Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Unrevised

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Written Answers Nos. 100-122

Building Regulations Application

 100. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the remedies available to the growing numbers of homeowners whose properties are a fire hazard and are in breach of fire regulations. [46127/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan The resolution of problems arising between building owners and builders is a matter for the parties concerned, namely the building owner, the relevant developer and the builder’s insurers. Where the construction of a building is the subject of a contract between the client and the builder enforcement is a civil matter. Enforcement of the building regulations is the responsibility of the 37 local building control authorities. The authorities are empowered to carry out inspections and initiate enforcement proceedings, where considered necessary. In addition to prosecution on indictment in the Circuit Court, building control authorities may also bring summary prosecutions for building code offences in the District Court and have wide powers to make application to the High Court to secure Orders where buildings do not comply with the requirements of the Building Regulations.

Failure to comply with the requirements of the Building Regulations where a successful prosecution takes place may result, on summary prosecution, in a maximum fine of €5,000 or imprisonment for a period of up to six months or both. A further fine of €500 in respect of each day on which the offence is committed after summary conviction can also be applied. A successful conviction on indictment may result in a maximum fine of €50,000 or imprisonment for a period of up to two years or both. Apart from their powers under the Building Control Acts, local authorities also have strong enforcement powers available to them under the Fire Services Act 1981 when acting in their capacity as fire authorities.

Water Meters Expenditure

 101. Deputy Brian Stanley Information on Brian Stanley Zoom on Brian Stanley asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will provide a timeframe and costing for the installation of domestic water meters. [46071/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan I refer to the reply to Question No. 40 of 18 September 2012. The position is unchanged. Detailed cost estimates for the metering programme have been prepared by my Department. However, it would be inappropriate to publish these cost estimates in advance of the competitive procurement process.

Housing Adaptation Grants Funding

 102. Deputy Martin Heydon Information on Martin Heydon Zoom on Martin Heydon asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will consider a reduction in the contribution required from local authorities towards housing adaptation grants in view of the many schemes that are currently suspended around the country despite the great need from those who are ill or elderly from housing adaptation works; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46189/12]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O'Sullivan): Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan The Housing Adaptation Grant Schemes are funded by 80% recoupment available from my Department together with a 20% contribution from the resources of the local authority. It is a matter for each local authority to decide on the specific level of funding to be directed to each of the various grant measures, and to manage the operation of the schemes in their areas from within their allocation.

Exchequer allocations for 2012 in respect of the Housing Adaptation Grant Schemes for Older People and People with a Disability, totalling some €54.2 million, were notified to local authorities on 28 February 2012. At the end of September, €33.3 million of this had been drawn down by local authorities, facilitating the payment of over 6,376 grants.  In assessing the demand for grants each year local authorities are requested to set out the amount of matching funding being provided to meet the authority’s 20% share of the grant payments. While a number of authorities have advised my Department of constraints on their Revenue budgets, earlier this year local authorities collectively indicated that some €18.65 million in matching funds was available in 2012.

Over the period 2008 to 2011, over €337 million was paid out in grants in respect of approved adaptation works and extensions. Over 48,000 individual applicants received grant assistance over that period. As part of the preparatory arrangements for the 2013 grants programme, my Department will be contacting each local authority shortly to ascertain the level of demand under each of the grant schemes and to quantify the level of revenue or other funding to be made available for the schemes in 2013. I will review the matter of the local authority own resources contribution in the light of this information.

Departmental Staff Remuneration

 103. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the savings that would be made if there was a cap of €100,000 on salaries in his Department. [46081/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan All matters relating to the rates of pay of civil servants are dealt with at central level by my colleague the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. However, there would be gross savings of approx. €500,000 per annum, inclusive of Employer’s PRSI, if salaries in my Department were capped at €100,000 per annum.

