Public Procurement Tenders

Question No. 45 answered with Question No. 39.

Questions (44, 55)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

44. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the measures he has introduced since March 2011 that have improved public procurement practices by removing obstacles and encouraging the involvement of small and medium enterprises and micro enterprises. [10433/13]

View answer

Denis Naughten

Question:

55. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the steps being taken to assist small business in obtaining public contracts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10264/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 44 and 55 together.

In relation to improving access for SMEs to public procurement opportunities the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has issued guidelines (Circular 10/10) that require public bodies to promote participation of small and medium-sized enterprises in the award of public contracts. These guidelines set out positive measures that contracting authorities are to take to promote SME involvement in a manner that is consistent with the principles and rules of the existing public procurement regulatory regime. The guidance also highlights practices that are to be avoided because they can unjustifiably hinder small businesses in competing for public contracts. The key provisions of the guidance include:

supplies and general services contracts with an estimated value of €25,000 or more to be advertised on the www.etenders.gov.ie website;

less use of “restrictive” tendering procedures and greater use of “open” tendering;

ensuring that the levels set by contracting authorities for suitability criteria are justified and proportionate to the needs of the contract;

sub-dividing larger requirements into lots where this is practical.

Circular 10/10 has been in place for just over two years. It is clear that there is a need to ensure greater consistency in relation to the implementation of this circular. In this regard, the National Procurement Service (NPS) established its 'Working Group to assist Small and Medium Enterprises' in February 2012 to facilitate open discussion on the issue of public service procurement. The Working Group consists of representatives from the NPS, the Health Service Executive, the Irish Business and Employers Federation, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, Chambers Ireland, and the Small Firms Association. The Group has met on a number of occasions and has raised many issues relating to procurement and particularly how these issues impact on SMEs. Resulting from these discussions the NPS has issued two circulars to all buyers in, and suppliers to, the public service with the aim of improving practice in the procurement arena.

Question No. 45 answered with Question No. 39.

Sale of State Assets

Questions (46)

Brendan Smith

Question:

46. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when the proceeds from the sale of State assets will be available for investment in the economy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10410/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

Work is ongoing and significant progress has already been made in preparations for transactions in the State asset disposal programme that I announced last February. I envisage that significant further progress will be made during the course of this year, including the receipt of the initial proceeds for some of the assets, as circumstances allow.

Coastal Erosion

Questions (47)

David Stanton

Question:

47. Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if his attention has been drawn to any studies or surveys in the County Cork area identifying the threat to farmland from coastal erosion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6938/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

I would point out that the investigation of coastal erosion, in the first instance, is a matter for the relevant local authority concerned.

My Office is not aware of studies or surveys in the County Cork area specifically identifying the threat to farmland from coastal erosion. The South Coast Report of the Irish Coastal Protection Strategy Study (ICPSS), published by OPW in 2011, provides some erosion hazard mapping. These maps are strategic level predictive erosion hazard maps for the years 2030 and 2050 and do not distinguish between farmland or other types of land that may potentially be at risk from erosion. The ICPSS report and maps are available on the OPW website www.opw.ie under Flood Risk Management/Publications.

Cork County Council may have carried out or commissioned other studies or surveys and the Council can be contacted directly on this.

Office of Public Works Properties

Questions (48)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

48. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will provide a list of all properties for which the State has a long-term rental agreement. [10427/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

The table schedules 267 leases with a term of 15 years or more managed by OPW for the provision of office space for the various Government Departments/Agencies.

Table 1

COUNTY

BUILDING NAME

ADDRESS 1

CARLOW

Carlow Gov Off Church St

Church Street

CARLOW

Carlow Prob & Wel Service

Quinn House

CARLOW

Carlow Vehicle Reg Off

6 - 8 Lower Staplestown Road

CARLOW

Carlow Temp Decent Off (D/ETE)

O'Brien Road

CAVAN

Bailieboro SWO

Barrack Street

CAVAN

Cavan Gov Off Newcourt Shop Ctre

Newcourt Shopping Centre

CAVAN

Cavan Gov Off Elm Hse

Elm House

CLARE

Kilrush SWO

45 Moore Street

CLARE

Shannon Driving Test Centre

1 Fergus Road

CLARE

Ennis Education Office

First Floor

CLARE

Ennis Education Office

First Floor

CLARE

Kilrush Decentral.Revenue Off.

