Site Acquisitions

Questions (301)

Niall Collins

Question:

301. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Education and Skills the position regarding the procurement of a site for a school (details supplied) in County Cork; if his attention has been drawn to the difficult situation in the school regarding accommodation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30819/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I can confirm to the Deputy that my Department is continuing to work with the relevant Local Authority in relation to identifying and acquiring a suitable site for the provision of permanent accommodation for the school to which he refers. Options are currently under consideration in that regard. However, given the sensitivities associated with land acquisitions generally, I am not in a position to comment further at this point in time. Once a suitable site has been identified and acquired, it is intended that the proposed building project will be progressed in accordance with the five year programme announced last year.

Special Educational Needs Services Provision

Questions (302, 303, 304, 305)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

302. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will confirm that policy decisions regarding the science of applied behaviour analysis for the treatment of autism have been made without consultations with professional bodies representing this science; the circumstances under which it is considered appropriate not to engage with representatives of a professional discipline that has an extensive database of findings showing it to have substantial success in the treatment of autism; and the steps he will take to correct the misinformation on applied behaviour analysis that has led to the closure of schools that functioned as ABA schools. [30838/13]

View answer

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

303. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills his plans to consult with those states in the United States of America that have mandated insurance companies to pay for the treatment of autism that is based on applied behaviour analysis. [30839/13]

View answer

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

304. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he has plans in place to ensure that professionals trained in applied behavioural analysis are consulted on policy decisions that impact on the implementation of applied behaviour analysis and its monitoring to ensure that international standards are maintained. [30840/13]

View answer

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

305. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Education and Skills if he will investigate the cost benefit analyses that exist in relation to the implementation of applied behaviour analysis; and if his Department has plans to involve parents in training programmes in applied behaviour analysis, either at the point of diagnosis or later. [30841/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 302 to 305, inclusive, together.

The Deputy will be aware that my Department's policy is to promote a child-centred approach to education of all children with special educational needs including those with autism. As each child with autism is unique they should have access to a range of different approaches to meet their individual needs. This facilitates access to individualised education programmes, fully qualified professional teachers who may draw from a range of autism-specific interventions, including Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), Treatment and Education of Autistic Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH) and Picture Exchange Communications System (PECS).

The Deputy will also be aware that each child's identified needs should determine the teaching approach and methodology that is to be used. As children differ significantly from one another and as children's needs vary and change over time, it is not possible to impose a method or approach that will work for all children with autism. The research evidence is clear that no matter what exclusive approach is followed, its success is limited. Different approaches have been applied successfully with different children, and each approach has been shown to have limitations. This is why my Department does not establish schools to follow an exclusive approach including ABA.

My Department funded an ABA pilot scheme between 1999 and 2010. The participating centres were not closed, rather all 13 of them applied to my Department for recognition as special schools. Irish Autism Action (IAA) represented the centres in the lengthy discussions with my officials which resulted in the schools being granted recognition in 2010. The schools, all of which employ staff with ABA qualifications, currently operate in line with my Department's policy.

The Deputy may be aware of the Middletown Centre for Autism which is an initiative jointly funded between my Department and the Department of Education in Northern Ireland. The Centre is aimed at supporting the promotion of excellence in the development and harmonisation of education and allied services to children and young people with autistic spectrum disorders. The Centre provides parenting classes nationwide and I have recently committed to expanding the centre to increase the successful parenting programme.

My Department's child centred policy is based on advice received from NEPS, the Inspectorate and the report of the Irish Task Force on Autism and takes full account of advice from a range of experts on autism, including persons with expertise and qualifications in ABA. Advice was sought from international experts on research provided by the IAA and other research on educational interventions for children with autistic spectrum disorders and the advice concluded that research does not support the exclusive usage of ABA or indeed the exclusive use of any other approach, as a basis for national educational provision for children with autism. It is for this reason that my Department's preferred policy is for a child centred approach where the approach to be taken is based on the individual child's needs. My Department remains willing to review and consider any further research as and when it becomes available and my officials are conscious of the need to adapt existing policies and to develop new policies as new research or learning becomes available.

