Departmental Expenditure

Questions (261)

Robert Troy

Question:

261. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of credit cards issued to staff and Ministers in his Department; the total costs of each card since March 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12482/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

In response to the Deputy’s question there are seven credit card holders in my Department with annual fees costing €155.00 in 2011 and €248.00 in 2012 respectively. There are four credit card holders in the Office of Public Works and the total cost per card since 2011 is €230. It is the Departments policy to ensure that all credit card payments are cleared at the end of each month to avoid penalty interest payments.

Public Sector Staff Recruitment

Questions (262)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

262. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if the moratorium on public sector recruitment has been lifted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12503/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

Looking forward over the course of the next few years, the public service will be required to deliver more savings and to maintain services with fewer resources and staff. Budget 2013 will deliver a further reduction in Public Service numbers to a ceiling of 287,000, and by end-2014 this must go down again to 282,500.

The moratorium on promotion and recruitment in the public service is an important control mechanism for this purpose and has served to help reduce numbers while allowing for some limited recruitment where necessary, for example in frontline service posts in the health and education sectors. The moratorium on recruitment will continue until such time that the targets are met and sustained.

National Procurement Service Framework Agreements

Questions (263)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

263. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the way the multi-supplier framework agreement for the supply of monochrome and colour printers and multi-function devices is consistent with the Action Plan for Jobs 2013 commitment 206, to prioritise the reduction of barriers to entry for small and medium enterprises in competing for procurement opportunities; and the reason no social clauses have been considered as part of the process despite his commitment to promote such clauses. [12553/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The National Procurement Service (NPS) is fully committed to encouraging the participation of SMEs in their nationwide competitions and has taken a number of steps to make this possible. In NPS competitions, the tender documents explicitly seek to encourage the participation of SMEs. A prime example of this is when the NPS decided to divide the office supplies contract into three individual lots for Stationery, ICT Consumables and Paper. The NPS actively encourages consortia to tender for their competitions. SMEs that believed the scope of the competitions were beyond their technical or business capacity were encouraged to explore the possibilities of forming relationships with other SMEs or with larger enterprises. Through such relationships they could participate and contribute to the successful implementation of any contracts that resulted from these competitions and therefore increase their social and economic benefits. Larger enterprises were also encouraged to consider the practical ways that SMEs could be included in their proposals to maximise the social and economic benefits of the contracts that result from these tenders.

One proven method to encourage the participation of SMES is through the use of lots in a competition. In the current office equipment tender the NPS has divided the range of printers sought into five individual lots with plans to place up to seven companies on a framework for each lot. Therefore, there is the potential for thirty-five different companies to win places on this new framework.

In order to lighten the burden placed on SMEs when tendering the NPS operates in line with the best practise recommendations of the Department of Finance Circular 10/10. These steps include the use of proportional criteria for turnover and qualification, proportional insurance levels being set, ensures that there is no requirement for companies to submit all relevant paperwork (e.g. tax clearance certificates, auditors statements) upfront. The NPS also uses the CSSO approved standard suite of documents when drafting a tender and uses the eTenders website to ensure all companies can access the documentation and any clarifications quickly and freely. There is a social clause included in current public works contracts which deals with pay and conditions of employment, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform are considering how it may be possible to include a performance requirement for the employment of the long-term unemployed in future contracts.

National Procurement Service Framework Agreements

Questions (264)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

264. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will review the current managed print services framework to include the annual turnover requirements, to ensure that it is fully consistent with his recent commitments to promote small and medium enterprise involvement in procurement and reflective of social clauses. [12554/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

Managed Print Services (MPS) is a unique office print solution, where a supplier provides an all-inclusive service charged on a per click basis, that includes the provision of print/imaging devices at no capital cost to the public sector body. The supplier, in effect, provides the full infrastructure required for all day-to-day office printing. Research carried out by the National Procurement Service (NPS) has indicated that such an approach gives best value to the Irish public sector.

The MPS Framework Agreement offers all public sector bodies in the State access to a print solution that is strategic, cost efficient and that can be tailored to the specific needs of the individual organisation. Following an open competition, advertised on e-tenders and in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), the Framework Agreement for MPS was established on 8 February 2012. The Framework Agreement will be in place for two years, with an option to extend for a further two years.

