State Examinations Issues

Questions (164)

Billy Timmins

Question:

164. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Education and Skills when the leaving certificate rechecks will be completed; if he will put a system in place to ensure that they will be dealt with at an earlier date in future. [41530/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

The State Examinations Commission has statutory responsibility for operational matters relating to the certificate examinations including organising the holding of examinations, determining procedures in places where examinations are conducted including the supervision of examinations and making arrangements for the marking of work presented for examination and for appeals and rechecks. In view of this I have forwarded your query to the State Examinations Commission for direct reply to you.

Consultancy Contracts Expenditure

Questions (165)

Billy Timmins

Question:

165. Deputy Billy Timmins asked the Minister for Education and Skills the consultants, if any, he has contracted since 1 January 2013 to advise on the possible sale of any assets; the current situation; the advice given and the terms and cost of the contract; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41542/13]

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Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department has not contracted any consultants in 2013 to advise on the possible sale of assets.

Semi-State Bodies Dividends

Questions (166)

Michael McGrath

Question:

166. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if the €100 million extra in dividends from State companies provided for in budget 2013 represents a permanent change in the State's policy in respect of dividend pay-out from the commercial semi-State companies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41374/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

The additional €100m in dividends from State companies, provided for in Budget 2013, is in addition to the normal dividends expected of State companies. In general, dividends of 30% of profits after tax have been sought of State companies in recent years. My Department, working with other relevant Departments and NewEra, which has been established to advise Government Departments on shareholder matters, is at present working on developing a new dividend policy for commercial state companies.

Departmental Staff Data

Questions (167, 169)

Kevin Humphreys

Question:

167. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 459, 460, 461 and 462 of 18 September 2013, if he will provide a breakdown by number of hours of work given by staff of the Office of Public Works alongside the grade of the staff member, towards the drafting and provision of the design work, planning guidance and any other assistance provided by the Office of Public Works to the Irish Jewish Museum in the preparation and submission of its planning permission; the hours of work and the grade of staff that carried out same that has been required and deployed in preparing requested further information since the planning permission for the museum was appealed to An Bord Pleanála; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41311/13]

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Kevin Humphreys

Question:

169. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if the Office of Public Works keeps a record of the work done in its design services division and monitors the number of hours of professional services that are deployed or required of an individual project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41313/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 167 and 169 together.

I indicated in my response to the Deputy on 19 September 2013 that support for this project was met from within the OPW's standing capacity. Procedures are in place to monitor and manage the resource input by professional services in OPW. This includes the recording of the grade and contributed hours of all professional staff employed on the project. These records inform OPW management on the efficient use of and deployment of its resources. Where requirements arise to support initiatives or provide services outside of the strict parameters of a project timeline, as occurred in this instance, the recording of the full extent of such resource inputs is not as assiduously observed. Nevertheless an estimate of the technical contribution recorded from 2010 to 2013 on this project in regard to architectural, engineering and quantity surveying services equates to one person for 58 weeks.

Departmental Expenditure

Questions (168, 170)

Kevin Humphreys

Question:

168. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 459, 460, 461and 462 of 18 September 2013, if he will provide a breakdown of the costs incurred by the Office of Public Works, if any, in the contracting of outside professional services, or third party professionals, for the preparation of the design work, planning guidance and any other assistance provided by the OPW to the Irish Jewish Museum in the preparation and submission of its planning permission request to Dublin City Council; if the OPW arranged any such outside professional services for that purpose on the condition that a different body or person would pick up the cost; what those services were; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41312/13]

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Kevin Humphreys

Question:

170. Deputy Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if the Office of Public Works performed a hydro-geological assessment report for the Irish Jewish Museum at the request of An Bord Pleanála or in preparation of its original planning permission; if it did, the projected market cost of such work and the number of hours of staff time and their grade that are deployed or required for its completion; if it contracted the services in, the cost of such work and the persons that paid for it; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41314/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 168 and 170 together.

The OPW, in the preparation of the planning application, commissioned the services of an external provider to undertake ground investigations to inform, the design and planning application process. The fees associated with that engagement were €8,066.90. Specialist planning advice, which did not exist within the OPW, was also commissioned to assist the planning process. Costs arising from that advice are expected to be in the region of €5,000. The OPW has not arranged any professional services on the basis that a different body or person would pick up the cost. It was indicated to the Irish Jewish Museum that certain professional engagements should be considered but responsibility for progressing with any or all of those is a matter for the Irish Jewish Museum. The OPW did not undertake a Hydro-geological Assessment Report as part of the planning application process nor has it contracted the services in.