Local Authority Staff Issues

 104. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the way he intends the proposed voluntary redundancy scheme outlined in his proposals for local government reform to be applied across local authorities; if this scheme will take into account existing per capita staffing level differences across local authorities; if the scheme will have regard to a need to maintain certain essential functions; if he has any proposal to redeploy remaining staff to balance out any service gaps which may emerge; if he intends to ultimately eliminate the existing wide variance in per capita staffing levels through this process of reform; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46125/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan In the context of the broader public service reform process, the local government sector has been at the forefront in driving greater efficiencies and securing financial savings. The first two annual progress reports under “Croke Park” from the Local Government Sector identified very significant savings of c€450m. Payroll savings have been delivered mainly through staff reductions of almost 8,600 (23%) from 37,243 (June 2008) to 28,652 (September 2012).

The departure of 8,600 staff from the sector since 2008 has inevitably impacted in different ways upon individual local authorities. The staff reductions and the absence of any significant recruitment over a five year period makes it critical that we examine the present and future workforce demographic in the context of service delivery, organisational diversity, knowledge transfer, up-skilling/re-skilling and succession planning. To support the sector in effectively managing the combination of staff reductions and the reform/change programme a Workforce Study has been undertaken jointly by local authorities and my Department. In particular, it assesses the management requirements of local authorities bearing in mind the potential impacts of shared services and other reform initiatives underway. Each local authority is in turn preparing a detailed workforce plan outlining how it will implement the Study’s recommendations.

The Government has decided to introduce a targeted Voluntary Redundancy (VR) Scheme in parts of the Public Service. Details of how a scheme would operate in particular sectors are still being finalised within the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. As outlined, in the Action Programme for Effective Local Government: Putting People First , the potential to reach the optimum staffing structures indicated in the workforce plan as soon as possible through the use of voluntary exit mechanisms will be examined.

  Question No. 105 answered with Question No. 57.

  Question No. 106 answered with Question No. 96.

Constitutional Convention

 107. Deputy Michael P. Kitt Information on Michael Kitt Zoom on Michael Kitt asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny if he will commit to adding the Right to a Home to the second phase of the Constitutional Convention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46038/12]

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The resolutions passed by the Dáil and Seanad approving the calling of the Constitutional Convention outlined the issues to be considered by it. The resolutions of course also noted that following completion of reports on those issues, the Convention can report on such other relevant Constitutional amendments as may be recommended by it.

Official Travel

 108. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny if he will report on the foreign visits he has planned between now and the end of 2012. [45651/12]

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny Preparations are being finalised on a series of bilateral visits, including to Berlin, before Ireland assumes the Presidency of the Council next January. In addition to this, I will of course attend the meetings of the European Councils scheduled for 22-23 November, and 13-14 December.

Departmental Expenditure

 109. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny if he will provide in tabular form, in respect of 2011, to show separately the number of payments issued by his Department and each agency within the remit of his Department to suppliers in respect of the supply of goods and services ; and splitting the payments between those issued within 30 days of receipt of the invoice; between 30 and 60 days of receipt of the invoice; between 60 and 90 days of receipt of the invoice; between 90 and 120 days of receipt of the invoice; and in excess of 120 days of receipt of the invoice. [45654/12]

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The following table details the number and timeframe of payments made to suppliers by my Department and NESDO in 2011.

Department
No of Payments
Department
No of Payments
Department
No of Payments
Department
No of Payments
Within 30 days of receipt of invoice
1680
Within 30 days of receipt of invoice
1680
Within 30 days of receipt of invoice
1680
Within 30 days of receipt of invoice
1680
Between 30 and 60 days of receipt of invoice
26
Between 30 and 60 days of receipt of invoice
26
Between 30 and 60 days of receipt of invoice
26
Between 30 and 60 days of receipt of invoice
26
Between 60 and 90 days of receipt of invoice
5
Between 60 and 90 days of receipt of invoice
5
Between 60 and 90 days of receipt of invoice
5
Between 60 and 90 days of receipt of invoice
5
Between 90 and 120 days of receipt of invoice
0
Between 90 and 120 days of receipt of invoice
0
Between 90 and 120 days of receipt of invoice
0
Between 90 and 120 days of receipt of invoice
0
In excess of 120 days of receipt of invoice
0
In excess of 120 days of receipt of invoice
0
In excess of 120 days of receipt of invoice
0
In excess of 120 days of receipt of invoice
0
<