Enterprise House

CORK

Bandon SWO

Weir Street

CORK

Bantry SWO - 6 Main Street

6 Main Street

CORK

Bantry Customs and Excise

Old Convent House

CORK

Castletownbere SWO

Church Gate

CORK

Clonakilty SWO

9 Wolfe Tone Way

CORK

Cork C&E Centre Park House

Centre Park House

CORK

Cork Gov Off Connolly Hall

Connolly Hall

CORK

Cork Gov Off Connolly Hall

Connolly Hall

CORK

Cork Prob&Wel Serv Grattan St

Grattan Street

CORK

Cork Gov Off Hibernian House

Hibernian House

CORK

Cork Gov Off Irish Life Bldg

Irish Life House

CORK

Cork Gov Off Irish Life Bldg

Irish Life House

CORK

Dunmanway SWO/CSO Office

Main Street

CORK

Fermoy SWO - Connolly Street

Connolly Street

CORK

Cork Marine Office

Riverview Business Park

CORK

Cork Education Office

Block C Heritage Business Park

CORK

Cork Prob & Wel Serv Cove St

St Nicholas Church

CORK

Carrigaline DSFA Office

Units 2 & 4

CORK

Cork HIQA Decent Office

Unit 1301,Building 1000

CORK

Mallow SWO (New)

Fair Green

CORK

2B Drinan Street CWS

2B Drinan Street

CORK

3 Drinan Street CWS

2C Drinan Street

CORK

Bantry ESO

Unit 2 The Warner Centre

DONEGAL

Ballybofey SWO

13 Main Street

DONEGAL

Ballyshannon Marine Office

Main Street

DONEGAL

Dunfanaghy SWO

Main Street

DONEGAL

Glenties Marine Forestry Off

Mill Road

DONEGAL

Killybegs Government Office

Donegal Road

DONEGAL

Letterkenny Revenue Office

Kilmacrennan Road

DONEGAL

Letterkenny Driving Test Centre

Unit 5 Pearse Road

DONEGAL

Letterkenny Prob/Wel  Main St

48-50 Lower Main Street

DONEGAL

Letterkenny Education Office

McKendrich House

DONEGAL

Falcarragh CWS

Chapel Road

Table 1 ctd.

DUBLIN

Abbey Street Upper 26 - 30

Chapter House

DUBLIN

Abbey Street Upper 26 - 30

Chapter House

DUBLIN

Abbey Street Upper 26 - 30

Chapter House

DUBLIN

Tara Street Apollo House

Tara Street

DUBLIN

Ballyfermot Prob & Wel Service

Le Fanu Road

DUBLIN

Clonskeagh Belfield Office Park

Block 5 Belfield Office Park

DUBLIN

Bishops Square

Redmonds Hill

DUBLIN

Bishops Square

Redmonds Hill

DUBLIN

Bishops Square

Redmonds Hill

DUBLIN

Blanchardstown Gov Off

Block A Westend Office Park

DUBLIN

Bow Street Gov Office

31-35 Bow Street

DUBLIN

Capel Street 89 -94

89 -94 Capel Street

DUBLIN

Clare Street 12

12 Clare Street

DUBLIN

Claremont Road Revenue Office

Claremont Road

DUBLIN

Clondalkin  Education Office

Convent Road

DUBLIN

Clondalkin  Education Office

Convent Road

DUBLIN

Clondalkin SWO Ninth Lock Rd

Block B

DUBLIN

Clonmel Street [Clonmel Place]

Clonmel Place

DUBLIN

Kildare Street 43-44

Confederation House

DUBLIN

Dun Laoghaire Prob&Welfare Serv

Foundation House

DUBLIN

Dun Laoghaire Vehicle Reg Off

111 Lower Georges Street

DUBLIN

D'Olier Street (D'Olier House)

D'Olier Street

DUBLIN

Donaghmede Prob/Welfare Service

Donaghmede Shopping Centre

DUBLIN

Adelaide Rd 65A (Davitt House)

