Departmental Agencies Staff Remuneration

Questions (291)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

291. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will provide details of the payment of bonuses or other performance related payments and or allowances made to the staff of agencies under the aegis of his Department with a yearly breakdown from 2008 outlining the overall amount paid in each year period and the number of staff that received such payments and or allowances. [10170/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

In response to the Deputy’s query the following is a list of payment of bonuses or other performance related payments and or allowances that were made to the staff of agencies under the aegis of my Department:

Office of the Ombudsman

Year

Bonuses (scheme of performance related awards for posts at Assistant Secretary level)

Performance Related Payments (Merit Awards)

Allowances (Private Secretary, Higher Duty, Key holding)

2008

€17,800 (for 2007)

€11,575 (16 staff)

€32,661.17 (12 staff)

2009

Nil

€10,000 (19 staff)

€42,617.11 (12 staff)

2010

Nil

€11,100 (19 staff)

€29,565.43 (4 staff)

2011

Nil

€  6,400 (11 staff)

€19,411.00 (3 staff)

2012

Nil

€  6,600 (12 staff)

€19,746.78 (3 staff)

Public Appointments Service

Year

Bonuses (scheme of performance related awards for posts at Assistant Secretary level)

Performance Related Payments (Merit Awards)

Allowances (Private Secretary, Higher Duty, Key holding)

2008

€16,000

€19,155 (73 staff)

€50,610.75 (29 staff)

2009

Nil

€7,376.00 (42 staff)

€37,356.47 (15 staff)

2010

Nil

€250 (2 staff)

€40,637.90 (15 staff)

2011

Nil

Nil

€40,343.20 (21 staff)

2012

Nil

Nil

€43,606.48 (21 staff)

Special EU Programmes Body

Year

Bonuses

Number of Staff

2008*

€5,600

9

2009

€1,050

5

2010

€462.50

4

2011

€975.00

6

2012

Nil

Nil

* Please note that this included a contractual performance related bonus of £8,000 was paid to the SEUPB’s Chief Executive in May 2008 for the 2007 performance year. There have been no bonuses awarded to the Chief Executive since this date. All other bonuses were paid under a Northern Irish Civil Service Bonus scheme to staff based in Belfast and Omagh who work under the terms and conditions of employment of the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

Departmental Agencies Staff Remuneration

Questions (292)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

292. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will provide details of payments made to the CEO or equivalent of all agencies under the aegis of his Department including details of any bonuses, pension entitlements or any other remuneration paid to him or her in 2012. [10187/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

In response to the Deputy’s question the following table outlines the details of payments made to the CEO or equivalent of all agencies under the aegis of my Department in 2012:

Agency

Title

Salary

Employer Pension Contribution

Institute of Public Administration

Director General

€188,952.00

€65,377.00

Office of the Ombudsman

Director General

€146,649.71

-

State Laboratory

State Chemist

€108,491.00

-

Public Appointments Service

(Started 20/03/2012)

CEO

€96,566.09

-

Pension Provisions

Questions (293)

Ciaran Lynch

Question:

293. Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when a determination will be made regarding a pension issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10221/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

I am aware that you wrote to me last year on behalf of the person in question.

While I understand that it had been anticipated that the issue would have been finalised by now, I am informed by my officials that the case in fact gave rise to complex legal and policy issues and had implications beyond a single individual.

Officials within my Department are currently however finalizing a report for submission for my consideration no later than the end of next week.

Public Procurement Contracts

Questions (294)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

294. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the steps his Department intends to take to ensure that Government procurement impacts directly on both youth and long term unemployment. [3248/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

The scope for including social considerations in public contracts is something that I have been examining closely recently. In this regard, I would refer the Deputy to my reply on this issue (PQ 3066/13 - answered 23/01/13).

The inclusion of a social clause in all public procurement contracts requiring that a quota of young unemployed people or long-term unemployed be employed in the delivery of the contract poses a number of risks. Firstly, it is against EU Treaty principles to discriminate between people on the basis of age. Secondly, in the current economic climate, and in particular bearing in mind the difficulties in the construction sector, businesses have for obvious reasons been reducing their existing workforce rather than taking on new employees. Consequently, it would be expected that, where a business is awarded a public contract, the work would be carried out by the existing employees of that business. In such circumstances a social clause requiring that a number of long-term unemployed be employed in delivering a public contract could either impose an additional cost on SMEs that they may not be able to afford, or result in an employee of the supplier being let go in favour of a long-term unemployed person.

