Since July 2003, my Department has prepared a total of 29 reports. These reports include only those which are published by my Department, or which provide formal statements of information on activities of the Department, and do not include reports or minutes of meetings, etc.
Expenditure review of the property portfolio of IDA Ireland: As part of an expenditure review of the property portfolio of IDA Ireland currently being carried out by my Department, DTZ Pieda Consulting was commissioned, at a total cost of €60,500, inclusive of VAT, to provide an analysis of the role of property in attracting foreign direct investment in an agreed sample of overseas jurisdictions. Work on the expenditure review is now at an advanced stage and the final report will be made available in accordance with the Government's expenditure review initiative. Before completion, the report will be examined by an independent consultant at an additional cost of €1,500.
Expenditure review of the overseas office network of Enterprise Ireland: My Department is finalising an expenditure review of Enterprise Ireland's overseas office network. The review will be made available as part of the expenditure review initiative. The report will shortly be examined by an independent consultant at a cost of €1,500.
eBusiness monitoring report: Forfás, on behalf of the Department, with funding from the information society action plan fund, commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to conduct an eBusiness monitoring report in August 2002. The final eBusiness monitoring report was published in December 2003. The total cost for the two years was €126,000.
Review of industrial policy and performance 2003: This review was prepared internally and published in September 2003. The review is a detailed review of enterprise performance and policy for the three year period to 2003. It is a statutory requirement that such a review be produced by the Minister every third year. The only costs associated are printing costs.
City and county enterprise boards: Since 1 July 2003, my Department published two reports on the city and county enterprise boards, CEBs. A review of the role of county and city enterprise boards, CEBs, in the development of micro-enterprises was published in February 2003. The report, jointly commissioned by my Department and Forfás, was carried out by Fitzpatricks Associates. The cost of the report was €69,878. The report is published on the Department's website. Local enterprise, a decade of support, a review of the city and county enterprise boards was published in February 2004. The report was prepared internally by my Department in conjunction with the CEBs. The cost of the report was €6,813. The reports is published on the Department's website.
Mid-term evaluation of productive sector operational programme 2000-2006: This report was prepared externally by Indecon Consultants at a total cost of €173,358. Funding for this report was provided through the technical assistance priority of the productive sector operational programme. This was circulated to all members of the programme's monitoring committee, which is composed of representatives of implementing Departments and agencies, sectoral interests and the social partners. This was published in October 2003.
Reports on the productive sector operational programme, PSOP: Each year the Department prepares a progress report on the PSOP covering the first six months of the year and an annual implementation report covering the full year. These reports are prepared internally and circulated to members of the monitoring committee. The only associated costs are of having these reports copied.
Science and technology in Ireland: This report was published February 2004 by Forfás in conjunction with my Department. The total cost of publishing was €13,285.80.
Phase II of the review of the operation of Ireland's export controls system: The report of phase II of the review of the operation of Ireland's export controls system, which the Department requested Forfás to have carried out, is nearing completion and should be submitted shortly to Minister with responsibility for trade and commerce, Deputy Michael Ahern. The Minister of State had previously stated that it is his intention to make the report publicly available. The cost is estimated at €30,000.
National statement of trade policy: The Department is currently preparing a revised national statement of trade policy. It is expected to publish this statement shortly. Companies report 2002 and the companies report 2003: These reports are produced in accordance with section 392 of the Companies Act 1963, which provides that "The Minister shall cause a general annual report of matters within this Act to be prepared and laid before both Houses of the Oireachtas." Company law review group: The company law review group, which is the statutory advisory body on the reform and modernisation of company law, has produced a report covering its work programme for the period 2002 to 2003. This report, detailing its analysis and recommendations on a number of sectoral areas of company law and accompanying recommendations for reform is now complete and is being published. I expect shortly to lay copies of the report before the Houses of the Oireachtas, to circulate it to interested parties, and to place it on my Department's website. A restricted tender process for publication is underway.
The consumer strategy group: The consumer strategy group was established in March 2004 to advise and make recommendations for the development of a national consumer policy strategy. The group is to produce a final report to the by end of 2004. Any decision regarding publication will be taken closer to the date of the report's completion and submission to the relevant Minister.
Preliminary report the non-life insurance market: In 2002, the Competition Authority, in conjunction with my Department commenced a study on competition issues in the non-life insurance market, with particular reference to motor insurance, employer's liability and public liability. As part of this study, the authority released a preliminary report and consultation document on 18 February 2004 for comments by interested parties.