65A Adelaide Road

DUBLIN

Earlsfort Terrace Earl Ctr Blk C

Earlsfort Centre Block C

DUBLIN

Ely Place 7-8 Ely Court

7-8 Ely Place

DUBLIN

Finglas Prob&Welfare Service

Poppintree Mall

DUBLIN

Finglas Shopping Centre FÁS

Unit 14C

DUBLIN

Wilton Place Fitzwilton House

Wilton Place

DUBLIN

Frederick St NorthFrederick Crt

Frederick Court

DUBLIN

Frederick St South Frederick Hse

Frederick House

DUBLIN

Amiens Street (Gandon House)

Amiens Street

DUBLIN

Amiens Street (Gandon House)

Amiens Street

DUBLIN

Amiens Street (Gandon House)

Amiens Street

DUBLIN

Kilbarrack SWO

Greendale Shopping Centre

DUBLIN

St Stephens Gr 67-71Hainault Hse

67-71 St Stephen's Green

DUBLIN

Harcourt St Harcourt Cntre Blk 2

Harcourt Street

DUBLIN

Harcourt Road 4-5

4-5 Harcourt Road

DUBLIN

Harcourt Sq Garda Block 1

Harcourt Street

DUBLIN

Harcourt Sq Garda Block 2

Harcourt Street

DUBLIN

Harcourt Sq Garda Block 3

Harcourt Street

DUBLIN

Harcourt Sq Garda Block 4

Harcourt Street

DUBLIN

Harcourt Street 75-78

76-78 Harcourt Street

DUBLIN

Hatch Street 13-15

13-15 Hatch Street

DUBLIN

Holles Street Holbrook House

Holbrook House

DUBLIN

Irish Life Centre Block D E & F

Lower Abbey Street

DUBLIN

Irish Life Centre Block 5/7

Lower Abbey Street

DUBLIN

Harcourt Road Dun Sceine

Iveagh Court Block A

DUBLIN

Lombard St East 8 - 11 Joyce Hse

8 - 11 Lombard Street

DUBLIN

Lucan SWO - Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill

DUBLIN

Lucan SWO - Main Street

Main Street

DUBLIN

Malahide SWO

Main Street

DUBLIN

Merrion Square 24

24 Merrion Square

DUBLIN

Mespil Road 43-49

43 - 49 Mespil Road

DUBLIN

Molesworth Bldg Setanta Cntre

Molesworth Street/South Frederic

DUBLIN

Molesworth Bldg Setanta Cntre

Molesworth Street/South Frederic

DUBLIN

Mount St Lr 73-79 Ballaugh House

73-79 Lower Mount Street

DUBLIN

Mount Street Lower 85 - 93

85-93 Lower Mount Street

DUBLIN

Mount St Upr 36

36 Upper Mount Street

DUBLIN

Nassau Building Setanta Centre

Nassau Street

DUBLIN

Nassau Building Setanta Centre

Nassau Street

DUBLIN

Nutgrove SWO

Nutgrove Shopping Centre

DUBLIN

Pearse St 212-213 Oisín House

212-213 Pearse Street

DUBLIN

Ormond Quay Upper 19

Upper Ormond Quay

DUBLIN

Leeson Street Lower Ossory House

Earlsfort Centre

DUBLIN

North Circular Road Park House

North Circular Road

DUBLIN

North Circular Road Park House

North Circular Road

DUBLIN

Park West Business Park Block 43

Block 43

DUBLIN

Parnell Sq 13-15 Parnell House

13 - 15 Parnell Square

DUBLIN

Conyngham Road Phoenix House

Phoenix House