The Government has a wide range of measures that it is deploying to facilitate job creation and support labour activation, with particular emphasis on assisting long term unemployed people. Obviously, the main purpose of the public procurement process is to ensure that goods, services and works are purchased by the State in a manner that is legal, transparent and of high probity, and our key requirement is the achievement of value for money. Within this context, my Department and the National Procurement Service are examining the use of social clauses as an additional means of supporting activation and we are seeking to identify the scope for the use of social clauses in parts of the capital area in particular.

Ministerial Meetings

Questions (295)

Micheál Martin

Question:

295. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he has met the social partners since this round of talks has commenced on the Croke Park agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3971/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

I met representatives of the Public Services Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions in December last regarding the commencement of discussions with public service management on a new agenda for reductions in the cost of delivering public services and substantial longer term productivity improvements and workplace reforms.

Furthermore, I attended a plenary meeting of the parties yesterday at which the Labour Relations Commission presented proposals after intensive discussions over the weekend. I understand that the proposals are being finalized by the parties and once that is concluded I will brief the House on them.

Outside of this current process, I also hold periodic meetings with trade union leaders and officials of my Department meet with stakeholders including representatives of public service trade unions on a regular basis.

Outsourcing of Public Services

Question No. 297 answered with Question No. 286

Questions (296)

Dara Calleary

Question:

296. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of non-core public service activities that have been selected for priority outsourcing to companies based here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9083/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

Evaluating opportunities for the external delivery of some non-core public services is an action in the Public Service Reform Plan agreed by Government in November 2011. In July 2012, the Government agreed a range of actions aimed at achieving a focused and integrated approach to external service delivery of non-core processes with the objective of reducing costs and focusing staff resources on priority areas.

As part of this approach, the Government has decided that all proposed new services across the Public Service will be tested for external service delivery before any approval to provide the service internally will be granted. External service delivery leads have been appointed in every Department and Sector and the three major sectors of Health, Justice and Local Government have prepared external service delivery plans. My Department is also examining a number of potential cross-Departmental major projects for external service delivery.

While my Department is overseeing the development and implementation of external service delivery policy for the Public Service, the testing and ultimate decision with regard to the outsourcing of any particular service is a matter for the individual public bodies concerned in each case. All contracts offered for external service delivery will be subject to the normal rules governing public procurement, which require all services to be offered by open competitive tender.

Question No. 297 answered with Question No. 286.

Proposed Legislation

Questions (298)

Willie Penrose

Question:

298. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the date on which he plans to publish the Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries, Privileges and Procedures) Bill, in order to facilitate a banking inquiry into the activities of banking institutions in respect of 2001 to 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10302/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

As the Deputy will be aware, I strongly support the objective of undertaking an effective and legally robust parliamentary banking inquiry. I wish to advise the Deputy that the Houses of the Oireachtas (Inquiries Privileges and Procedures) Bill 2012 is currently at an advanced stage in the drafting process and is expected to be published in the spring session.

As set out in the General Scheme of the Bill, published following its approval by Government on 31 October 2012, responsibility is assigned exclusively to the Houses of the Oireachtas to determine the requirement for a formal inquiry, the terms of reference of that inquiry and the procedural and organisational aspects of the inquiry.

Public Sector Reform Implementation

Questions (299)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

299. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if, in relation to public sector reform, he will clarify the assessments and cost-benefit analyses that have been undertaken into the non-payroll area of expenditure to identify efficiencies such as enhancing IT capabilities, reducing rental payments where possible, developing shared services and so on; the savings which have been achieved to date on the non-payroll side of expenditure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10192/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The need for careful evaluation and appraisal of all significant areas of expenditure, including those contained in the Government’s Public Service Reform Plan, is essential, especially in the context of on-going resource constraints.

The Government's approach to addressing the management of expenditure over the medium-term has been clearly set out in the Comprehensive Expenditure Report (CER) 2012-2014. Under the CER, multi-annual current expenditure ceilings are fixed for each Department in order to make clear, in advance, the resources available for each area and the level of savings required. The intention of this reform measure is to improve the focus on medium-term, structural and strategic planning of expenditure within each area and to prevent spending overruns where possible.

