Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Questions (238, 239)

Jerry Buttimer

Question:

241 Deputy Jerry Buttimer asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide details of the number of political advisers employed by him or his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35871/12]

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Jerry Buttimer

Question:

242 Deputy Jerry Buttimer asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide details of the number of political advisers employed by his predecessors in each of the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35890/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 241 and 242 together.

I have appointed two Special Advisers to my office. Both were appointed in accordance with the Instructions on Ministerial Appointments for the 31st Dáil and sanctioned by the Taoiseach and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, where appropriate. My colleague Minister of State O'Sullivan, who, as a Minister of State who regularly attends Cabinet, may appoint a maximum of two Special Advisers, has appointed one special adviser and is currently arranging for the appointment of a second adviser. Minister of State Mr. Fergus O'Dowd has no special advisers appointed in my Department. Former Minister of State Penrose appointed one special adviser during his tenure at my Department. Former Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Mr. John Gormley, who served as Minister at the Department from June 2007 to January 2011 appointed four special advisers. One of these advisers was Programme Manager for the Green Party and while his salary was paid from the Department's vote he was based in the Department of the Taoiseach. During the same period no Minister of State assigned to the Department appointed any Special Advisers.