DUBLIN

Rathgar Driving Test Centre

95 Orwell Road

DUBLIN

Santry Revenue Warehouse/Office

Unit H Furry Park

DUBLIN

Statoil Building

1 Setanta Place

DUBLIN

Shelbourne Rd 21Shelbourne Hse

21 Shelbourne Road

DUBLIN

Earlsfort Tce St Steph Gr Hse

Earlsfort Terrace

DUBLIN

Earlsfort Tce St Steph Gr Hse

Earlsfort Terrace

DUBLIN

Swords Business Campus Unit 4

Swords Business Campus

DUBLIN

Swords Agricultural Inspectors

Castle Shopping Centre

DUBLIN

Tallaght Gov Off Plaza Complex

Plaza Complex Belgard Road

DUBLIN

Tallaght Gov Off Plaza Complex

Plaza Complex Belgard Road

DUBLIN

Tallaght Gov Off St Johns Hse

St John's House

DUBLIN

Tallaght Revenue Commissioners

Unit 247

DUBLIN

Tallaght Prob and Welf Service

Westpark House

DUBLIN

Thomas Street 126 - 7

126 -127 Thomas Street

DUBLIN

Mount St Lr 79-83 Timberlay Hse

79-83 Lower Mount Street

DUBLIN

Blackrock Trident House

Trident House

DUBLIN

Andrew St 10-12

10-12 Andrew St

DUBLIN

Finglas Driv Test Ctr+Rev Store

Unidare Industrial Estate

DUBLIN

Parnell Sq 16

16 Parnell Square

DUBLIN

Earlsfort Terrace Earl Ctr Blk

Earlsfort Centre Block J

DUBLIN

Abbey Street Upper 26 - 30

Chapter House

DUBLIN

Navan Road Ashtowngate

Block D

DUBLIN

Dawson St 18A Royal Irish Acad

Bective House

DUBLIN

Waterloo Road St Martins House

Dublin 4

DUBLIN

Earlsfort Tce St Steph Gr Hse

Earlsfort Terrace

DUBLIN

Balbriggan Passport Office

Unit 1,Fingal Bay Business Park

DUBLIN

Adelaide Road 29-31

29-31 Adelaide Road

DUBLIN

Tallaght PIAB

The Grain Hse,Blk 1,The Exchange

DUBLIN

Tallaght Education Office

County Hall, Belgard Sq North

DUBLIN

Garden Lane Prob/Welfare Off

Carmans Hall

DUBLIN

Great Strand St Millennium Hse

52-56 Great Strand Street

DUBLIN

Swords Business Campus Unit 5/6A

Swords Business Campus

DUBLIN

Swords Business Campus Unit 5/6C

Swords Business Campus

DUBLIN

The Chancery Building

3-10 Chancery Lane

DUBLIN

Revenue Castleview Georges st

Block C

DUBLIN

Navan Road Ashtowngate Block B

Navan Road

DUBLIN

Blanchardstown Gov Office

Block 3 Grove Court

DUBLIN

Blanchardstown Gov Office

Block 3 Grove Court

DUBLIN

Kings Inn House SWO & ESO

Parnell St

DUBLIN

Kings Inn House SWO & ESO

Parnell St

DUBLIN

Smithfield Probation Service

Blocks B1

DUBLIN

Nth King St 90 Georges Court

Smithfield

DUBLIN

Nth King St 90 Georges Court

Smithfield

DUBLIN

Smithfield Off of Film Class

Block B2

DUBLIN

Corn Exchange CWS

Unit A The Corn Exchange

DUBLIN

Damastown CWS

Damastown Close

DUBLIN

Clifton Court CWS

Clifton Court

Table 1 ctd.