Good progress has been made to advance reforms in the area of evidence-based expenditure policy. This includes actions taken in relation to the Public Spending Code to consolidate existing procedures in this area and modernise them in line with best national and international practice. These reforms are supported by the establishment of a Public Service Evaluation Network, reforms to the Value for Money (VFM) and Policy Review process and the introduction of new Focused Policy Assessments designed to answer specific issues of policy configuration and delivery.

With regard to the specific areas referred to in the Deputy’s question, Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) are key enablers to delivering improved public services. In 2012, my Department published the eGovernment Strategy 2012-2015 and the Cloud Commuting Strategy, which identified necessary actions to enhance the delivery of public services using ICT. While these strategies were developed by my Department in conjunction with the Public Service Chief Information Officer (CIO) Council, the specific responsibility for implementation of actions arising from these strategies and for assessing the efficiencies that arise, including enhancing ICT capability, is a matter for each individual Department and Office.

The Reform Plan has given an added impetus to the OPW’s on-going drive to reduce rental outgoings. Through a programme of lease surrenders and rent reviews, The OPW has reduced the annual rental cost of Civil Service accommodation by approximately €25 million. The Reform Plan has been given further support by a specific Government decision mandating the OPW to further rationalise Civil Service accommodation and produce more space efficient accommodation standards. This will facilitate the surrender of the maximum feasible number of leases as lease breaks arise thus further reducing the Government's rental costs. As part of this process, the OPW has been asked to work with the various sectors within the Public Service, e.g., Local Authorities, HSE, etc., to develop standards and protocols that will facilitate the sharing of buildings and the transfer of property, thus reducing the State's overall property costs.

A decision-making model for Shared Services has been established to evaluate value for money to the taxpayer for all Shared Services programmes under my Department’s remit. A cost-benefit analysis to assess the potential efficiencies that a Shared Services Centre can deliver, of both pay and non-payroll expenditure, is carried out in respect of each proposed Shared Service programme. This analysis is assessed with comparable benchmarks elsewhere to identify the opportunity for improving cost efficiencies and effectiveness for a specific function. These make up a significant part of the overall business case. The business case also considers a number of possible options and assesses the financial and non-financial value of each of those options. Each Shared Service programme has a business case submitted for peer review to the Shared Service Transformation Unit and the Central Economic Evaluation Unit (for evaluation of the financial and non-financial assumptions against the Public Spending Code).

The methodology I have described above allows me to report that the Human Resources and Pensions Shared Services Centre for the Civil Service, PeoplePoint, is expected to yield combined pay and non-pay savings in the region of an annual net saving of €12.5 million by 2014 while the number of staff involved in delivering these services will reduce by a minimum of 17%. The first transitions to PeoplePoint are expected at the end of March 2013, with all 40 in scope bodies to be transitioned by the end of 2014. A similar approach has been taken to develop a business case for Payroll Shared Services and to assess the baseline performance of Banking and Financial Management for consideration for Shared Services. A cost-benefit analysis for Shared Services projects notified to my Department is also being undertaken across the Public Service sectors of Health and Local Government.

I would also point out that the Progress Reports published by the Implementation Body overseeing progress on the Public Service Agreement have identified significant non-pay administrative efficiency savings. Two reports have been issued to date – the first in June 2011 and the second in June 2012.

Overall, good progress has been made on delivering savings and implementing the Public Service Reform Plan. Of course, it remains a matter for each Minister and their Departments to ensure that the Vote-level allocations are adhered to and at the same time ensure that they continue to provide essential front-line services and respond to increasing demands.

Flood Relief Schemes Funding

Questions (300)

Brendan Smith

Question:

300. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when he will provide funding or to have work undertaken to deal with flooding problems caused by the River Reane in the Fenagh area near Ballinamore, County Leitrim; if his attention has been drawn to the concerns of the local community in relation to the damage caused by recent flooding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10327/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The Office of Public Works recently approved funding of €10,000 under the Minor Flood Mitigation Works & Coastal Protection Scheme to Leitrim County Council to carry out a feasibility study to assess the flooding problem at River Reane at Tully Lough in the Fenagh area. The progression of the study is matter for Leitrim County Council.

EU Programmes

Questions (301)

Brendan Smith

Question:

301. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the likely timeframe for the introduction of a successor programme to the peace III programme; when he proposes to announce the level of funding to be provided by both the Irish and British Governments following the European Council decision to continue funding for the peace programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10328/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

At the meeting of the European Council in Brussels on 7/8 February 2013, EU Heads of State and Government agreed to the inclusion of a special allocation of €150 million for a new PEACE Programme in the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2014-2020. This special allocation, which was not provided for in the European Commission’s original MFF proposal, was included following the intervention of the Irish Government. The MFF is subject to the agreement of the European Parliament.

