Local Authority Services

Questions (215)

Micheál Martin

Question:

215. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will contact the management of South Dublin County Council and offer assistance to the council in the quest for funding to restore the playground at Tymon Park, Tallaght, Dublin 24; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10673/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

My Department does not provide funding to individual local authorities for playground facilities. The matter as raised is one for the local authority.

Compulsory Purchase Orders

Questions (216, 217)

Niall Collins

Question:

216. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the date on which he will publish the second investigation report into the compulsory purchase order at a location (details supplied); and if he intends to refer this report to the public accounts committee for discussion. [10697/13]

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Niall Collins

Question:

217. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will agree to the request for a meeting by three members of Wicklow County Council to discuss irregularities involving substantial public funds within that council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10698/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 216 and 217 together.

I appointed Mr Seamus Woulfe SC to carry out an independent review of the compulsory acquisition of land at Charlesland , Co Wicklow, by Wicklow County Council following representations made by three Wicklow County Councillors. I have now received Mr Woulfe’s report which is being examined. I intend shortly to send the report to the Wicklow County Council and the three county councillors who made the representations and to make the report available publically. This report follows from a review carried out last year by Mr Woulfe into the management by the Department of an application by Wicklow County Council for loan approval in respect of the above mentioned compulsory purchase following representations made by the Councillors in regard to the Department. The report fully exonerated the Department.

The three Councillors have also been in correspondence with Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan seeking a meeting. Minister O’Sullivan has replied fully to the Councillors in relation to matters within the Department’s remit. There has been no further correspondence in the matter with the Councillors since the middle of last year.

Property Taxation Exemptions

Questions (218)

Dominic Hannigan

Question:

218. Deputy Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if the list of houses in certain unfinished developments has been finalised for the local property tax yet; the way the estates are being qualified for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10725/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The list of unfinished housing estates to be prescribed for purposes of a waiver from the local property tax is currently being prepared. The list is being compiled by local authorities and will utilise the categorisation in place in respect of the household charge, updated by reference to the National Housing Survey 2012. My Department will collate the data from local authorities in the coming weeks and I will then prescribe and publish the list of qualifying estates.

Water Meters Installation

Questions (219)

Brendan Smith

Question:

219. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the fact that one of the conditions for inclusion on the subcontractor panel for water metering work is a minimum annual turnover of €400,000; his views on whether this threshold is too high and will deny small scale operators the opportunity to apply for work; if he will ensure that this threshold is substantially reduced which would ensure a better distribution of contracts both to smaller scale operators and on a geographic basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10726/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

The Government has decided that Irish Water, a new State-owned water company to be established as an independent subsidiary within the Bord Gáis Éireann Group, will be responsible for the domestic water metering programme and for the collection of water charges from households.

The procurement process for the sub-contractor panel has been developed by my Department, in consultation with Bord Gáis Éireann, to ensure that SMEs have an opportunity to compete for contracts. The tender criteria have been developed to ensure that sub-contractors have the capacity to carry out the scale of work involved to the necessary high standard. The approach being taken for the sub-contractor panel is consistent with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform guidelines on facilitating SME participation in public procurement (that Department’s Circular 10/10 refers). SMEs can submit their application for inclusion on the panel at any stage up to 30 June 2013.

It is expected that the successful regional management contractors will be utilising the resources of the pre-qualified sub-contractors for the purpose of delivering the meter installation works. As the procurement process is currently underway it would be inappropriate for me to comment further.

Departmental Staff Data

Questions (220, 222)

Seán Fleming

Question:

220. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of agency and contract staff currently employed under the aegis of his Department; the mechanism in place for monitoring and managing the associated costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10982/13]

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Clare Daly

Question:

222. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will outline the numbers and cost of agency staff under the aegis of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11062/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 220 and 222 together.

My Department collects quarterly data on the numbers employed in State bodies under the aegis of my Department. The number of persons employed on a contract basis in the State bodies under the aegis of my Department at the end of December 2012 was 8.5 (WTE). The provision of services by agency staff to State bodies is a procurement issue and is a matter for each State body as part of day to day management and operations.

Departmental Staff Rehiring

Question No. 222 answered with Question No. 220

Questions (221)

Joan Collins

Question:

221. Deputy Joan Collins asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of public sector workers who have retired in the past three years within his Department or any office or body under his aegis who have been reinstated; if he will provide details on the pay rates they are receiving; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10994/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

No former staff, who retired from my Department in the last three years, have been re-instated. The information in respect of bodies under the aegis of my Department is not currently available but will be compiled and forwarded to the Deputy.

Question No. 222 answered with Question No. 220.

Garda Investigations

Questions (223)

Pearse Doherty

Question:

223. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will provide an update on the Garda Síochána investigation of the alleged unauthorised removal of confidential data by a former employee of the National Asset Management Agency. [10648/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I am informed by the Garda authorities that An Garda Síochána received a complaint in relation to the alleged unauthorised removal of confidential data by a former employee of the National Assets Management Agency. I am further informed that the matter is under investigation and a file will be submitted to the Law Officers upon completion of the investigation. As this matter is under investigation it would be inappropriate for me to comment further at this stage.