GALWAY

Ballinasloe Gov Office

3 Society Street

GALWAY

Clifden Driving Test Centre

Market Street

GALWAY

Galway Irish Water Safety

Long Walk

GALWAY

Galway Garda Training

Mayoralty House

GALWAY

Galway Gov Off Ross House

Ross House

GALWAY

Galway Prob & Wel Serv

Abbey Arch Units 1,4, 5,7 & 8

GALWAY

Galway Prob & Wel Serv

Abbey Arch Units 1,4, 5,7 & 8

GALWAY

Galway Education Office

Victoria Place

GALWAY

Galway Driving Test Centre

Unit 4 Westside

GALWAY

Gort SWO

Gort

GALWAY

Loughrea Agriculture Offices

ESB Premises

GALWAY

Loughrea Agriculture Offices

ESB Premises

GALWAY

Loughrea SWO - PMPA Building

PMPA Building

GALWAY

Tuam Ordnance Survey Office

Airglooney House

GALWAY

Tuam DTC

Balgaddy Road

GALWAY

Galway Prob & Wel Serv

Abbey Arch Units 1,4, 5,7 & 8

GALWAY

Galway Revenue Fairgreen

Fairgreen Rd and Loughatalia Rd

GALWAY

Loughrea Trans & RSA Temp Off

Clonfert House

GALWAY

Loughrea Trans & RSA Temp Off

Clonfert House

GALWAY

Loughrea Trans & RSA Temp Off

Clonfert House

GALWAY

Galway SWO - Island House

Island House

KERRY

Kenmare SWO

Old Bridge Street

KERRY

Listowel SWO

12 The Square

KERRY

Tralee Prob and Wel Service

7 Ashe Street

KERRY

Killarney Park Court

Beech Road

KERRY

Listowel Revenue Office

Old Mill Road

KERRY

Killarney Park Court

Beech Road

KERRY

Blennerville Agri Eng Off

Jeannie Johnson Building

KERRY

Killarney Park Court

Beech Road

KERRY

Tralee ESO

17 Castle Street

KILDARE

Naas Driving Test Centre

Clarendon House

KILDARE

Naas Agric Off - Poplar House

Poplar House

KILDARE

Naas SWO - Rathasker Square

Unit 2  Rathasker Square

KILDARE

Naas Agric Off Spring Garden Hse

Spring Garden House

KILDARE

Naas Rev & DSP Office

St David's House

KILDARE

Newbridge SWO - Henry Street

Henry Street

KILDARE

Naas Gov Office

Maudlins Hall

KILDARE

Willow Hse Millennium Pk Block 6

Block 6, Willow House

KILDARE

Athy Social Protection Office

Unit 4

LAOIS

Portlaoise DAF Appeals Office

Kilminchy Court

LAOIS

Portarlington Decentral Office

Data Protection Commissioners

LAOIS

Portlaoise Agri Gandon Court

Gandon Court

LAOIS

Portlaoise Agri Gandon Court

Gandon Court

LAOIS

Portlaoise Agri Gandon Court

Gandon Court

LEITRIM

Ballinamore SWO

Main Street

LEITRIM

Carrick-on-Shannon Dcnt SWO

Attyory

LIMERICK

Moyross Garda Clinic

Moyross Community Enterprise Cen

LIMERICK

Limerick SWO - Plassey

International Business Park

LIMERICK

Limerick Driving Test Centre

Woodview Shopping Centre

LIMERICK

Limerick Education Office

Rosbrien Road

LIMERICK

Newcastlewest Prob/Wel Office

Churchtown Road

LIMERICK

Limerick Prob/Welfare Service

Theatre Court 1st & 2nd Floors,

LIMERICK

Limerick Prob/Welfare Service

Theatre Court 1st & 2nd Floors,

LIMERICK

Limerick Gov Off Houston Hall

Houston Hall

LIMERICK

Limerick Decent Off DFA

Henry St

LONGFORD

Moyne Wildlife Office

Longford Road

LONGFORD

Granard SWO

1 Moxham Street

LOUTH

Dundalk CWS

Unit 2

MAYO

Ballyhaunis SWO

Main Street

MAYO

Castlebar SWO - Humbert Mall

Humbert Mall

MAYO

Claremorris SWO

James Street

MAYO

Ballina Road Safety HQ Unit 3

Moyvalley Business Park

MAYO

Ballina Road Safety HQ Unit 4

Moyvalley Business Park

MAYO

Castlebar ESO Anchor House

Anchor House

MEATH

Kells SWO

Headfort Place

MEATH

Navan SWO

Kennedy Road

MEATH

Trim NCSE

Mill Street

MEATH

Navan Gov Off Kilcairn

Kilcairn

MEATH

Navan Athlumney House

Atulumney House

MEATH

Navan Revenue Abbey Mall

Abbey Road

MONAGHAN

Ballybay Social Protection

7 Main Street

MONAGHAN

Ballybay Livestock Office

Main Street

MONAGHAN

Carrickmacross SWO

Ardee Road

MONAGHAN

Castleblayney SWO

Monaghan Road

MONAGHAN

Monaghan CWS

14 Church Square

OFFALY

Birr Government Offices

Emmet Street

OFFALY

Birr  Forestry Office

Hamilton House

OFFALY

Birr Government Offices

Emmet Street

OFFALY

Tullamore SWO Castle Buildings

Office Suite 1 & 2 Castle Builds

OFFALY

Tullamore ESO

Unit 1

ROSCOMMON

Dillon House CRAGA Office

Dillon House

SLIGO

Sligo Gov Off-Westward Town Cntr

Westward Town Centre

SLIGO

Sligo Driving Test Centre

Carrowgobbadagh

SLIGO

Beulah Building

Finisklin Road

Table 1 ctd.