NESDO

 
No of Payments
Within 30 days of receipt of invoice

 
309
Between 30 and 60 days of receipt of invoice

 
6
Between 60 and 90 days of receipt of invoice

 
0
Between 90 and 120 days of receipt of invoice

 
0
In excess of 120 days of receipt of invoice

 
0

Departmental Expenditure

 110. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny if he will provide in tabular form for the years 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and to date 2012 of the total amount of expenditure on consultancy by his Department, anybody under his aegis or State agency for which he has responsibility; the names of the consultancy companies awarded contracts; the nature of the work concerned; the fees paid to each consultant and if the matter was advertised for competitive tender;; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45655/12]

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The following table details expenditure on consultancy by my Department, and bodies under the aegis of my Department, from 2008 to the end of September 2012.

2008
Name of ConsultantTotal Amount paidNature of Work Procurement Type
Department
 
Grant Thornton
€75,120
Forensic accounting services in respect of issues pertaining to an industrial relations dispute at Aer Lingus (the services were commissioned by the National Implementation Body to assist in resolving industrial relations issues at Aer Lingus).The services of Grant Thornton were commissioned by the National Implementation Body (NIB)
Goodbody
€7,200
Provision of assistance with the drafting of a Regulatory Impact Analysis on a legislative proposal.Competitive Tender
QTS Limited
€1,694
Annual Risk Assessment - health and safety.Competitive Tender
Ipsos Mori
€9,952
Phase 2 of 2007 QCS SurveyCompetitive Tender
Hudson Talent Management
€45,552
Survey, deployment, analysis and reporting for the Organisational Review ProgrammeCompetitive Tender
PA Consulting Group
€46,775
16 days professional services for Organisational Review ProgrammeCompetitive Tender
Raymond Burke Consulting
€3,376
NESDO ReviewQuotation
 
National Forum on Europe
 
Austin Butler Design
€647
Getting ready for the ReferendumQuotation
Caroline Erskine
€118,602
Media Relations ServicesQuotation
Lansdowne Market Research
€6,292
Study ResearchQuotation
 
Ireland Newfoundland Partnership
 
Bernadette Kiely
€1,028
Interviewing for the INP Business Development Position Quotation
 
