Skip to main content
Normal View

Dáil Éireann debate -
Wednesday, 7 Feb 1979

Vol. 311 No. 4

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Telecommunications System Review Group.


asked the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs if the review group set up by the Government in 1978 to report on the telecommunications system have employed communications technology specialists from an American telephone company; and if so, if he will give details of such employment.

(Dublin South-Central): The Posts and Telegraphs Review Group availed of an offer made by an American consortium to review the present status of the telecommunications service and to report to the group on the feasibility of implementing an accelerated development programme.

I should like to know if the company in question has been given any written terms of reference and if so if the Minister will announce them to the House or make them available?

(Dublin South-Central): It was a matter for the review group as to whom they employed. The group did not consult us in relation to the matter and were not obliged to do so. For that reason it would not be a matter for the Department to outline terms of reference.

Is the Minister saying that he does not know whether the review group have given the group I mentioned terms of reference?

(Dublin South-Central): The review group are entirely independent.

The review group are operating with the assistance of public funds voted in the House to the Minister and the Minister should be able to obtain information as to their activities if necessary.

(Dublin South-Central): We have given the review group their independence and they have made a decision to contract with the consortium concerned.

Am I correct in saying that the Minister does not know what the terms of reference to this American group are and he is refusing to find out?

(Dublin South-Central): It is not a matter for the Department to question the terms of reference the review body are giving to the consortium. It is a matter for the review group.

Can the Minister tell the House the approximate cost to the Exchequer of the employment of this group?

(Dublin South-Central): That is a separate question.