Study of proposed EU directive on unfair commercial practices: The study is due to be submitted in May 2004 to consumer and competition policy section of my Department. No decision has yet been taken on publication. The estimated cost of the study is €7,500.
National employment action plan: The Department is responsible for the preparation and co-ordination of the national employment action plan, which is Ireland's response to the European employment guidelines. The plan for 2003 to 2005 was prepared in consultation with the social partners and takes into account existing policies and strategies. The plan was submitted to the European Commission on 1 October 2003 and published on the Department's website
A review of the functions of the employment rights bodies: As part of the programme for Government 2002-07, a review of the functions of the employment rights bodies was undertaken, commencing in September 2003. An inter-departmental group comprising my Department and the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform undertook the review and a report is nearing completion. The report will be made available on the website of both Departments in due course.
The review of the Employment Agency Act 1971: Under paragraph 18.5 of Sustaining Progress, the Government made a commitment for a review to be undertaken, in consultation with the social partners and others, of the need to adapt the Employment Agency Act 1971, or the necessity for new legislation.
A discussion document addressing the various options that might be considered for the regulation of employment agencies and their recruitment and placement activities in this country is currently being finalised by my Department. This discussion document will be circulated to all interested parties for their views shortly and will also be published on the Department's website. This will be followed by meetings aimed at seeking a consensus on the most appropriate approach to adopt.
Report published by Employment Appeals Tribunal in October 2003: The Employment Appeals Tribunal is required to submit an annual report to me. This report must be published. The most recent report was published in October 2003 and reviews the activities of the tribunal for the year 2002. The Employment Appeals Tribunal was established under the Redundancy Payments Act 1967 for the purpose of resolving disputes concerning employees' entitlements to statutory redundancy payments. The tribunal's remit was subsequently extended to include responsibility for the settlement of disputes under various Acts.
A review of reception facilities in Kildare Street, Davitt House, Earlsfort Centre and Parnell House: The review sought to outline the effectiveness and quality of customer service being provided in each of the reception areas under review, to identify areas for improvement, and to make recommendations for enhancing the reception facilities in the offices concerned. The final report issued to information and organisation resources unit on 26 August 2003. The report is for internal Departmental use only, and had no financial costs.
A review of the ministerial representation system: This review aimed identify any difficulties with the current procedures and practices in dealing with ministerial representations and to make recommendations for enhancing the efficiency of the ministerial representation system overall. The final report issued on 24 November 2003. The report is for internal Departmental use only, and had no financial costs.
Internal review of support staff to the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment: The review provided recommendations for optimising the level of service being provided to me by support staff in the Minister's private office, the secretariat, the press office and the constituency office. The final report issued on 8 April 2004. The report is for internal Departmental use only, and had no financial costs.
Business continuity-disaster recovery plan: The plan provides a business continuity-disaster recovery plan for the Department. This plan will provide a strategy and structure to respond to disaster, loss or damage and to reinstate critical units-sections of the Department on a phased basis according to a pre-determined, prioritised plan. The final report is to issue at end May 2004. It was externally commissioned but for Departmental use only. The cost including, consultants costs, software licence and training was €92,624.94.
Feasibility study into on-line filing: The study evaluates the feasibility of the Patents Office providing on-line filing facilities for trade mark, patent and industrial design applications. The final report issued in September 2003. The report is for internal Departmental use only, and had no financial costs.
Annual report 2003: My Department has recently published its annual report in respect of activities set out in the statement of strategy 2003 to 2005 which were undertaken during 2003. The report was published on-line on the Department's website,www.entemp.ie, and will be made available in hard copy shortly.
Sustaining Progress action plan progress reports: My Department compiled an action plan under the Sustaining Progress social partnership agreement in which it outlined a number of modernisation initiatives to be implemented over the course of the agreement. The Department has compiled two progress reports to date, the first of which is published on-line, the second of which is expected to made available shortly.
Freedom of information sections 15-16: The Department's freedom of information sections 15 and 16 reference book is compiled in accordance with the Freedom of Information Acts. The reference book is a guide to the functions, records, rules and practices of the Department. The report was published on the Department's website,www.entemp.ie.
Management information reports: My Department prepares management information reports on a monthly basis for the information of the Department's management board. The report contains details of activities undertaken within the divisions. My Department has recently decided that these reports will be made available to the public. This process will commence shortly.