The Brussels-Capital Region could be €60 million better off by bringing all of its administrative units together in just three buildings, according to a study carried out by the Optiris group under the region’s ministry for finance and budget.
Under the plan, most of the region’s administrations would be housed in three office buildings – the headquarters of Brussels Environment at Tour & Taxis, the Astrotoren in St-Josse, where employment office Actiris is already located, and the nearby Iristoren (photo), which houses the Brussels Regional Public Service and Brussels Taxation.
For the time being, three other agencies will remain where they are currently: public transport authority STIB, the fire brigade and Brussels Prevention and Security.
In addition, a study into the viability of a move for cleansing authority Bruxelles Propreté, also to the Astrotoren. A move for the department of Talent, Perspective and Urban will also be evaluated, this time to the Iristoren.
At present, there are no plans to merge existing departments, but that issue will certainly be discussed in the near future. One issue would be the repercussions for employment in the services. One of the effects of simplification would almost certainly be a reduction in employment, and the budget savings that could bring.
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Less controversial would be the introduction of a centralised purchasing service, which would save even more money with little downside save for a slight loss in autonomy of some services.
"We have to save money,” said Sven Gatz, Brussels Minister of Finance, Budget and Civil Service. “One of the most important elements in this is the autonomy of our own devices, our own administration."
Any fears of job losses can be put to bed, with assurances that administrators won't cut staff to save costs. "However, we ask that every minister makes an effort on personnel and operational costs in order to collect tens of millions of euros."