I very much welcome the European Council decision to make funding available for a new PEACE Programme. The PEACE Programmes have made a significant contribution to supporting reconciliation, to the creation of a shared society, and to addressing the legacy of the troubles. Significant challenges remain, however, and addressing them is important for the longer term viability of the peace process.

The final size of the next PEACE programme, which will also include funding from Ireland and the UK, will be determined following the programme planning process. The planning process for a possible successor Programme for PEACE III was initiated in April 2012, with my Department and the Department of Finance and Personnel asking the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) to commence preparation of detailed programme proposals in close consultation with the relevant Government Departments.

The development of the new programme proposals is being overseen by a Programme Development Steering Group chaired by SEUPB and consisting of representatives of Government Departments, local Government, and the trade union, business, rural and community and voluntary sectors. A public consultation process on potential priorities and content of the Programme ran from 28 August to 20 November 2012. Following consideration of the consultation responses, a draft Operational Programme for PEACE IV will be prepared and a further public consultation on the draft Programme will be held in early to mid 2013.

It is intended that both Operational Programmes for PEACE IV and INTERREG V will be presented to the Northern Ireland Executive, the Irish Government and the Scottish Government during 2013. Formal submission to the European Commission for approval will take place following agreement of the three Governments.

EU Funding

Questions (302)

David Stanton

Question:

302. Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if any Government Departments are planning to be involved in 2013 EU funding under the competitiveness and innovation programme and seventh framework programme; the calls for pre-commercial procurement grants open at present; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9619/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

Ireland’s researchers and companies have been involved in more than 1,500 successful applications obtaining European Commission funding of approximately €485 million (2007-2012) under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The overall Irish success rate at 22.7%, is above the European Member State average of 22.1%, and a very positive indication of the prospects for Irish participation over the lifetime of FP7 and broadly in line with our national targets. Ireland’s involvement in the 2013 work programme is expected to reflect participation to date, i.e. demonstrating an application success rate above the EU average.

In July 2012, the European Commission launched its final and largest ever package of FP7 calls, an €8.1 billion work programme for 2013. This work programme is currently underway, with closing dates for proposals spanning September 2012 to year end 2013. Funding will be awarded in 2013 – 2014.

The limited budget attached to the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) means that it is not an expenditure-orientated programme like FP7 or the Cohesion Policy Funds, but one that seeks to achieve its ambitions and broadly defined objects by leveraging its ideas, products and partnerships into other policies and programmes. Enterprise Ireland will be engaging with CIP funding for 2013 through the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) which is the primary instrument for the CIP programme. As suitable calls arise, the EEN will be engaging with its client base. One very concrete benefit to Ireland and SMEs from this programme is its joint funding of the Enterprise Europe Network, which is in the region of €450,000 per year.

In relation to Pre-Commercial Procurement, there is Irish involvement in two pilot programmes in the CIP ICT Policy Support Programme. These pilot programmes mainly address interoperability of public service pilots on a large scale across Europe, with the ultimate objective of wide-scale service uptake eventually by all 27 member states. Under this year’s 2013 call for this work programme, PPI (Public Procurement of Innovative solutions) instruments will be used for the first time, in anticipation of their wide-scale use in Horizon 2020 to fund innovation procurement.

While there has been no Irish participation to date in FP7 ICT PCP projects, there are some PCP topics within the current ICT call and there is evidence of some interest by Irish academia in exploring the feasibility of involvement with a PCP in the technology-enhanced learning area.

Job Creation

Questions (303, 315)

Tom Fleming

Question:

303. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if the Cabinet committee on job creation has investigated the jobs crisis in County Kerry; if it will request the Industrial Development Agency to prioritise County Kerry for jobs investment in view of the fact that the county lost Objective 1 Status in 1998 and the fact that the three nearest counties have fared exceptionally better with IDA site visits, County Cork 31, County Limerick 13 and County Clare six; if he and the Cabinet Committee on Job Creation will request the IDA to give the county the jobs boost it so urgently requires; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10253/13]

View answer

Tom Fleming

Question:

315. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of jobs announced by the Industrial Development Agency and Enterprise Ireland for County Kerry in each of the following years, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10277/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 303 and 315 together.