Change Management Fund, Department of Finance
 
The Economist Intelligence Unit
€316,421
To conduct an independent Review of the Economic Regulatory Environment to compare the performance of Irish sectoral regulators against their international counterparts.Competitive Tender
Isolde Goggins
€1,815
Facilitator for workshop on review of the Economic Regulatory Environment.Quotation
Isolde Goggins and Gillian Lauder
€85,305
Review of the Operation of Regulatory Impact analysis (RIA). In line with the terms of Towards 2016, an independent review of the operation of RIA was commissioned to assess the effectiveness of the current RIA model across Departments.Competitive Tender
RA Consulting
€9,030
Consultancy services for carrying out an Employee Opinion Survey. Competitive Tender
NESDO
Prof Aine Hyland
€7,500.00
Consultancy work on a project related to the Child Literacy ProjectCompetitive Tender
Cythia Deane
€6,000.00
Consultancy work on a project related to Social Inclusion ForumCompetitive Tender
Prof. Tony Fahy
€8,250.00
Consultancy work on a project related to the Home Care ProjectCompetitive Tender
Olivia Joyner
€6,000.00
Consultancy work on a project related to the Child Literacy ProjectCompetitive Tender
Eithne Kennedy
€2,000.00
Consultancy work related to the Social Inclusion ForumCompetitive Tender
M Cousins
€3,037.50
Consultancy work related to the Social Inclusion ForumCompetitive Tender
ESRI
€191,287.00
Consultancy work related to the National Workplace SurveyCompetitive Tender
Amarach Research
€320,648.00
Consultancy work related to the National Workplace SurveyCompetitive Tender
Achilles
€5,603.00
Consultancy work related to the National Workplace SurveyCompetitive Tender
Tony Dobbins
€3,600.00
Chartered Institute of Professional DevelopmentCompetitive Tender
Millward Browne
€5,717.25
Consultancy work related to the NCPP Public Awareness CampaignCompetitive Tender
Mason Hayes Curran
€6,462.00
Consultancy work related to the NCPP National Workplace SurveyCompetitive Tender
Radactuers
€9,770.75
Consultancy work related to the Step by Step guide to Partnership (Towards 2010) projectCompetitive Tender
Val Whelan
€2,100.00
Consultancy work related to the Participative Governance projectCompetitive Tender
Oglivy
€15,019.41
Consultancy work related to the NCPP Public Awareness CampaignCompetitive Tender
Wilson Hartnell
€16,425.76
Consultancy work related to the NCPP Public Awareness CampaignCompetitive Tender
Public Authority Pension Services
€10,000.00
Pension Consultant assisting in the drafting of the NESDO staff Superannuation Scheme, the Spouses and Childrens Scheme and related mattersCompetitive Tender
Learning Networks
€100,000.00
Consultancy work related to the NESDO Futures Ireland ProjectCompetitive Tender
Dr. Maria Maguire
€44,000.00
Consultancy work related to the NESDO Futures Ireland ProjectCompetitive Tender
Experidox
€127,000.00
Consultancy work related to the NESDO Futures Ireland ProjectCompetitive Tender
Wiliam Roe & Assoc
€29,000.00
Consultancy work related to the NESDO Futures Ireland ProjectCompetitive Tender
Genesis Marketing
€35,000.00
Consultancy work related to the NESDO Futures Ireland ProjectCompetitive Tender
Edgeworth
€34,000.00
Consultancy work related to the NESDO Futures Ireland ProjectCompetitive Tender
Community Creations
€4,000.00
Consultancy work related to the NESDO Futures Ireland ProjectCompetitive Tender
Carton LeVert
€2,000.00
Consultancy work related to the NESDO Futures Ireland ProjectCompetitive Tender
Carlota Perez
€8,000.00
Consultancy work related to the NESDO Futures Ireland ProjectCompetitive Tender
Charles Sabel
€8,000.00
Consultancy work related to the NESDO Futures Ireland ProjectCompetitive Tender
IPA
€9,000.00
Consultancy work related to the NESDO Futures Ireland ProjectCompetitive Tender
John Reddin
€1,000.00
Consultancy work related to the NESDO Futures Ireland ProjectCompetitive Tender
Stephen Purcell
€1,000.00
Consultancy work related to the NESDO Futures Ireland ProjectCompetitive Tender
2009
Department
 
QTS Limited
€2,977
Annual Risk Assessment - health and safetyCompetitive Tender
Ipsos Mori
€34,626
Organisational Review Programme Reports Covering 4 Organisations - on Deployment of Initial SurveyCompetitive Tender
National Forum on Europe
 
