The Department of Agriculture has engaged a full-time external project manager for Project Woodland, the Department of Agriculture has told the Irish Farmers Journal.
Project Woodland was launched on 25 February. All four independently chaired working groups have met and reports by shareholders are positive on initial meetings. The project has received broad support, except for the appointment of an internal Department part-time project manager.
A number of organisations maintained that to ensure efficiency and urgency, the post should be full-time and to ensure transparency, it should be an external appointment.
All will work closely with the assistant secretary general with responsibility for forestry
The Department responded to this criticism this week. “The Department has engaged a full-time external project manager and systems analyst, both of whom are expected to be in their roles by the end of April,” said a Department spokesperson.
“They will be in post for the duration of the project, to support the Department in delivering Project Woodland.”
In addition to the above appointments “sanction is being sought for a full-time project director,” she said. “All will work closely with the assistant secretary general with responsibility for forestry.”
“The appointment of a full-time project manager and systems analyst is a welcome development,” said Pat O’Sullivan, technical director, Society of Irish Foresters.
“It acknowledges the key role of the project manager as outlined by Jo O’Hara in her report on delivering the Mackinnon recommendations on forestry. The addition of a full-time project director is also welcome assuming this is an external appointment.”