I have been informed by IDA Ireland that, in the five year period 2008 to 2012, there were three IDA job announcements for County Kerry with the potential to create 155 jobs. During the same period, there were two Enterprise Ireland investment announcements with the potential to create 41 jobs and nine High Potential Start Up (HPSU) projects announced for county Kerry. For reasons of commercial sensitivity, it is not possible to give details of the job potential of these HPSU projects.

At the end of 2012 there were 12 IDA Ireland supported companies in Kerry employing 1,600 people, while Enterprise Ireland had 132 client companies in the county employing 3,318 people.

In relation to the attraction of foreign direct investment (FDI) to County Kerry, IDA Ireland has indicated that the challenge it faces is to continue to win top quality investment for Ireland in a very challenging global environment. International competition for FDI has become extremely intense and continues to increase. Leading global corporations require a significant population pool, access to qualified talent, world class physical and digital infrastructure as well as the availability of sophisticated professional and business support services. IDA Ireland, however, tries to influence these choices by prioritising the marketing of Gateway locations within each Region as the locations of critical mass with sufficient scale of population, skills, infrastructure, companies, business services, etc. and highlights the opportunities provided by Hub locations which are within commuting distances of these Gateways. With continuing enhancement and improvements in physical and digital infrastructure, an FDI project secured for one Gateway can have a positive impact on other Gateways and their surrounding areas. It must be acknowledged, however, that the decision on where a client company will locate a new FDI investment is ultimately made by the senior managers of the companies involved.

I am mindful of the concerns that have been expressed by Deputies on all sides of the House about the relatively low level of site visits to certain regional locations and have raised this matter with the CEO of IDA Ireland with a view to exploring what further initiatives can be taken to influence potential investors to invest in such locations.

I am mindful, also, that in order to ensure that Ireland can continue to compete globally for foreign direct investment, it will be necessary to undertake an in depth analysis of our FDI strategy with a view to informing the formulation of an appropriate strategy for the period post 2014, when IDA Ireland’s current strategy is implemented. This analysis, which will be undertaken later this year, will take account of factors such as key trends emerging in FDI best practice internationally, Ireland’s strengths in attracting FDI, any changes to the EU’s State Aid rules that may be introduced in the near future and our agreed approach to regional development.

Notwithstanding these challenges, IDA Ireland has assured me that it will in 2013, in accordance with the Government’s 2013 Action Plan for Jobs, seek to target more than 130 new investments, secure €500 million of R&D expenditure and create 13,000 new jobs in its client companies.

Consumer Protection

Questions (304)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

304. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if his attention has been drawn to the charges that can be applied to flights when booked by credit card; and if he will legislate to ban such practices. [9635/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

My Department’s consultation paper of September 2012 on Article 19 (Fees for the use of means of payment) and Article 22 (Additional payments) of Directive 2011/83/EU on Consumer Right gives details of payment charges applied by a number of traders, including the charges applied by airlines referred to by the Deputy.

Article 52(3) of Directive 2007/64/EC on Payment Services in the Internal Market states that a ‘payment service provider shall not prevent the payee from requesting a charge or from offering a reduction for the use of a given payment instrument.’ Article 52(3) gave Member States discretion to ‘forbid or limit the right to request charges taking into account the need to encourage competition and forbid the use of efficient payment instruments’. Ireland, in common with 12 other Member States including Germany and the United Kingdom, chose not to give effect to this option. Accordingly, it is not unlawful per se for traders in Ireland to impose charges on consumers for the use of a particular method of payment.

Article 19 of Directive 2011/83/EU provides that Member States ‘shall prohibit traders from charging consumers in respect of the use of a given means of payment, fees that exceed the cost borne by the trader for the use of such means.’ Though this Article does not prohibit payment charges as such, it aims to ensure that such charges reflect the real cost of payment instruments to the trader and are not used as a source of additional revenue.

Shortly after the adoption of the Directive, I stated my intention to give early effect to the provisions of Article 19 and Article 22. To this end, my Department issued the consultation paper on the implementation of the two Articles referred to above. One of the issues raised by the consultation has required my Department to seek legal advice from the Attorney General's Office and the European Commission. My Department has recently received the opinion of the European Commission and expects to receive the advice of the Attorney General’s Office in the near future. On receipt of this advice, I will assess, and decide upon, the options relating to the transposition and application of Articles 19 and 22.