The value of the Framework Agreement over two years was estimated to be up to €100 million. Taking into account the value of the Framework and the fact that suppliers are required to provide all of the print devices upfront, from their own resources, the view was taken by the NPS that the €10 million minimum turnover requirement was proportionate. Tenderers who did not have the required turnover in their own right were invited to partner with other entities to satisfy this requirement.

The minimum turnover requirement for entry into the Framework was an average of €10 million per annum for the three most recent years of audited accounts or where the date of establishment is more recent for each year the entity has been established. These turnover requirements were applied at the qualification stage as part of the competition for entry on to the MPS Framework Agreement. Under S.I. No. 329 of 2006 – European Communities (Award of Public Authority Contracts) Regulations 2006, no changes can be made to the composition of a Framework for the duration of the Agreement.

The MPS procurement competition explicitly sought to encourage the participation of SMEs. Those SMEs that believed the scope of the competition was beyond their technical or business capacity were encouraged to explore the possibilities of forming relationships with other SMEs or with larger enterprises. Larger enterprises were also encouraged to consider the practical ways that SMEs could be included in their proposals with a view to maximising the social and economic benefits of the contracts that result from these tenders.

All of the Framework Members have operations in Ireland and provide local employment. Four of the seven successful tenderers are SMEs (MJ Flood, Bryan S Ryan, Hibernian Business Equipment and Ergo). One of the tenderers did not have the required turnover in their own right to qualify for the Framework and formed an alliance with a large manufacturer to satisfy the turnover requirement. Furthermore, the Framework Members have indicated in their tender submissions that they will use a further 11 indigenous SMEs in the delivery of MPS.

National Procurement Service Framework Agreements

Questions (265)

Peadar Tóibín

Question:

265. Deputy Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform in view of his commitment to promote social clauses and small and medium enterprise take up of Government procurement, the steps being taken to design tender documents and evaluation criteria that reflect these commitments. [12555/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The Government has taken several steps to encourage the participation of SMEs in their tender competitions. National Procurement Service (NPS) tender documents explicitly seek to encourage the participation of SMEs. They encourage SMEs who believe that the scope of a particular competition is beyond their technical or business capacity to explore the possibilities of forming relationships with other SMEs or with larger enterprises. Larger enterprises are also encouraged to consider the practical ways that SMEs could be included in their proposals to maximise the social and economic benefits of the contracts that result from these tenders.

The NPS uses the CSSO-approved standard suite of documents when drafting a tender and I have encouraged all other contracting authorities involved in public procurement to do the same – this use of standardised documents is designed to simplify the issues facing business when tendering for public contracts. The standard tender documents provide that much of the documentary evidence of a tenderer’s capacity to undertake a project is not required to be produced at tender stage – instead, tenderers are asked to declare that they have the necessary capacity and that they will be in a position to produce the necessary documentation when requested. That documentary evidence (e.g., bank statements, audited accounts, proof of professional indemnity, etc.) need only be produced when a tenderer has been short-listed or is coming under consideration for the award of a contract. This approach is aimed at reducing the up-front administrative burden for businesses interested in tendering for contracts.

In line with the best practise recommendations of the Department of Finance Circular 10/10, contracting authorities are encouraged to ensure that requirement levels for turnover and insurance levels are proportionate to the particular contract. There is a social clause included in current public works contracts which deals with pay and conditions of employment and, as I indicated to Deputy Tóibín in reply to an earlier question, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform are considering how it may be possible to include a performance requirement for the employment of the long-term unemployed in future contracts. The Department is also considering whether it would be appropriate to include comparable clauses in other public contracts.

Croke Park Agreement Issues

Questions (266, 272)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

266. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding the revised Croke Park agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12607/13]

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Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

272. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform in view of the fact that full premium payments have been restored to permanent fire fighters and prison officers, the reason nurses, gardaí and paramedics are going to have their premiums cut; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13035/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 266 and 272 together.

Discussions have taken place between public service employers and the Public Services Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions regarding the Government’s stated intention to reach agreement on securing the required overall savings from the public service pay and pensions bill by 2015. Following intensive engagement 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. These proposals represent a balanced and integrated set of proposals and I have no plans to amend the proposals made. All public servants, including frontline workers, will be able to consider the full set of proposals by the LRC which have been published and the public service staff representatives who remained in negotiations have indicated that these proposals will be subject to ballot by members.

