Written Answers. - Statute Book.

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

53 Mr. Quinn asked the Taoiseach when the next phase of Irish Statutes in CD ROM format will be published; what it will include; the number which will be produced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1261/99]

Ruairí Quinn

Question:

54 Mr. Quinn asked the Taoiseach the number of copies of the Irish Statutes in CD ROM format produced; when they were published; the cost of the contract; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1262/99]

Dan Neville

Question:

149 Mr. Neville asked the Taoiseach the reason the CD ROM computer record of all legislation enacted by the Oireachtas between 1992 and 1997 is being manufactured in Johannesburg; his views on whether this sends a very bad signal with regard to the status of such technological expertise here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1831/99]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 53, 54 and 149 together.

The Irish Statute Book, containing Acts of the Oireachtas from 1922 to 1997 in CD-ROM format went on sale on 17 December 1998. One hundred copies were released through the Government Publications Sales Office. The Statute Book was simultaneously made available on the Internet.

A further 500 copies were produced earlier this month. Of these 100 have been made available to the Courts Service and 340 have gone on sale this week. The Incorporated Law Society has placed a separate order for 2000 CD-ROMs and these will be received next week. The total cost of the contract to make the Statute Book available in electronic form is £825,000.

It is expected that the next phase of Irish Statutes in CD-ROM format will be available in May. This CD-ROM will include the Acts of the Oireachtas, Statutory Instruments and the Chronological Tables of the Statutes from 1922 to 1998.

The agreed contract price provides for a further 400 CDs in the second phase of the project. The Office of the Attorney General are currently discussing the cost of obtaining additional CDs. The material will also be available on the Internet.

As I indicated in reply to Parliamentary Question No. 93 of 9 December 1997, the contract for the publication of Irish Statutes and Statutory Instruments in CD-ROM format was awarded to Juta & Company Ltd. of Capetown, South Africa. The contact was awarded in accordance with public procurement procedures.

In February 1997, the Official Journal of the European Union published a contract notice from the Office of the Attorney General inviting tenders to publish Irish Statutes and Statutory Instruments in electronic form.

Tenders were subsequently received from nine groups, some of which had the involvement of Irish based companies. The tenders were evaluated in accordance with the award criteria detailed in the request for tender documentation. The evaluation was undertaken by an in-house working group in the Office of the Attorney General with the assistance of Deloitte & Touche.

In awarding the contract the proposal from Juta & Company Ltd. of Capetown, South Africa, was selected as the most suitable. It was also the lowest-priced qualifying tender.