Thursday, 24 October 2013

Questions (120)

Eric J. Byrne


120. Deputy Eric Byrne asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on the multiple independent procurements of research grant management software by agencies under the control of his Department and the total cost to the taxpayer of these systems; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the same supplier has supplied all but one of these systems and that all are compliant with European Commission standards on the exchange of research information and are all capable of being integrated into one grant management system, as has been done in the US and the UK with the consequent savings that produces; the reason, despite the existence of a national research platform report, no progress has been made on the implementation of an integrated national research platform; and if his attention has been drawn to the consequent diversion of resources in research bodies, HEs and others to the management of these multiple systems and away from the proper good governance of public resources spent on research. [45565/13]

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Written answers (Question to Public)

In response to the Deputy's question none of the Offices or Agencies under the remit of my Department has procured the research grant management software referred to. Neither my Department nor the Offices or Agencies under my remit are familiar with the specific applications referred to in the question, but I would certainly agree that it is the case that multiple systems can often be integrated. The feasibility of this will generally depend on the availability of published standards for the interfaces and the licensing models employed, but the most important issue will be whether the underlying business processes in the research/education entities are also aligned.