Both the Government and I are acutely aware of the very significant contributions made to date by all public servants by way of pay reductions, imposition of the pension related deduction, non payment of pay increases and the significant productivity arising over recent years facilitated by the Public Service Agreement. Regrettably, the scale of the fiscal crisis inherited by the current Government and the absolute requirement to address and reduce the current deficit of 8% to less than 3% in 2015, requires a further contribution of €1bn from the public service pay and pensions bill which accounts for some 35% of current expenditure. The LRC proposals represent a fair and balanced set of proposals across all public service sectors to secure the savings required by the Exchequer while ameliorating the impacts for public service staff on low and middle incomes to the greatest extent possible. In this regard, I am satisfied that the proposals have protected the core pay of 87% of the workers in the public service.

National Lottery Licence Sale

Questions (267)

Nicky McFadden

Question:

267. Deputy Nicky McFadden asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if the 6% retail agents' margin will be ringfenced in the National Lottery Bill 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12659/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

As the Deputy is aware, I announced in April 2012 that there will be a competition for the next National Lottery licence. It is envisaged that the competition will take place later this year. I have advised retailer representative bodies that it is my intention to safeguard the existing rates of commission paid to retailers under the terms of the next licence.

I acknowledge the concerns of retailers and the importance to them of income from National Lottery sales, particularly in the current economic climate. I am also aware of the central role which retailers have played in the great success of the National Lottery since its inception. It is envisaged that retailers will continue to be central to the operation of the National Lottery over the 20 year term of the next licence. I am confident that there will be strong growth in National Lottery sales under the next licence with an alignment of interests between the next licence holder, retailers and the State, reaping benefits for all concerned.

Flood Relief Schemes Funding

Questions (268)

Jim Daly

Question:

268. Deputy Jim Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will confirm the way money has been allocated to Clonakilty Town Council and-or Cork County Council to carry out minor works in Clonakilty in the aftermath of the 28 June flood of 2012; the amount of these funds that has been spent by the council to date; if the Office of Public Works will consider further applications for funding of minor flood relief works at Clonakilty; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12717/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The Office of Public Works allocated funding to Cork County Council of €350,000 under the Minor Flood Works and Coastal Protection Scheme in 2010 for channel capacity improvements for Clonakilty, of which €202,456 was drawn down by the end of 2012. OPW did not allocate any further funding for Clonakilty in 2012.

Clonakilty was identified through the national Preliminary Flood Risk Assessment as an area where the flood risk was potentially significant and was hence designated as an Area for Further Assessment (AFA), for which detailed analysis is to be carried out under the South West Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Study.

In response to the severe flood risk in Clonakilty evidenced by the flooding of 28 June 2012, it was agreed at a meeting between Cork County Council and OPW in July 2012 that the study of Clonakilty would be accelerated under the South West CFRAMS project. The flood risk assessment and the analysis of flood relief options for Clonakilty are being prioritised with a view to developing as soon as possible a comprehensive solution to the flooding problems the town experiences. The hydrological and hydraulic analysis under this study is currently nearing completion, and consideration of the possible options to develop a solution has begun. It is anticipated that a draft Preliminary Options Report will be provided to the OPW and Cork County Council for technical review in early summer, with a range of potentially viable options, including a provisionally preferred option, being subsequently presented to stakeholders and the public for consultation in mid-summer of 2013. The preferred option for flood relief in Clonakilty, with outline design, should then be identified by Autumn 2013, subject to the outcome of the public consultation process.

It would not be appropriate and the OPW does not intend to fund further minor or interim works in Clonakilty as the CFRAM Study is now ongoing and in the process of identifying viable options to address the flooding problems in the town.

State Properties

Questions (269)

Luke 'Ming' Flanagan

Question:

269. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will outline the circumstances in which Ballyhoura Estates Limited, consisting of a substantial house, outbuildings and more than 130 acres of land, which was vested in and held in trust by the Minister for Finance under the 1954 State Property Act on 1 September 1972 for the statutory 20 years, was conveyed to a person (details supplied) on 5 April 1979, and then on 6 April 1979, was conveyed to the person's daughter in part house, outbuildings and 17 acres of land, of which the person, sold 6.315 acres on 11 January 1984; if he will explain the way, almost two years later, on 6 October 1986, the Minister for Finance sold in fee simple sale absolute to the person who had acquired the property seven years earlier, while the property was vested in the Minister for Finance; if this transaction was ever examined as to its propriety, the steps that were taken by his Department to safeguard the property interests of the State in such transactions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12759/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

