A total of €138,000 was allocated for Consultancy Services and Value for Money and Policy Reviews within my Department's Administrative Budget in 2012. That subhead provides for fees and expenses in respect of business consultancy assignments and other surveys and studies commissioned by my Department.
In line with Government policy, my Department endeavoured to reduce the use of business consultants as far as possible and succeeded in reducing the level of expenditure in 2012 to some €47,000. One consultancy relating to arts and heritage was funded from this provision during 2012: 1) Review of Dublin Contemporary (€10,961) - Dublin Contemporary (DC2011) was the largest contemporary visual art event of its kind and scale ever held in Ireland and attracted almost 180,000 visitors (179,331). My Department commissioned a full appraisal of all aspects of DC2011, from operational right through to artistic merit, in order to ensure that the experience and significant lessons derived from DC2011 will be taken on board for any future similar events that may transpire.
The 2013 allocation of €124,000 for consultancy services, value for money and policy reviews represents a decrease of 10% when compared against the 2012 allocation. In order to allow my Department to be in a position to respond to issues as they arise during the course of the year, the €124,000 is not yet fully committed and no expenditure has occurred to date. My Department will continue to minimise expenditure under this heading as far as possible and, as with 2013, I expect that savings will again be achieved against this allocation.
For completeness, I wish to bring to the Deputy's attention that from time to time my Department also commissions engineering or environmental experts to provide technical reports on specific issues as required. While the providers of these services are consultant engineers, environmental consultants or may describe themselves in other such terms, their work is not classified as "consultancy services and policy reviews" and is not funded from the Department's Administrative Budget.