The National Council for Special Education has a formal role under Section 20.1(j) of EPSEN to advise the Minister 'in relation to any matter relating to the education of children and others with disabilities'. I have now requested the NCSE to prepare Policy Advice on the Educational Provision for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. A feature of the preparation of this impartial advice will involve NCSE consulting widely with parents, professionals and other stakeholders and interested parties.

The NCSE have commissioned research which will not be finalised until mid to late 2014 and I expect that this research will inform much of the work in preparing the policy advice. Accordingly it is not expected that the report will be finalised until early 2015.

Student Grant Scheme Applications

Questions (306)

Seán Kyne

Question:

306. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Education and Skills the reason for the delay in the processing by Student Universal Support Ireland of additional information, in this case an invoice for the cost of an educational course of a person (details supplied) in County Galway which has caused the grant application to be erroneously considered in the appeals process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30846/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

Officials in my Department have confirmed with Student Universal Support Ireland (SUSI) that the student referred to by the Deputy has been awarded a grant and an award letter issued on 11th March, 2013. SUSI also confirmed that his fee payment will be included in their next payment run to his institution. The Deputy will appreciate that in the context of SUSI having received in excess of 69,000 applications that some errors may inevitably arise when handling a high volume of applications within a relatively short timeframe. While every effort is made by SUSI to ensure that applicants are processed correctly, SUSI regrets any inconvenience caused.

School Accommodation

Questions (307)

Finian McGrath

Question:

307. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Education and Skills if funding will be made available for the provision of disabled toilet facilities in a school (details supplied) in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30847/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department issued approval to the school authority of the school referred to by the Deputy to appoint a consultant and proceed to tender on the access works required to facilitate the enrolment of a pupil in September of this year. When the tender report with costings has been received and assessed my Department will be in further contact with the school authority.

Departmental Appointments

Questions (308)

Joe McHugh

Question:

308. Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the percentage take-up by graduates of the summer work scheme in the Civil Service; the percentage of college undergraduates who have taken up same; the percentage of retired persons who have come off the live register to participate in such schemes; the percentage of participants who are in another category; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30280/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

During March 2013 the Public Appointments Service (PAS) commenced a recruitment competition to provide cover for temporary clerical positions in the civil and public service, including vacancies arising from the Shorter Working Year Scheme. Given the short-term nature of the appointments, the Public Appointments Service does not collate detailed information on the background of the candidates selected.

A total of 11,927 applications were received. Panels were generated from the county selection choice of the 9,942 candidates who qualified at the initial selection stage. As vacancies arise individuals are invited to attend for interview in accordance with their location choice and in line with their ranking from the first stage of the selection process. The following table shows the number of candidates provided to date by PAS following interview to Departments/ organisations in order to fill their vacancy requirements.

Department/Organisation

Number provided by PAS

Social and Family Protection

444

Justice, Equality and Law Reform

57

Revenue

403

Agriculture and Food

13

PAS

2

Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht

3

OPW

2

Education and Skills

8

SUSI

40

Cork County Council

4

Road Safety Authority

8

Total to date

984

Ministerial Advisers Remuneration

Questions (309)

Patrick O'Donovan

Question:

309. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if payments made to the advisers of serving members of the Government are expected to be reduced as part of the recently enacted legislation on public pay, Haddington Road; if so, the amount by which each grade will reduce and the overall saving from the pay of Government advisers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30078/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

The remuneration reduction provisions of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2013 apply to all public servants in receipt of annual remuneration over €65,000 including special advisers. Standard remuneration rates for Special Advisers are linked to the Civil Service Principal Officer (standard) scale of €80,051 – €83,337 - €86,604 – €89,898 – €92,672. However, in line with the guidelines for such appointments, a number of appointments have been sanctioned at higher rates. The reductions arising under the terms of the legislation in respect of the standard and higher approved rates are detailed in the following table. The overall savings arising from reducing the salaries paid to special advisers is estimated at some €240,000 on a full year basis.

Principal Officer Standard Scale

Reduction

€80,051

€4,404

€83,337

€4,667

€86,604

€4,928

€89,898

€5,192

€92,672

€5,414

Approved Higher Rates

Reduction

€97,200

€5,776

€105,837

€6,467

€110,000

€6,800

€114,000

€7,120

€127,000

€8,160

€127,796

€8,224

€155,000

€10,450

€168,000

€11,620

Leader's Allowance Issues

Questions (310)

Patrick O'Donovan

Question:

310. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will provide details in tabular form by Deputy and Senator of the total amount paid under the Leader's allowance to individual members of Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann excluding those Deputies who were leaders of political parties comprising three Deputies or more since 1997; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30081/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Public)

The Party Leaders Allowance is provided for in the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) Act, 1938, as amended by the Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices (Amendment) Act, 2001.

The legislation, when introduced in 1938, made provision for payments to leaders of qualifying parties in respect of members of Dáil Éireann only. The legislation was amended in 1996 to provide that payments may be made to a member of Dáil Éireann, who at the last preceding general election, or at a subsequent bye-election, was elected as a member other than as a member of a qualifying party. A similar provision was introduced in 2001 to provide for payments to independent members of Seanad Éireann who were appointed or elected as members other than as members of a qualifying party.

Under the legislation, a qualifying independent TD may be paid an annual rate currently amounting to €41,152. Similarly, a qualifying independent Senator may be paid an annual rate currently amounting to €23,383.

The amounts paid to each independent TD from the period 2001 to date are set out at Appendix A. The amounts paid to each independent Senator from the period 2001 to date are set out at Appendix B. The current data systems in use allow for detailed payment records in the manner requested by the Deputy from 2001, however this system does not permit detailing the payments to independent TDs prior to 2001. For information in relation to the amounts paid to leaders of qualifying parties under the legislation from 2002-2012, the Deputy may wish to refer to PQ 12254 of 7 March 2013.

Appendix A – Payments made to Independent Members of Dáil Éireann 2001-2013

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Total

Beverly Flynn

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€23,984.07

€40,319.50

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€64,303.57

Catherine Murphy

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€27,752.04

€39,829.71

€12,893.48

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€34,783.20

€41,151.96

€17,146.65

€173,557.04

Finian McGrath

€0.00

€18,990.75

€30,648.96

€31,883.51

€33,809.28

€39,829.71

€36,877.55

€41,087.07

€41,151.96

€41,151.96

€39,437.30

€41,151.96

€17,146.65

€413,166.66

Jackie Healy Rae

€18,906.44

€28,945.29

€30,648.96

€31,883.51

€33,809.28

€39,829.71

€36,877.55

€41,085.07

€37,722.63

€41,151.96

€4,654.09

€0.00

€0.00

€345,514.49

James Breen

€0.00

€18,990.75

€30,648.96

€31,883.51

€33,809.28

€39,829.71

€12,893.48

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€168,055.69

Jerry Cowley

€0.00

€18,990.75

€30,648.96

€31,883.51

€33,809.28

€39,829.71

€12,893.48

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€168,055.69

John Halligan

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€34,783.20

€41,151.96

€17,146.65

€93,081.81

Like "Ming" Flanagan

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€34,783.20

€41,151.96

€17,146.65

€93,081.81

Marian Harkin

€0.00

€18,990.75

€30,648.96

€31,883.51

€33,809.28

€39,829.71

€12,893.48

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€168,055.69

Mattie McGrath

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€34,783.20

€41,151.96

€17,146.65

€93,081.81

Maureen O Sullivan

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€24,005.31

€41,151.96

€39,437.30

€41,151.96

€17,146.65

€162,893.18

Michael Healy Rae

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€34,783.20

€41,151.96

€17,146.65

€93,081.81

Michael Lowry

€18,906.44

€28,945.29

€30,648.96

€31,883.51

€33,809.28

€39,829.71

€36,877.55

€41,085.07

€41,151.96

€41,151.96

€39,437.30

€41,151.96

€17,146.65

€442,025.64

Michael Wallace*

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€75,935.16

€17,146.65

€93,081.81

Mildred Fox

€18,906.44

€28,945.29

€30,648.96

€31,883.51

€33,809.28

€39,829.71

€12,893.48

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€196,916.67

Noel Grealish

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€34,783.20

€41,151.96

€17,146.65

€93,081.81

Paddy McHugh

€0.00

€18,990.75

€30,648.96

€31,883.51

€33,809.28

€39,829.71

€12,893.48

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€168,055.69

Paudge Connnolly

€0.00

€18,990.75

€30,648.96

€31,883.51

€33,809.28

€39,829.71

€12,893.48

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€168,055.69

S Ross

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€34,783.20

€41,641.86

€17,146.65

€93,571.71

Seamus Healy

€18,906.44

€28,945.29

€30,648.96

€31,883.51

€33,809.28

€39,829.71

€12,893.48

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€34,783.20

€41,151.96

€17,146.65

€289,998.48

Stephen Donnelly

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€34,783.20

€41,151.96

€17,146.65

€93,081.81

Thomas Pringle

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€34,783.20

€41,151.96

€17,146.65

€93,081.81

Tom Fleming

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€34,293.30

€41,151.96

€17,146.65

€92,591.91

Tom Gildea

€18,906.44

€9,954.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€28,860.44

Tony Gregory

€18,906.44

€28,945.29

€30,648.96

€31,883.51

€33,809.28

€39,829.71

€36,877.55

€41,085.07

€221.25

€0.00

€0.00

€40,315.03

€0.00

€302,522.09

Total

€113,438.64

€268,624.95

€337,138.56

€350,718.61

€399,654.12

€477,956.52

€274,642.11

€204,661.78

€144,253.11

€164,607.84

€505,091.31

€692,867.53

€257,199.75

€4,190,854.83

Appendix B – Payments made to Independent Members of Seanad Éireann 2001-2013

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

Total

Mary Henry

€7,599.59

€17,080.16

€17,415.00

€18,116.52

€19,210.86

€22,631.84

€12,854.60

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€114,908.57

David Norris

€7,599.59

€17,080.16

€17,415.00

€18,116.52

€19,210.86

€22,631.84

€22,128.35

€23,345.23

€23,382.96

€23,382.96

€23,112.33

€23,382.96

€9,742.90

€250,531.66

Joe O'Toole

€7,599.59

€17,080.16

€17,415.00

€18,116.52

€19,210.86

€22,631.84

€22,128.35

€23,345.23

€23,382.96

€23,382.96

€7,198.92

€0.00

€0.00

€201,492.39

Fergal Quinn

€7,599.59

€17,080.16

€17,415.00

€18,116.52

€19,210.86

€22,631.84

€22,128.35

€23,345.23

€23,382.96

€23,382.96

€23,112.32

€23,382.96

€9,742.90

€250,531.65

Shane Ross

€7,599.59

€17,080.16

€17,415.00

€18,116.52

€19,210.86

€22,631.84

€22,128.35

€23,345.23

€23,382.96

€23,382.96

€3,618.79

€0.00

€0.00

€197,912.26

Eoghan Harris

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€9,273.75

€23,345.23

€23,382.96

€23,382.96

€7,198.92

€0.00

€0.00

€86,583.82

Ronan Mullen

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€9,273.75

€23,345.23

€23,382.96

€23,382.96

€23,112.32

€23,382.96

€9,742.90

€135,623.08

John Crown

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€15,913.40

€18,388.64

€9,742.90

€44,044.94

Sean Barrett

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€15,913.40

€23,382.96

€9,742.90

€49,039.26

Martin McAleese

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€3,247.63

€23,382.96

€3,897.16

€30,527.75

Fiach Mac Conghaill

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€14,394.35

€23,382.96

€9,742.90

€47,520.21

Eamon Coughlan

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€14,394.35

€23,382.96

€9,742.90

€47,520.21

Dr. Katherine Zappone

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€14,394.35

€23,382.96

€9,742.90

€47,520.21

Mary Ann O Brien

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€14,394.35

€23,382.96

€9,742.90

€47,520.21

Marie Louise O Donnell

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€14,394.35

€23,382.96

€9,742.90

€47,520.21

Jillian Van Turnhout

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€14,394.35

€23,382.96

€9,742.90

€47,520.21

Maurice Hayes

€7,599.59

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€7,599.59

Ivana Bacik

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€9,274.00

€22,908.00

€5,846.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€0.00

€38,028.00

Total

€45,597.54

€85,400.80

€87,075.00

€90,582.60

€96,054.30

€113,159.20

€129,189.50

€162,979.38

€146,143.76

€140,297.76

€208,794.15

€275,601.20

€111,069.06

€1,691,944.25

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 317)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

311. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the full extent in money terms of the savings made to date achieved, across each Department, in the context of the cost reductions or reform as set down in the memorandum of understanding agreed by his predecessor in each year to date since the agreement was signed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30140/13]

View answer

Bernard Durkan

Question:

312. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which each State or semi-State body has met the targets set out in each year to date since the memorandum of understanding was agreed by his predecessors; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30141/13]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

313. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which this country's economic targets are within the parameters set out in the memorandum of understanding; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30142/13]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

314. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which savings or cost reductions remain an integral part of economic strategy in consort with other reforms; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30143/13]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

315. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which targets in respect of public expenditure and reform here have been achieved to date as compared with other programme countries in the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30144/13]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

317. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which he compares Ireland's success to date in achieving the targets set by the troika agreement when compared with other programme countries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30146/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 311 to 315, inclusive, and 317 together.

The Government continues to make good progress on achieving all of our deficit targets and priorities, as articulated in the Government Programme. We are bringing public expenditure back onto a sustainable path and driving forward the public service reform agenda to ensure that efficiencies and reformed work practices play a full part in contributing to the overall budgetary consolidation effort which is essential to achieving our annual deficit targets.

Voted expenditure allocations for all Government Departments are published each year in the Revised Estimates Volume, furthermore, expenditure outturn trends since 1994 are also available on my Department’s statistical databank at http://databank.per.gov.ie/.

Since this Government was established in 2011, a medium-term expenditure management process began with a Comprehensive Review of Expenditure exercise. This exercise was carried out by all Departments in order to identify ways of reducing expenditure in line with commitments under the Joint EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support for Ireland, while minimising the impact on service delivery.

Following on from this, the Ministerial expenditure ceilings for 2012 - 2014 were introduced on an administrative basis in the Comprehensive Expenditure Report, published in December 2011. The CRE exercise forms the foundation of these ceilings and is the basis for all subsequent decisions on expenditure.

The Expenditure Report 2013 was published on 5 December 2012 and includes further well-specified expenditure savings measures across every area of Government spending. The Deputy might be interested to know that both of these documents, along with an array of other informative reports and data are available on my Department’s website at www.per.gov.ie.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for our EU/IMF Programme of financial assistance was signed in December 2010, and following each of the subsequent quarterly reviews by the Troika, an update of the MoU is agreed. Each update to the MoU can include the protraction or revisions to existing commitments along with new commitments. The Government has repeatedly affirmed its commitment to meeting the targets agreed with our European and IMF partners. Ireland is living up to its end of the bargain by delivering on all the conditions and quantitative fiscal targets set as part of the EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support by the required deadlines. With regards to other countries, the following web link put together by the European Commission provides an overview of the position of every EU Member State in the EDP:

http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/economic_governance/sgp/corrective_arm/index_en.htm

Programme for Government Implementation

Question No. 317 answered with Question No. 311

Questions (316)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

316. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the actual value in money terms of the reforms achieved in each of the past five years to date as opposed to expenditure cuts across all Government Departments and bodies under their aegis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30145/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The Government continues to make good progress on achieving all of our deficit targets and priorities, as articulated in the Government Programme. We are bringing public expenditure back onto a sustainable path and driving forward the Public Service reform agenda to ensure that efficiencies and reformed work practices play a full part in contributing to the overall budgetary consolidation effort which is essential to achieving our annual deficit targets. To date, all quantitative fiscal targets set as part of the EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support have been met in full.

Reform of the Public Service is a critical component of the Government’s efforts to restore the public finances to sustainability, while ensuring that we continue to deliver essential services as efficiently and effectively as possible. It is for this reason that the comprehensive and far-reaching suite of reforms we have set out in the Public Service Reform Plan, published November 2011, are being implemented.

The reform process is delivering real savings, as demonstrated in the reports published by the independent Implementation Body established to monitor progress under the Public Service Agreement 2010-2014 (the Croke Park Agreement). The First Progress Report of the Implementation Body found that some €308 million in non-pay administrative efficiency savings were made between July 2010 and March 2011. The Second Progress Report of the Implementation Body found that non-pay administrative efficiency savings of €370 million were made in the period April 2011 to March 2012. These savings are in addition to the substantial savings on the Public Service pay bill identified by the Implementation Body. The third Progress Report of the Implementation Body, covering the nine month period April 2012 to December 2012, will be published shortly and will show that further substantial savings were realised through efficiency improvements over this period.

Under the Public Service Reform Plan, an ambitious range of reform measures are being rolled out in areas such as shared services, public procurement and eGovernment and will enable Departments to meet their reduced budgetary allocations.

In addition, the measures set out in the Haddington Road Agreement will enable the Government to achieve the targeted savings of approximately €300 million in the public service pay and pensions bill in 2013, including savings on Local Government. Furthermore, it is estimated that the measures set out in the Haddington Road Agreement will reduce the public service pay and pensions bill by €1 billion by the end of the Agreement.

Of course, reform is needed not just to deliver on our fiscal targets but also to ensure that the State can continue to provide essential services in the face of falling staff numbers and reduced spending budgets. For that reason, Public Service reform will continue to be a key component of our overall strategic response to the economic situation.

Question No. 317 answered with Question No. 311.

National Procurement Service Framework Agreements

Questions (318)

Noel Grealish

Question:

318. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if a directive has been issued to primary and post-primary schools requiring that they purchase all stationery-paper from an Office of Public Works-selected company, identified through the public procurement process or may they purchase from local suppliers using best value for money; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30198/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The National Procurement Service (NPS) is focused on developing centralised arrangements for the procurement of goods and services used commonly across the public service nationwide. The benefits arising from these central arrangements include: cash savings; administrative savings from reduced duplication of tendering; greater purchasing expertise; improved consistency; and enhanced service levels.

While it is felt that the NPS contracts for stationery and paper offer the best value for money on a national basis, it is permissible for buyers to purchase goods and services from non-NPS suppliers if these goods and services are demonstrably cheaper. However, where a public service body purchases such goods or services it may need to explain the rationale for not using the NPS arrangements and provide a value for money justification that takes account of the full costs incurred in managing its own procurement process.

Departmental Properties

Questions (319)

Tom Fleming

Question:

319. Deputy Tom Fleming asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 164 of 27 February 2013 and 542 of 16 April 2013, if he will expedite the transaction with Kerry County Council regarding the provision of a site for the proposed new cemetery on the grounds of Derrynane Abbey, Derrynane, County Kerry; if he will contact the Chief State Solicitor's office; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30258/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

I can confirm that the Chief State Solicitor’s office (CSSO) issued the contracts for sale to the legal Department of Kerry County Council on the 3rd May for execution. A reminder for the return of same was issued on the 31st May. As soon as Kerry County Council return the contracts to the CSSO the matter will be dealt with as expeditiously as possible.