Section 28 (2) of the State Property Act 1954 provides that the Minister for Finance assumes responsibility for all personal property and land vested in or held in trust for a body corporate (other than personal property or land held by such body in trust for another person) immediately prior to its dissolution. Upon the dissolution of the body corporate, such property becomes State property. This function transferred in July 2011 to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform under the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act, 2011 and S.I. No. 418/2011 — Finance (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order, 2011. The effect of Section 28 is that the Minister does not hold the assets of dissolved companies as beneficial owner. He holds them in trust. The title which the Minister acquires under this Section has been described as a defeasible title since, if the dissolved company is restored to the Register of Companies within twenty years of the date of its dissolution, its property is automatically restored to it. The State Property Act also includes, in Section 31, a power for the Minister to waive the interest acquired under Section 28 of the Act.

It is understood that the property which is the subject of the current question was held within a company which was struck off the Register of Companies in September, 1972 for failure to file annual returns with the Companies Office. The beneficial owner of the property applied to the Department of Finance for a waiver of the interest acquired by the Minister for Finance under the provisions of the State Property Act and that waiver, in respect of which the consideration was £160, was completed in October, 1986. The effect of the waiver, which was not a sale by the State, would have been to allow the beneficial owner to complete the process of assembling a satisfactory title. The waiver itself would have formed only a limited element in the establishment of that title and the transaction was a normal exercise of Departmental functions. The price which the beneficial owner may have secured in a subsequent sale was not a matter for consideration in the context of the waiver and, accordingly, would not merit enquiry by me at this juncture.

I am advised that all applications for waiver of property falling within the scope of Section 28 of the State Property Act are referred to the Office of the Chief State Solicitor for legal advice and that any policy issues that may arise in particular cases are given full consideration on their merits.

Croke Park Agreement Issues

Questions (270)

Mary Lou McDonald

Question:

270. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if the changes to redeployment arrangements as proposed in Croke Park II has extended the 45 km radius to 90 km; and the reason the new proposals have removed the original provision that in making redeployment decision regard will also be had to reasonable daily commute time. [12798/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

In conformity with the provisions of Chapter 6 of the Public Service Agreement, the guideline redeployment distance will continue to be 45km, having regard to reasonable daily commute time.

Public Sector Staff Remuneration

Question No. 272 answered with Question No. 266.

Questions (271)

Finian McGrath

Question:

271. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will confirm the premium payment under the retired Garda pension scheme which relates to the number of unsociable hours worked during time of service will be cut as part of the Labour Relations Commission proposal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13021/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

I refer to my reply to Questions Nos. 117 to 119, inclusive, of 28 February 2013. The Labour Relations Commission proposals are not specific in relation to Garda pay or pensions, which is a matter for the Minister for Justice and Equality and Defence.

Question No. 272 answered with Question No. 266.

Farm Safety

Questions (273)

Tom Fleming

Question:

273. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation his views on the use of gypsum CsS04 for under bedding farm animals in view of the fact that it a highly toxic gas when it is eventually washed into and stored in the slurry tank of slatted units and on the release of hydrogen sulfides H25 it has fatal consequences for farm workers; and if will he take note of the fact that it is banned for this use in Northern Ireland, Scotland and England. [12786/13]

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Written answers (Question to Jobs)

I have consulted the Health & Safety Authority on the technical issues raised by Deputy Fleming and am advised that the widespread use of slatted sheds for cattle housing makes slurry handling a major issue on Irish farms. In this regard, I am informed that during slurry handling, the vast majority of deaths and injury are, in fact, associated with the use of tractors and machinery. However, drowning in slurry and slurry gases also pose a major risk to farmers and farm families.

During storage, and as the slurry decays, an anaerobic reaction takes place which produces a cocktail of toxic and potentially lethal gases. These gases include Hydrogen Sulphide, Methane, Carbon Dioxide and Ammonia. The most dangerous of these gases is Hydrogen Sulphide (H2S) as it is extremely poisonous both to people and animals. It affects the nervous system and one lungful at high concentrations can cause death.

There have been many incidents in which people were overcome by slurry gases. Tragically, several people have been killed either by inhaling fumes or drowning associated with slurry pits. In relation to H2S, at very low levels over 3 ppm (parts per million), H2S has a distinctive smell of rotten eggs. Critically though, exposure to the gas at levels up to 150 ppm will quickly kill the sense of smell leading to the assumption that the gas has gone when, in fact, the levels may have become much higher and lethal.