Caroline Erskine
€54,471
Media Relations ServicesQuotation
 
Change Management Fund, Department of Finance
 
Goodbody
€5,545
Provision of assistance with the drafting of a Regulatory Impact Analysis on a legislative proposal.Competitive Tender
Ipsos Mori
€34,093
Survey deployment, analysis and reporting for the Organisational Review Programme (ORP).Competitive Tender
O'Neill Amarach Consultants
€11,876
Business Customer Satisfaction SurveyCompetitive Tender
Fitzpatrick Associates
€30,942
Garda Boundaries Realignment ProjectCompetitive Tender
Economist Intelligence Unit
€25,633
To conduct an independent Review of the Economic Regulatory Environment to compare the performance of Irish sectoral regulators against their international counterpartsCompetitive Tender
NESDO
Chris McInerney Tipperary Institute
€12,000.00
Assistance with writing The Challenge of Community Participation in the Delivery of Public Services - NESC Report No. 7Competitive Tender
Kenneth McKenzie
€2,323.00
Consultant on County Louth Ageing ProjectCompetitive Tender
Prof Tony Fahey University College Dublin
€11,797.50
Chaired the implementation of the Home Care Package Scheme - NESC Report No. 38 Competitive Tender
Carmel Corrigan
€9,345.00
Summary of Submissions on Home Care PackageCompetitive Tender
Dr. Eithne Kennedy
€7,000.00
Preparation of Paper for Child Literacy- NESC Report 39Competitive Tender
Tracy O'Brien
€4,900.00
Summary of Submissions on Child Literacy Project- NESC Report 39Competitive Tender
NUI Galway
€7,335.15
ICGS Analysis of Shared Data on Implementation of the Home Care Package Scheme - NESC Report No. 38Competitive Tender
Advanced Organisation
€12,150.00
Consulting Services re Policy Implementation Competitive Tender
Prof Aine Hyland
€7,500.00
Chair of Project - Child Literacy and Social Inclusion: Implementation Issues - NESC Report 39 (2nd half payment)Competitive Tender
Options Consulting
€3,037.50
Preparation of background paper on Child LiteracyCompetitive Tender
Dr. Tony Dobbins
€3,660.00
Research work on NCPP project focusing on the issue of line managers as resource for change and innovation.Competitive Tender
Dublin City University
€14,251.95
Preparation of Literature Review & Research Advice for Chartered Institute of Professional DevelopmentCompetitive Tender
IPC Consulting
€87,785.00
Research work on Hospital of the Future - Integrated Approach to Organisational Improvement and Innovation in Irelands Health Care SystemCompetitive Tender
Insight Statistical Consulting
€6,561.00
Statistical Anlsysis of Hospital of the Future - Integrated Approach to Organisational Improvement and Innovation in Irelands Health Care SystemCompetitive Tender
Dr. Maria Maguire
€10,060.52
Consulting Service on the NCPP Public Service Research Competitive Tender
Valerie Whelan
€14,700.00
Research - Participative Governance: An Integrated Approach to Organisational Improvement and Innovation in Irelands Health Care System - A research project aimed at identifying and measuring the impact of employee engagement and HR management practices in the acute hospital system in Ireland.Competitive Tender
UK WON
€4,579.00
Consultant - the NCPP Masterclass Conference Competitive Tender
Philip Lane
€6,000.00
Paper on Europe ReportCompetitive Tender
Damian Smyth
€4,465.12
Pension Consultant assisting in the drafting of the NESDO staff Superannuation Scheme, the Spouses and Childrens Scheme and related mattersCompetitive Tender
2010
Department
 
Mercer (Ireland) Ltd
€23,595
Staff surveys for the Organisational Review ProgrammeCompetitive Tender
Mazars
€2,500
Payroll Audit of Financial Shared Service CentreCompetitive Tender by Financial Shared Services, Department of Justice, Killarney
 
Change Management Fund, Department of Finance
 
Goodbody
€3,117
Provision of economic assistance with the application of Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA)Competitive Tender
Indecon
€13,930
Provide technical economic assistance to Government Departments conducting Regulatory Impact Analyses (RIA) Competitive Tender
NESDO
Dr. Tony Dobbins
€1,472
Research work on - Chartered Institute of Professional Development - project focusing on the issue of line managers as resource for change and innovation.Competitive Tender
Public Authority Pension Services
€514
Pension Consultant assisting with staff pension related issuesCompetitive Tender
2011
Department
 
Tower Watson
€12,100
Facilitation of ORP Workshops and Report Quotation
QTS Limited
€1,271
Health & Safety Consultancy H&S Safety Statement 2011.Competitive Tender
NESDO
Public Authority Pension Services
€691
Pension Consultant assisting with staff pension related issuesCompetitive Tender
2012
Department
 
QTS Limited
€1,271
Health & Safety Consultancy - Annual Safety Review to include Risk Assessment Nov/Dec 2011 & Full Review & Update of Safety Statement 2012Competitive Tender
Caroline Erskine
€25,830
EU Communications Advisory ServicesCompetitive Tender
NESDO
Public Authority Pension Services
€122
Pension Consultant assisting with staff pension related issuesCompetitive Tender

Departmental Expenditure

 111. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny if he will provide details in tabular form for the years 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and to date 2012, inclusive, of the arrangements entered into by him, anybody under his aegis or State agency for which he has responsibility for the obtaining of advice from a senior or junior counsel and or a firm of solicitors; the subject matter for which advice was sought; the names of the barristers and solicitors firms concerned and the fees paid; the nature of the work concerned; if in each case the matter was advertised for competitive tender;; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45656/12]