Employment Appeals Tribunal

Questions (305)

Finian McGrath

Question:

305. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding sick leave. [9696/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

The Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) is independent in the exercise of its quasi-judicial function and I have no direct involvement in its day to day operations. It is long established practice that Ministers do not get involved with its adjudication function. The matter referred to here is in fact an ongoing partially heard case before the EAT. I understand that the claim was received by the Tribunal on 27th March 2011, under the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2007 and the Redundancy Payments Acts, 1967 to 2007. A hearing of these claims took place on 13th February, 2013, during which evidence was heard from the claimant. The case was adjourned and is scheduled to be resumed at a later date.

As this matter remains before the EAT as a case which is awaiting final adjudication, it would therefore not be appropriate for me to comment on the specific circumstances of this case.

Credit Guarantee Scheme Implementation

Questions (306)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

306. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation further to the announcement of the loan guarantee scheme for small and medium enterprises in budget 2012 announcements of December 2011, the total amount that has been to date extended to SMEs under the scheme and the number of SMEs to which that total relates. [9759/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

The Credit Guarantee Scheme is operational since 24th October 2012. There are currently 14 approved guaranteed loans resulting in €1.5m of additional lending being provided to viable companies as of close of business on 15th February 2013. As a result of the sanctioned lending it is expected that there will be 113 new jobs created and 19 jobs will be maintained.

The scheme has been designed to address market failure affecting certain SMEs on the margins of commercial lending decisions, who, because of a lack of collateral or because of the sector they operate in, face difficulties in accessing traditional bank credit. The Department and the Operator are in regular contact with the participating banks to improve take-up of the scheme, however, the Deputy will be aware that the Scheme is demand- led. Potential borrowers are being advised to contact the participating banks directly. The Department will of course keep a close eye on developments in respect of the scheme as matters unfold.

Credit Guarantee Scheme Implementation

Questions (307)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

307. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation further to the announcement of the loan guarantee scheme for small and medium enterprises in the Budget 2012 announcements in December 2011, the total amount of fees paid and payable to a company (details supplied) for administering the scheme to date. [9760/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

Following a competitive tendering process, Capita Asset Services (Ireland) Limited was selected to operate the Credit Guarantee Scheme under the Credit Guarantee Act 2012.

The agreed charges under the terms of the contract are €199,000 plus VAT based on 1,875 loans per year for each of years 1 to 3. There is provision in the contract for revision of costs in years 2 and 3 depending on the uptake of the Scheme. The cost of the Scheme will be partially offset by receipts from the 2% premium paid by borrowers.

The Scheme went live on the 24th October 2012, and so far a total of €299,981.30 including VAT has been paid to the operator. This payment includes additional charges in respect of initial set up and implementation costs and charges in respect of training and lender accreditation costs and for the day to day running of the first quarter of the Scheme, for three lenders.

Microenterprise Loan Fund Application Numbers

Questions (308)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

308. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation further to the announcement of the €90m microfinance scheme on 27 September 2012, the total amount that has been to date extended to businesses under the scheme and the number of businesses to which that total relates. [9761/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

Microfinance Ireland (MFI) began operating in October 2012. It is my intention that progress reports on the Microenterprise Loan Fund will be published via the MFI website microfinanceireland.ie and on my Department’s website enterprise.gov.ie on a quarterly basis.

106 loan applications were received by MFI up to today, with 31 loans approved to companies across a range of sectors. The value of these approved loans is €508,000 in total, and this will support approximately 80 jobs. There are 37 applications in progress. 38 were withdrawn, declined or are under appeal. MFI is currently actively promoting the availability of its loan fund and is focusing on a media campaign to raise awareness of the Scheme across the country. Other options for promoting the Fund are also being examined.

Microenterprise Loan Fund Expenditure

Questions (309)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

309. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation further to the announcement of the €90m microfinance scheme on 27 September 2012, the total cost of operating Microfinance Ireland in 2012 and provide the forecast cost of operating Microfinance Ireland in 2013 and the current effective full time headcount of that organisation. [9762/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

Microfinance Ireland opened for business on 1st October 2012. The full accounts for 2012 will amount to €461,000, which will include the cost of setting up the Microenterprise Loan Fund Scheme which was approximately €278,000. The set-up costs included company incorporation, legal support, advertising and communications, launch and financial advice. In the quarter to end December 2012 operating costs were €183,000 and included staffing, marketing, credit and other costs.