When slurry is agitated, H2S is released at levels often in excess of 1,500 ppm which can cause immediate unconsciousness, H2S poisoning (pulmonary oedema), Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), coma and death in just a few seconds. H2S, even at lower levels above 500 ppm, can cause unconsciousness after just a few breaths. One lung-full at high concentrations can cause instant death.

The highest risk occurs when slurry is being “agitated”. On such occasions, the gases trapped in the slurry, often beneath a crust, are released when it is mixed. Studies indicate that levels are greatest when slurry is stored for several months, when slurry is mixed in deep tanks, when slurry is mixed in cold weather or after silage effluent or other additives are involved.

In relation to animal bedding; straw, sand and woodchips/shavings/sawdust from virgin timber have often been used as a livestock bedding material. Furthermore, some waste materials may be suitable for use as bedding materials provided they do not pose a risk to the animals bedded on it or to human health. However, while waste plasterboard containing “Gypsum” may have been used in the past as a replacement bedding material, such use is now banned and is not known to occur in Ireland.

The Health & Safety Authority has informed me that a literature search was conducted in the UK to find evidence and scientific studies relating to the use of waste Gypsum and waste plasterboard as animal bedding and the likelihood of H2S being generated. Very little literature was found on the use of waste Gypsum or plasterboard as animal bedding and there appears to have been no studies into the possibility of H2S generation. Similarly, there have been no studies to determine if different bedding systems affect the likelihood of H2S, and if so, whether H2S generation can be prevented.

Gypsum - usually produced from re-cycled plasterboard - can be applied direct to agricultural land as a soil conditioner. In this regard, research is currently commissioned by Health and Safety Executive UK concerning Gypsum and its effect on H2S production in slurry and our Health and Safety Authority, in their regular contacts with their UK counterparts, await the results of that research which they expect within the next few months.

In conclusion, the critical message to farmers is that all slurry contains potentially lethal levels of toxic gases, whether additives are involved or not. In this regard, the recommended prevention strategies are: Never agitate slurry in still air conditions. Open all doors and outlets to provide a draught. Move all animals out of the shed before commencing. At least two people should be present at all times. Keep children and elderly persons away from the area when agitating. Never stand over slats or near tank access points when agitation is in progress. Avoid vigorous agitation in confined spaces. Do not allow slurry to rise within 300mm of the slats or tank covers. Keep all people away from the agitation point for 30 minutes after starting agitation. Never enter the slurry tank (even an empty tank) unless you are wearing suitable breathing apparatus and/or a harness attached to a lifeline controlled by at least two other adults positioned outside of the area. Where possible agitate from the outside the building. Avoid smoking or the use of naked lights as slurry gases are highly flammable. Gases can build up and remain in partially emptied tanks above the slurry, never enter a tank for any reason. Put up warning signs to warn of the dangers when working with slurry. I trust the Deputy finds the foregoing information useful.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (274)

Robert Troy

Question:

274. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the costs of providing hardware and software to his home and the home of the Ministers of State in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12370/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

Records in my Department confirm that no computer hardware or software has been provided to my home or to the homes of the Junior Ministers in my Department, and therefore no costs arise for such provision.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (275)

Robert Troy

Question:

275. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the costs of providing telephone in the homes of Ministers and Ministers of State in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12388/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

The costs paid by my Department for my home telephone and those of the Ministers of State in my Department are set out in the following tabular statement:

Period

Total costs

Minister Richard Bruton

March 2011 to date

€ 720.63

Minister John Perry

March 2011 to date

€3,187.52

Minister Seán Sherlock

March 2011 to date

€ 0

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (276, 277)

Robert Troy

Question:

276. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the cost of telephones and ICT provided to constituency offices including monthly phone bills of Ministers and Ministers of State in his Department since March 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12407/13]

View answer

Robert Troy

Question:

277. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if any additional costs other than telephones, ICT and monthly phone bills are being paid to constituency offices by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12425/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 276 and 277 together.

The ICT needs of my constituency office located in my Department’s Kildare Street office are met from a pool of equipment and software created to meet business needs across my Department. Records of costs would therefore relate to batches of items procured by my Department rather than individual items specifically used by my office. The majority of the ICT equipment provided to the constituency offices of the Ministers of State in my Department was supplied by the Oireachtas. Therefore, my Department has no records in relation to that equipment. My Department has provided one laptop each to these offices. These laptops were supplied from a pool of shared laptops created to meet the business needs of my Department. Records of costs would therefore relate to batches of items procured by my Department rather than individual items specifically supplied to those offices. One second hand photocopier was moved from a previous Minister’s office to one constituency office.