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny My Department did not incur legal expenses from a firm of solicitors or from Senior or Junior Counsel, other than through the State's legal Offices, during the period in question. The National Economic and Social Development Office (NESDO) incorporating the National Economic and Social Council (NESC), is the only body under the aegis of my Department. In 2006 NESDO conducted a competitive tendering process for the provision of legal advice and the contract was awarded to Mason Hayes Curran. NESDO did not incur any expenditure on legal services from 2009 to date. Details of the expenditure incured by NESDO on legal services in 2008 are set out in the table below:

Reason for Procurement
Payment
Legal advice in relation to procurement of NESDO IT System
€337
Legal advice for the
National and Economic Forum (NESF)
in relation to recruitment issue
€9,081
Legal advice for the NESC on a Memorandum of
Understanding with the Korean
Economic and Cocial Development Commission
€841
Legal advice for
the National Centre for Partnership and Performance (NCPP) on National Workplace Surveys contracts for ESRI and Amarach
€7,743
<

Note: The NESF and NCPP were abolished in 2010.

Departmental Expenditure

 112. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald Information on Mary Lou McDonald Zoom on Mary Lou McDonald asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny if he will provide a list of all companies or persons providing an external professional service to his Department such as ICT, legal advice, advertising, project management and including any other external professional service not listed; the amount invoiced by each company to him over the past 12 months, in tabular form. [45657/12]

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny The table below sets out the list of suppliers to my Department of professional services, where professional services withholding tax has been applied, and the total paid from 1 October 2011 to end September 2012, including professional services withholding tax, according to my Department's Financial Management System.

Vendor Name
*Terminal Four
163,506.47
System Dynamics
3228.75
Red Dog
1,635.90
Power Design
907.50
MM Motions
13,284.00
JDK Design
605.00
Geralyn Downey
200.00
Ger Garland
1,328.40
Fiona Sheridan
1,330.00
Caroline Erskine
25,830.00
Design Factory
17,552.10
Tower Watson (Ireland) Ltd
12,100.00
<

*A contract for the provision of website services for the EU Presidency was awarded to TerminalFour Solutions Limited on the 23rd of December 2011. TerminalFour's European headquarters are based on Dublin and they are experienced in delivering large multilingual websites and their services to this Department include; web design & development of a website and mobile site in 4 languages, provision of a content management system and provision of training & support.

  Questions Nos. 113 and 114 answered with Question No. 1.

Departmental Bodies

 115. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny if he will provide in a tabular form a list of quasi-governmental organisations and agencies that have been created since 9 March 2011;the date on which the body was created; the name of the body; the 2012 budget for the body; the number of employees of the body and if the body engages manpower resources from outside the body. [45991/12]

The Taoiseach: Information on Enda Kenny Zoom on Enda Kenny No bodies of this nature have been established by my Department since 9 March 2011.

Passport Applications

 116. Deputy Jack Wall Information on Jack Wall Zoom on Jack Wall asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the reasons a child (details supplied) in County Kildare has not received an Irish passport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45637/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore The Passports Act, 2008 provides, among other things, that only Irish citizens are entitled to be issued with Irish passports. Each application received by the Passport Service must, therefore, demonstrate that person’s entitlement to Irish citizenship before a passport can issue. As the applicant was born in Dublin on 7 May, 2009, his entitlement to Irish citizenship is subject to section 6A of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 1956, as amended (the Act). This provides that a person, born in the State on or after 1 January 2005, where neither parent is an Irish or British citizen or otherwise entitled to reside in the State or Northern Ireland without restriction at the time of that person’s birth, may claim citizenship by birth in the State (and thereby establish eligibility for an Irish passport) only where a parent has been lawfully resident in the State for three of the four years immediately preceding that person’s birth.

In line with guidelines provided by Department of Justice and Equality, which is the Department responsible for immigration and citizenship, the proofs of lawful residence, which are accepted and considered by this Department for passport applications, are immigration stamps in passports and/or the registration cards/books. These are issued to persons registering their lawful presence in the State with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB). These are official documents/permits, which can be objectively verified by the Passport Service, if required.

