Wards of Court

Questions (271)

Clare Daly

Question:

271. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the reason fees charged for a ward of court in circumstances in which the General Solicitor is committee for the person and estate and the family or persons other than the General Solicitor is committee for the person and estate, with particular reference to the income included in calculating the amount and the rate; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25497/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will be aware, the High Court has jurisdiction in Wards of Court matters and management of the courts is the responsibility of the Courts Service which is independent in exercising its functions under the Courts Service Act 1998. Furthermore, the Office of the General Solicitor for Minors and Wards of Court is an Office of the High Court.

However, in order to be of assistance to the Deputy, I have had enquiries made and the Courts Service has advised that the General Solicitor is appointed by the President of the High Court as Committee for Wards of Court where the Court determines that there is no suitable family member to act or where there is a dispute between family members.

The Courts Service has informed me that Committee fees are provided for under Section 115 of the Lunacy Regulation Ireland Act, 1871 and Rule 67 Order 65 of the Rules of Superior Courts.

The Courts Service has also informed me that the General Solicitor charges fees where she has been so appointed for providing independent and professional service to the Ward and the Court. As the Deputy will be aware, the General Solicitor acts under the direction of the President of the High Court. The Courts Service has further advised that Committee fees are paid from Ward's funds for the collection and processing of that Ward’s funds and income by the General Solicitor in her capacity as the Committee for the Ward. Income includes pensions, annuities and rental income. Fees on income are calculated at 5% of the amount received. Fees on funds other than income are calculated at 4% of the amount received. The General Solicitor is required to file accounts on a periodic basis with the Office of Wards of Court for vouching and examination of the Ward’s funds received and paid out.

The Courts Service has indicated that in common with any solicitor who acts in a wardship matter, the General Solicitor is paid legal costs in respect of the work carried out as solicitor for the Ward. These costs are generally paid from the Ward’s funds. These Bills are either measured by the Registrar for Wards of Court or are taxed by the Taxing Master. Payment of legal costs arise whether the Committee is the General Solicitor or a family member.

In addition to the above, it is open to any Committee to seek remuneration in relation to their role as Committee. However it is not the practice to pay remuneration by way of Committee fees.

Irish Youth Justice Service

Questions (272)

John Curran

Question:

272. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the funding allocated to the Irish Youth Justice Service in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019 (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25537/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Deputy will be aware that the Irish Youth Justice Service is comprised of co-located staff of my Department and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. My Department currently funds some 106 local Garda Youth Diversion Projects and the following table sets out the position in relation to these specific projects as sought by the Deputy.

Funding provided for Garda Youth Diversion Projects from 2015 to 2018 (expenditure) and 2019 (allocation)

Year

Funding

2015

€11.3 million

2016

€13 million

2017

€13.3 million

2018

€13.7 million

2019

€15.3 million

Crime Prevention

Questions (273)

John Curran

Question:

273. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 366 of 11 June 2019, the location at which it is planned to commence a trial of the Greentown programme approach on a pilot basis; when he expects the programme to commence in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25538/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I refer the Deputy to my previous answer on 11 June 2019. As I indicated in that answer, crime prevention and investigation, including in relation to the involvement of children in crime, are operational matters for An Garda Síochána in the first instance.

That being said, I share the Deputy's concern that we do all that we can to prevent children and young people from coming under the influence of criminals. An important initiative in that regard is the "Greentown" project, a research project led by the REPPP Project (Research Evidence into Policy, Programmes and Practice) at the School of Law in the University of Limerick (UL). The REPPP project is a strategic research partnership with UL which is supported by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs, and also by my own Department. Its specific focus is on examining the recruitment by criminal networks of children in Ireland and to make recommendations for interventions to disrupt this.

In the absence of international models of intervention that could be readily deployed, the original Greentown report (December 2016) recommended the design of a programme to include interventions with children and their families to help them withstand the influence of criminal networks. This new "Greentown Programme" has been designed with the input of leading international expertise on crime and criminal networks, together with Irish scientific, policy and practice expertise in child protection and welfare, drugs and community development.