The costs paid by my Department for telephony services to my constituency office and those of the Ministers of State in my Department are set out in the tabular statement below. The costs for telephones for constituency offices based in the main Department building cannot be identified separately.

Period

Total costs

Minister Richard Bruton

March 2011 to date

€0

Minister John Perry

March 2011 to date

€10,146.93

Minister Seán Sherlock

March 2011 to date

€ 7, 642.31

No additional costs are being paid to Constituency Offices by my Department.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (278)

Robert Troy

Question:

278. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of mobile phones in use by him, Ministers of State and politically appointed staff; the total costs of the mobile phones since March 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12443/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

The information requested on mobile phone details since March 2011 to date is set out in following tabular statement:

Number of mobile phones

Total costs

Minister Richard Bruton

One

€811.27

Minister John Perry

Two

€2,979.66

Minister Seán Sherlock

One

€4,919.67

Six politically appointed staff

Eight

€13,828.95

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (279)

Robert Troy

Question:

279. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the cost of drivers of each vehicle assigned to him and Ministers of State in his Department since March 2011; the mileage and other costs claimed in respect of each since March 2011; the overall yearly costs of ministerial cars in 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12461/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

The salary costs in respect of the drivers assigned to me and my Junior Ministerial colleagues are as outlined in the following table. These figures represent the cumulative cost for the two year period to March 2013. The travel and subsistence costs that have been incurred are also included on the table. My Department does not incur any other costs relating to Ministerial transport.

Ministerial Transport - Costs Incurred

March 2011 to March 2013

Salary Costs - Drivers

Minister Bruton

140,653.82

Minister Perry

149,598.57

Minister Sherlock

145,109.78

Travel and Subsistence

Mileage Costs

Drivers' Subsistence Costs

Minister Bruton

12367.99

1266.99

Minister Perry

55334.86

24482.21

Minister Sherlock

40537.44

33025.68

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (280)

Robert Troy

Question:

280. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the number of credit cards issued to staff and Ministers in his Department; the total costs of each card since March 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12480/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

My Department has issued Credit Cards, on the Departments account, to 3 staff since March 2011. The cards were obtained for use by the Department to accommodate on-line purchases via electronic transactions. The total cost of each card during that time is as follows: Card 1: € 31.00; Card 2: €264.40; Card 3: €755.43.

Foreign Direct Investment

Questions (281)

Nicky McFadden

Question:

281. Deputy Nicky McFadden asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the way the intellectual property protocol here contributes to the country's attractiveness as a location for foreign direct investment, particularly in the areas of ICT and research and development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12579/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Jobs)

The aim of the Intellectual Property Protocol is to encourage the commercialisation of all forms of intellectual property arising from research in the publicly funded research sector, with a view to maximising the economic and societal benefits, in particular the creation of sustainable jobs. The IP Protocol aims to encourage industry – both indigenous and FDI companies – and across all sectors, to collaborate with Ireland’s universities, institutes of technology and other publicly funded research institutions; to use and commercialise the IP generated from such research and turn it into products and services for the global marketplace.

A key feature of the IP Protocol is that it establishes “ground rules” which must be followed when agreeing terms around ownership of and access to all State funded intellectual property. Feedback from industry, in particular, small and medium enterprises, is that this provides clarity and certainty and makes it easier to engage with research performing organisations to commercialise IP arising from State funded research.

Another key aspect of the IP Protocol centres around the development of a ‘one stop shop’ for businesses seeking to use IP deriving from publicly funded research. This will be achieved through the establishment of a ‘central Technology Transfer Office’ to provide an effective interface between industry and the research community and which will also drive a world class technology transfer system in Ireland, ensuring it is responsive to the needs of both industry and academia. This will improve Ireland’s attractiveness for FDI, in particular for research and development across all sectors, including ICT. It will place Ireland in a competitive position internationally and is part of a series of Government measures aimed at realising the vision for Ireland to become the best small country in the world in which to do business. Work on the establishment of the cTTO is progressing well. Recruitment for the Director of the cTTO is underway and expected to be completed by Q3 2013.