My Department administers a very diverse, complex and technical brief. It has a total complement of over 260 full time equivalent staff of whom a limited number are technical personnel. This requires my Department to procure specialist external professional advice notably in legal, financial and technical areas to assist in discharging its functions. In procuring these specialised services, my Department always seeks to ensure value for money and that these professional services contribute to project delivery and informed, robust and evidence based policy making. Based on 2016 expenditure to the end of May, it is estimated that applying a 10% reduction in professional fees would reduce the amount to be paid in 2017 by approximately €0.46m.
My Department adheres to the relevant EU Regulations and Department of Finance Guidelines on the procurement of goods and services and will continue to keep spending on all consultancy/professional services to a minimum consistent with ensuring the necessary expertise is available to discharge the Department’s wide and complex brief.