Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (220)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

224 Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation his views on whether the net operating costs of Enterprise Ireland are appropriate and provide value for money in view of the overall allocation of funds and jobs delivered by the organisation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34581/12]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation)

The total of funds allocated by Enterprise Ireland (EI) in 2011 was €336m. Direct funding for enterprise development totalled €197m, with an additional €55m either administered on behalf of third parties, or disbursements to other state agencies. The net cost of operating the agency (i.e. the costs associated with providing services to client companies, and the administration of the organisation) was €84m in 2011 (this was a reduction of 6% over 2010).

Net operating costs relate to the pay and non-pay costs of the agency (see table 1 below), including the expenditure relevant to operating a client support network (effectively the business development executives which work with companies to assist them to grow sales and employment), a network of regional offices for service delivery, overseas offices which seek to promote internationalisation of Irish enterprises, and science and innovation support. Of the net operating costs, corporate services support (i.e. the costs associated with administration of the Agency) totalled €9.8m in 2011 (a reduction of 16% over 2010).

In relation to its regional, overseas, science and innovation and client development networks, Enterprise Ireland utilises skilled personnel with extensive expertise relevant to a range of areas including markets, sectors, technologies, business functions, and commercial assessment (often with industry specific experience). Enterprise Ireland, through the provision of a range of programmes and services, is aggressively supporting and incentivising companies to invest more, employ more, and know more in the context of winning sales overseas.

EI receives budgetary funding from the Exchequer reflecting national priorities in the support of industry and the development of the knowledge economy. Value for Money (VFM) and generating economic return are key principles in the work of the Agency, necessarily supported by effective targeting and performance monitoring. Enterprise Ireland actively works with viable companies to help them to both sustain and create jobs. A total of more than 141,000 people were employed in EI client companies at the end of 2011. Enterprise Ireland's Annual Report and Accounts 2011, which was published on 27th June, highlighted that EI client companies achieved record levels of exports of €15.2bn in 2011. This exceeds the pre-recession record levels of 2008 and is the highest ever annual export gain achieved by Enterprise Ireland client companies.

Table 1

Breakdown of Enterprise Ireland Net Operating Costs

2011 €m

2010 €m

Variance %

Client Services Network

32.4

32.3

0%

Overseas Office Network

21.0

21.6

-3%

Regional Office Network

5.5

6.2

-11%

Science and Innovation Support

15.4

17.4

-11%

Corporate Services Support

9.8

11.7

-16%

Total

84.1

89.2

-6%