The child’s father is a non-EU national and the mother a Romanian and therefore EU citizen. The proofs above would therefore be required for all of the father’s residence and for any of the mother’s residence prior to Romania’s entry into the EU on 1 January, 2007. After this date, the mother’s residence is subject to section 6B(2) of the Act, which makes particular provision for parents from EU Member States whereby such nationals may make a declaration (Form A) in a prescribed form concerning their residence in the island of Ireland within the four years immediately preceding the birth of their children. This declaration must be supported by the submission of the parent’s EU passport and by documentary evidence of that parent’s lawful residence in Ireland. That parent will then be regarded as having resided in the island of Ireland for the declared periods for the purposes of section 6A of the Act, unless the contrary is proved.

Two applications were made on behalf of the person in question by his parents – the first in October, 2010 and the second in August, 2011. On both occasions the submitted evidence of the parent’s lawful residence in the State in the four year period immediately preceding their son’s date of birth (i.e. 7 May, 2005 to 6 May, 2009) was examined. Neither parent had the required amount of reckonable residence to demonstrate their child’s entitlement to Irish citizenship. Accordingly, these applications could not be approved for passport issue under the Passports Act, 2008 on the grounds that the child is not an Irish citizen.

Appointments to State Boards

 117. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if he will provide in tabular form all appointments to State boards under his ambit since the Government took office; when the person was appointed; if the position entitles the holder to remuneration and if so the amount in each case; if the appointment was made in accordance with new procedures whereby Departments have to invite expressions of interest from the public in vacancies on the boards under their aegis. [45805/12]

 118. Deputy Gerry Adams Information on Gerry Adams Zoom on Gerry Adams asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore the number of chairs of State boards that have been appointed since the Government came into office; if there is a remuneration for the position and if so the amount of same; if the appointee was required to go before Oireachtas Committees to discuss what they have to offer to the particular Board or Committee to which they are being appointed. [45821/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore I propose to take Questions Nos. 117 and 118 together.

There are no State Boards operating under the aegis of my Department.

Human Rights Issues

 119. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore for his views regarding human rights abuses in occupied Palestine territories; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45886/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore I refer the Deputy to my answer to Question 4 of 17 October 2012, which was as follows:

Passport Applications

 120. Deputy John Halligan Information on John Halligan Zoom on John Halligan asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if he will clarify the rationale behind the Passport Office ceasing to issue same day emergency or temporary one journey passports to the public, where an emergency arises in a business situation the financial burden which results from a persons inability to freely travel can have devastating implications for small businesses (details supplied); his plans to provide Irish citizens with travel documentation to facilitate more flexible travel within the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45949/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore The fastest turnaround time for passport applications is three working days. During the peak season, the Passport Service receives between 300 and 400 applications per day for passports at short notice. In these circumstances, it is not possible to provide citizens with a same day service without significantly disrupting the service to other applicants. I have therefore asked the Passport Service to examine the feasibility and additional cost, to both the State and the customer, of providing a premium fast turnaround service. In relation to the provision of alternate travel documents, some European countries have identity cards which are accepted by the immigration services of other countries. Ireland does not issue identity cards to its citizens. However, we do issue emergency passports and emergency travel certificates on occasion. In order to minimise disruption of the regular service, the risk of identity theft and the circulation of falsified travel documents, such documents are generally only issued in cases of a necessity to travel for reasons of family emergency. i.e. travel is necessitated by the death, illness or welfare of a family member.