TIPPERARY

Clonmel Gov Off Harbour Hse

Harbour House

TIPPERARY

Roscrea SWO

The Malthouse

TIPPERARY

Templemore SWO

Mary Street

TIPPERARY

Tipperary Driving Test Centre

Canon Hayes Centre

TIPPERARY

Roscrea Civil Defence Office

Enterprise Hse, Benamore Bus Pk

TIPPERARY

Roscrea Civil Defence Office

Enterprise Hse, Benamore Bus Pk

TIPPERARY

Tipperary Temp Decent Off

Block 2 Rossmore Village

TIPPERARY

Roscrea Equality Auth Office

Birchgrove House

TIPPERARY

Clonmel Mary St ESO

Mary Street

TIPPERARY

Clonmel Mary St ESO

Mary Street

WATERFORD

Dungarvan Gov Off Civic Bldgs

Civic Offices

WATERFORD

Lismore SWO

Main Street

WATERFORD

Waterford  Gov Off-Johnstown

Johnstown Industrial Estate

WESTMEATH

Athlone DTC

Unit 8 McCormack Centre

WESTMEATH

Mullingar Prob & Wel Serv

Friars Mill Road

WESTMEATH

Mullingar Gov Offices

Friars Mill Road

WESTMEATH

Athlone DSP/Prob & Wel

Grace Park

WEXFORD

Gorey Government Offices

Thomas Street

WEXFORD

Rosslare Harbour Veh Reg Office

Rosslare Harbour

WICKLOW

Wicklow Gov Off Murrough

The Murrough

WICKLOW

Block D Bray Civic Centre

Cualann Centre

Croke Park Agreement Issues

Questions (49)

Seamus Kirk

Question:

49. Deputy Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the latest date by which he expects the Croke Park talks to be concluded with the outcome approved by all sides; when implementation of the agreement will commence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10392/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

In recent weeks, extremely difficult and complex discussions have taken place between public service management and public service staff representatives seeking agreement on a series of measures that will secure an additional €1 billion saving from the public service pay and pensions bill by 2015.

Following intensive engagement in recent days between the parties which was facilitated by the Labour Relations Commission (LRC), the LRC has developed and recommended a set of proposals for consideration and agreement that seeks to secure the savings required by the Exchequer while ameliorating the impacts on public service staff to the greatest extent possible. Public servants will be able to consider the full set of proposals by the LRC. The public service staff representatives who remained in negotiations have indicated that these proposals will be subject to ballot by members over the coming weeks.

It is now a matter for public service staff representatives to submit the proposals to their executives in the first instance and then to ballot in accordance with each union’s own rules. Unions and their members must now be allowed the time and space to consider the proposals put before them.

Legislation will also be needed to underpin this agreement and this will also be progressed over the coming weeks.

Public Sector Staff Remuneration

Questions (50)

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Question:

50. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the action he will take to protect the current pay arrangements for prison officers. [10440/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

In recent weeks, extremely difficult and complex discussions have been underway between public service management and public service staff representatives seeking agreement on a series of measures that will secure an additional €1 billion saving from the public service pay and pensions bill by 2015.

Following intensive engagement in recent days between the parties which was facilitated by the Labour Relations Commission (LRC), the LRC has developed and recommended a set of proposals for consideration and agreement that seeks to secure the savings required by the Exchequer while ameliorating the impacts on public service staff to the greatest extent possible. Public servants will be able to consider the full set of proposals by the LRC. The public service staff representatives who remained in negotiations have indicated that these proposals will be subject to ballot by members in the coming weeks. The Government will await the outcome to this process but, in the absence of agreement, measures will be taken by the Government to secure the necessary reduction in the public service pay and pensions bill by 2015.