I understand that it is intended to commence a trial of the Greentown Programme approach, on a pilot basis, during 2019.

More generally, I am currently developing a new Youth Justice Strategy with the assistance of an interdepartmental and interagency steering group. The new Strategy will address the full range of issues relevant to youth justice, including how best to tackle the serious issues raised in the Deputy's Question.

A key issue here is how to ensure an integrated approach across all agencies, but in particular the relevant child welfare programmes, Garda Youth Diversion Projects and schools, to ensure a sustained and holistic response and that integrated services are provided to respond to the situation of children at risk, tailored to the individual child in the context of the specific family and the specific community and the issues they face. The new Youth Justice Strategy will be published in draft form for a further round of public consultation before the end of this year and will be finalised early in 2020.

My Department also provides funding through the Irish Youth Justice Service (IYJS) to support the operation of 106 Garda Youth Diversion Projects (GYDPs). These projects are community based multi-agency crime prevention initiatives which primarily seek to divert young people who have become involved in crime/anti-social behaviour.

For 2019, IYJS has a renewed emphasis on preventative work by GYDPs, looking at the child in the context of the specific family and the specific community. This includes family support work and working with children aged 8 to 11. The Department also supports pilot projects, to help develop better approaches in areas such as engagement with hard-to-reach or more challenging children, as well as mentoring initiatives.

While the Greentown report was based in one site, a number of other sites have also been used in the research. Each one of these sites have been given a fictitious name in order to protect the identities of the young people involved in the study and to avoid stigmatising the local community. A final decision on trial sites for a project intervention has not been made at this time, but in any event the Deputy will appreciate the continued need to keep the identity of the specific areas confidential for the reasons outlined above.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal Data

Questions (274)

John Curran

Question:

274. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the number of claims brought to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Tribunal in 2018 and to date in 2019; the number of claims settled in 2018 and to date in 2019; the value of the settlements in 2018 and to date in 2019; the number of cases on hand in view of the review he is undertaking; the number of these older than five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25547/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

I can inform the Deputy that the number of General Scheme applications received by the Tribunal in 2018 was 174 and to date in 2019 is 71. In 2019 payments were made in respect of 21 applications at a cost of €6.33m, including on foot of an additional €2.4m which I obtained as part of a Supplementary Estimate. To date in 2019 payments have been made in respect of 9 applications at a cost of €0.65m.

I am informed that the assessment of the caseload of the Tribunal will be submitted to me shortly. I will revert to the Deputy with a further update at that point.

I can further inform the Deputy that the Law Reform Commission published its fifth Programme of Law Reform on 5 June 2019. A review of the Scheme of Compensation for Injuries Criminally Inflicted is one of the fifteen projects identified in the Programme, which I welcome as an opportunity to examine in detail this long established scheme.

Closed-Circuit Television Systems Provision

Questions (275)

John Curran

Question:

275. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the details of the 20 community-based CCTV schemes that have been approved for funding; the location of each scheme; if funding has been drawn down in each case; if each scheme is operational; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25548/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

CCTV systems installed for the purposes of crime prevention and as aids to policing in areas to which the general public routinely have access fall into two distinct but complementary categories, namely Garda CCTV systems and community-based CCTV systems.

Community CCTV is governed by section 38(3)(c) of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 and the Garda Síochána (CCTV) Order 2006 (SI No 289 of 2006). This legal framework requires that any proposed community CCTV scheme must:

- be approved by the local Joint Policing Committee,

- have the prior support of the relevant local authority, which must also undertake to act as data controller, and

- have the authorisation of the Garda Commissioner.

This is the legal basis for all community CCTV schemes and these key legal requirements have not changed since 2006.

20 applications have been approved to date under the scheme, involving approval for grants totalling more than €500,000.  The location of these approved funding applications, as requested by the Deputy, are as follows:

- Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim

- Cranmore, Co Sligo

- Arklow, Co Wicklow

- Courttown/Riverchapel, Gorey and Wexford Town, