the impact of flood risks on individual and communities,
  • recommend to Government policies and measures that would support individual and communities be prepared and respond effectively to flood risks,
  • identify the lead Department and/or agency for each recommended policy measure; and
  • estimate the financial and other resource implications of their recommendations.

 

The Group is chaired by the Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief and membership includes, Departments of Finance; Public Expenditure and Reform; Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government; Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs; Agriculture, Food and Marine; Defence; Social Protection and the OPW.

 

Current Work programme

Last winter was the wettest winter ever recorded in Ireland with rainfall totals at 189% of normal. This gave rise to floods that are the worst on record. In January 2016, the Group updated the Government on its work and also informed Government decisions taken at that time to do the following:

 

  • establish the Shannon Flood Risk State Agency Co-ordination Working Group
  • establish a National Flood Forecasting and Warning Service.
  • introduce two pilot " individual home protection schemes "
  • review the Government’s approach to flood insurance policy,

 

The Group has also been actively considering all policy issues to inform an implementation plan for all at risk properties and delivery of flooding policy priorities set by Government and set out in A Programme for a Partnership Government including

  • detailed implementation aspects of future relocation of homes and/or farm building where that proves unavoidable in the context of the schemes to be devised for each of the affected areas under the CFRAM programme
  • providing guidance to riparian owners on how they can meet their legal obligations in relation to flood risk management
  • providing guidance on land use management such as forestry that may impact and/or benefit managing flood risk.

 

As a whole of Government approach is necessary to support flood risk management, Government Departments and state agencies are each taking the lead to provide effective supports and policy measures in areas of responsibility outside of the OPW’s scope and also to promote and address community and individual response. Individual members each have taken responsibility for reviewing and, as appropriate, developing policy initiatives within their sector’s area of responsibility. These sector-led policy initiatives have been co-ordinated through the Interdepartmental Flood Policy Working Group.

 

Reporting of the Group

The Group has met on eight occasions between July 2015 and November 2016. While the final report by the Group will be aligned to the final Flood Risk Management Plans, the Group will continue to update Government of its work and where appropriate to make recommendations for consideration by Government.