Communications Mast

Questions (51)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

51. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the implications that the closure of Garda stations will have upon the ownership and operation of any telecommunications masts which are being used by public and or private telecommunications companies at present, specifically with reference to the arrangements envisaged upon the sale of former Garda stations; the income the State currently receives from telecommunications companies in respect of same; the projected loss to the State from this income; if consideration has been given to whether such masts will now require planning permission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10309/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

The Commissioners of Public Works are currently addressing the property management implications arising from the Garda Station rationalisation programme. The Office Of Public Works is currently examining each property to identify, in the first instance, if there is any State requirement for the properties, their potential for disposal and/or the utilisation of the properties by community groups.

The Commissioners of Public Works have granted licences to third parties in respect of masts at 11 of the Garda Stations included in the recent closure of 100 stations. The ownership of these masts remains unchanged and the only immediate impact on the operation of the mast is that alternative access arrangements may need to be put in place. The existing revenue stream from the mast infrastructure will be taken into account by the Commissioners as part of the decision making process for the future use of the properties.

The current net annual income to the State from these licences is approximately €109,400 and there is no projected loss to the State at this time. The Commissioners are currently examining if there are any planning issues associated with the use of these properties.

Public Procurement Tenders

Questions (52)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

52. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will provide details of the measures he has introduced that encourage buyers to break contracts into lots. [10434/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

Guidelines issued by my Department (Circular 10/10) require public bodies to conduct the public procurement function in a way that facilitates and does not place barriers to participation of small and medium enterprises. As one measure to achieve this, the guidance advises that the sub-dividing of procurement requirements into “lots” should be considered by contracting authorities where it would be appropriate, practical and can be done without compromising efficiency and value for money.

The guidance also provides that in establishing framework agreements, contracting authorities are to consider how proposed arrangements will impact on SMEs. They are required to ensure that the terms of the framework facilitate the inclusion of smaller enterprises if these can meet requirements or compete for particular lots. Also smaller companies can combine with others to make a joint bid for a contract that they might not be in a position to perform on their own.

Circular 10/10 has been in place for just over two years. It is clear that there is a need to ensure greater consistency in relation to the implementation of this circular. In this regard, the National Procurement Service (NPS) established its 'Working Group to assist Small and Medium Enterprises' in February 2012 to facilitate open discussion on the issue of public service procurement. The Working Group consists of representatives from the NPS, the Health Service Executive, the Irish Business and Employers Federation, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises Association, Chambers Ireland, and the Small Firms Association. The Group has met on a number of occasions and has raised many issues relating to procurement and particularly how these issues impact on SMEs. Resulting from these discussions the NPS has issued two information circulars to all buyers in, and suppliers to, the public service with the aim of improving practice in the procurement arena.

Appointments to State Boards

Questions (53)

Gerry Adams

Question:

53. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he has included gender parity for the board membership as part of his reforming agenda of the State agency sector. [10442/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

As the Deputy is aware in 2011 the Government introduced new arrangements for the appointment of State board members. Under the new arrangements Departments now invite expressions of interest from the public in vacancies on the boards of bodies under their aegis on their websites. It is open to all members of the public regardless of gender, political affiliations or geographical location to apply for appointment to these vacancies.

I am satisfied that the new arrangements introduced by the Government in 2011 have significantly improved transparency in the making of appointments to State Boards compared with the making of appointments in previous years.

The following table outlines the breakdown by gender of the State Boards under the remit of my Department:

Current Members nominated by Ministers/Government

Current Members nominated by other Bodies

Chairpersons

Name of Board

Total No. of Places on Board

Board positions currently vacant

Men

Women

Current Total

Men

Women

Current Total

Male

Women

An Post National Lottery

7

1

2

-

2

3

1

4

1

-

Outside Appointments Board

5

1

3

1

4

-

-

-

Vacant

-

Public Appointments Service Board

9

-

3

3

6

1

-

1

1

-

Civil Service Arbitration Board

4

-

4

-

4

-

-

-

1

-

Totals

25

2

12

4

16

4

1

5

3

-

As the table shows of the 16 members nominated by myself or the Government 25% of the appointments were female. In view of the statutory procedures for the appointment of members of the Civil Service Arbitration Board and the Public Appointments Service, there is limited scope for me to take a factor such as gender into account when I make such appointments.

I would like to make it clear that it is my intention in the limited number of appointments I have to make to increase the number of women appointees over the lifetime of the Government.