Wednesday, 28 January 2004

Questions (141)

John Dennehy


254 Mr. Dennehy asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if he will consider authorising an independent audit into whether the substantial increase in 2003 in the television licence was good value for money; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2411/04]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources)

RTE, as the national public service broadcaster established under the Broadcasting Authority Acts 1960 to 2001, is an independent statutory corporation. It is a matter for the RTE authority to ensure that it uses the funds available to it to fulfil its statutory remit.

As part of the package of measures agreed in December 2002, in the context of the decision to grant a significant increase in the television licence fee, the Government agreed that the television licence fee would be subject to an annual adjustment following an independent evaluation of RTE's performance in the previous year.

I appointed independent consultants in October 2003 to conduct an evaluation of RTE's performance in 2003. Following my consideration of the independent consultants' report, I decided to increase the television licence fee by €2.

A copy of the consultants' report is available on my Department's website.