With a view to avoiding future difficulties, I would urge all passport holders to use the online reminder service provided by the Passport Service which sends passport holders a reminder by e-mail three months before a passport is due to expire. The service is available at
www.passport.ie   

Driving Licence Issues

 121. Deputy Michael McCarthy Information on Michael McCarthy Zoom on Michael McCarthy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore if his attention has been drawn to the situation whereby a person holding an Australian licence with approved truck and bus categories can drive legally here but there is no similar cover for Irish licence holders in Australia; if his further attention has been drawn to the inconvenience it is causing to Irish citizens in Australia in that they face having to sit a second driving test; his views on whether this is acceptable; if it is possible for him to liaise with the Australian Transport Ministry with a view to putting a reciprocal agreement in place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46475/12]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Information on Eamon Gilmore Zoom on Eamon Gilmore Matters relating to the processing of driving licences in Ireland and reciprocal exchange agreements are the responsibility of the Road Safety Authority which falls under the aegis of the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport. I appreciate that varying licensing requirements can pose difficulties for Irish people seeking to take up work in Australia. In Australia, driving licences are issued by state and territory governments, and requirements can vary from state to state. In some cases, recognition of driving licences also depends on the immigration status of the holder with different criteria applying for short-term temporary visitors including Working Holiday participants, and permanent residents.

Issues around the recognition of Irish qualifications and skills at federal and state level, including driving licence qualifications, are kept under constant review by my officials in the Embassy in Canberra who would be happy to take up specific concerns raised. I have requested the Ambassador in Canberra to contact the various state and territorial governments to clarify the precise requirements for various categories of Irish licences and the scope for improving recognition of Irish licences. In addition, the issue of mutual recognition of driving licences is also a topic that under discussion between the European Union and Australia and any changes agreed at this level would apply to Irish licence holders.

Flood Relief Schemes Applications

 122. Deputy Michael McCarthy Information on Michael McCarthy Zoom on Michael McCarthy asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan if he will establish a national insurance scheme to provide cover for those persons who are most in need following the repeated flooding in Clonakilty, County Cork, over the past few months, in view of the fact that millions of euros of damages was caused to both business and residential properties, and that private insurance was unavailable to many affected; if his attention has been drawn to difficulties Clonakilty faces in view of the flooding in terms of commerce, sustainable employment and its tourism reputation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45889/12]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan At the outset, the Deputy should note that I am aware of the particular difficulties that Clonakilty faces and have been advised by the OPW that consultants have commenced work on an accelerated programme under the South West CFRAM study to assess the flooding situation in Clonakilty and to develop a preferred option for measures to protect the town to an acceptable level from river and tidal flooding. A Public Information Day was held on 16th March 2012 where the public were invited to provide as much information as possible to the consultants on the flooding events which have occurred in the town. The consultants work is expected to be finalised by summer 2013. The preferred option will then have to be progressed to a full scheme design followed by procurement of a contractor. All this will take some time, however pending this, the OPW has informed me that Cork County Council intends to proceed with interim works to provide some short term alleviation to the flooding situation, primarily focused on measures to improve the surface water drainage in the town.

On the issue of a national insurance scheme, it should be noted that this matter was considered by the previous Government, amongst other options, in the aftermath of the November 2009 flooding and a decision was made not to proceed with such an arrangement because of its significant cost and also because of the potential for regulatory issues with such a proposal. I have recently reviewed this matter and have decided against any further change of policy. Because the vast majority of people are able to obtain flood cover, any such scheme would almost certainly be confined to those areas where the insurance industry has withdrawn cover because of previous claims experience. Due to the limited population base, premiums would either be excessively high in an effort to cover the cost of claims, or the scheme would never be in a position to meet claims thus creating a large ongoing long-term exposure to the Exchequer. In addition an inevitable development from the introduction of such a scheme would be a combination of the withdrawal of insurance companies from high risk and medium risk areas where they currently provide cover (cherrypicking) and people in these areas faced with increasing insurance premiums deciding to discontinue cover on the basis that the state scheme would provide the necessary protection to them at a lesser charge (moral hazard) thereby increasing the burden on the State.

It should also be noted that from a regulatory perspective, the Central Bank has previously indicated that creating a State insurance company would raise a range of regulatory and capital issues and that such a proposal has the potential to distort the market and possibly could create state aid issues.

Finally, it is difficult to estimate what the cost to the State of such a scheme would be as weather events by their nature are unpredictable. However over the 12 year period 2000-2012 the Irish Insurance Federation has indicated that there have been eight major floods costing the insurance industry approximately €672m in flood claims. These costs to the State would be in addition to the normal infrastructure costs which arise from flooding such as repair of roads, bridges etc which the State as a matter of course looks after.


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