The accounts of Microfinance Ireland to end December 2012 are currently being prepared and have not yet been approved by its Board of Directors. The cost of operating Microfinance Ireland in 2013 is forecast to be €1.5m of which €800,000 is the forecast cost of bad debts. Six staff are currently employed in Microfinance Ireland.

Enterprise Support Schemes

Questions (310)

Finian McGrath

Question:

310. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if there is any funding or supports for persons with a disability who would like to start a business in the Dublin area. [9857/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

The County and City Enterprise Boards (CEBs) support the indigenous micro-enterprise sector in the start-up and expansion phases and stimulate enterprise potential at local level. The CEBs are the first port of call in terms of advice, direction, training and grant support for anyone who wishes to start a business. The CEBs will deal with queries from all potential clients (including those with a disability). Contact details for the CEBs are available on www.enterpriseboards.ie.

The CEBs offer a range supports including both financial assistance and non-financial assistance. The forms of financial assistance, which are available subject to certain criteria and conditions, are Priming Grants, Business Expansion Grants and Feasibility/Innovation Grants. The provision of non-financial assistance can take the form of a wide range of business advice and information services, management capability training and development programmes, e-Commerce training initiatives etc. Training courses include such topics as start-your-own-business, taxation for beginners, internet marketing, idea’s generation and negotiation skills.

In addition, Microfinance Ireland is providing support in the form of loans of up to €25,000 available to start-up, newly established or growing microenterprises employing less than 10 people with viable business propositions that do not meet the conventional risk criteria applied by the banks. The Fund has a significant entrepreneurship focus and is open to anyone with a viable business proposal. Applications for the new Microfinance Fund should be channelled through the local CEB.

A Guide, entitled “Financial Support for Irish Business” has been published on my Department’s website at www.djei.ie under “latest publications” and includes information on supports, other than those available from the Enterprise Development Agencies such as “Revenue Job Assist” and “Back to Work Enterprise Allowance”.

Departmental Consultations

Questions (311)

Jack Wall

Question:

311. Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the position regarding the stated reform review; if a submission (details supplied) will be included in the process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9931/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

I launched a public consultation process last November to seek as broad a range of views as possible on how the reform of the national micro and small business support infrastructure could best be implemented. The closing date for receipt of submissions was originally 19th December 2012 but this was extended to 18th January 2013, because of the level of interest. A total of 88 submissions were received and these responses will inform and influence the final shape of the LEOs and the services that the LEOs will provide. Many of the submissions make positive suggestions on how the reform could be rolled out effectively across a range of issues. These responses are currently being examined, including the positive response from the Crafts Council of Ireland, and will be factored into shaping the operational scope of the LEOs.

All submissions received will be published on my Department’s website on completion of the review and distillation of the huge response.

The Crafts sector plays an important role in sustainable job creation across the country. Taken nationally the crafts industry is a significant employer and it is estimated that the sector employs over 5,770 people. Both Minister Perry and I view the reform as an important opportunity to get a combined effort in behind start-ups and small business and we shall vigorously work to harness the potential of the new model.

Departmental Agencies Staff Remuneration

Questions (312, 313)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

312. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if he will provide details of the payment of bonuses or other performance related payments and or allowances made to the staff of agencies under the aegis of his Department with a yearly breakdown from 2008 outlining the overall amount paid in each year period and the number of staff that received such payments and or allowances. [10168/13]

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Thomas Pringle

Question:

313. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if he will provide details of payments made to the CEO or equivalent of all agencies under the aegis of his Department including details of any bonuses, pension entitlements or any other remuneration paid to him or her in 2012. [10185/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 312 and 313 together.

Payment of remuneration, including bonuses, pension entitlements, allowances etc. for both the CEOs and staff of the agencies under the remit of my Department is a day to day matter for the individual agencies and I have no function in the matter.

The CEOs of a number of agencies under the aegis of my Department are eligible to participate in a Performance Related Award Scheme approved by the Minister for Jobs Enterprise, and Innovation, with the consent of the Minister for Finance. The Schemes, which are based on the Department of Finance’s Guidelines on Performance Related Awards in non-commercial state bodies, provide for a maximum award of 20% of total remuneration. Approval for such awards is a matter for the Board of the relevant body. These Performance Related Awards have been suspended since April 2009.

I have asked the Agencies to respond directly to Deputy Pringle on the matter.