I refer to my reply to Question No. 225 of 19 February 2004.
The consultations under the preparatory process preceding the Government decision on the allocation of allowances between the trading and non-trading sectors took the form of a stakeholders workshop on 22 October 2003. The invitees included a broad spectrum of relevant sectoral interest groups from industry, energy, farming, transport, built environment and construction together with relevant Departments, semi-State bodies, trade unions and social and environmental non-governmental organisations.
In preparation for the workshop, my Department wrote to more than 40 organisations inviting them to participate. There was no public advertisement.
The workshop consisted of presentations by staff from my Department and the consultants, ICF Consulting and Byrne Ó Cléirigh, whose report underpins the Government's decision, an opportunity to ask questions for information and clarification and a discussion forum for participants and presenters.
The consultants advising Government on the allocation also consulted widely in discharge of their brief. Details of this are in their report and a copy is available in the Oireachtas Library.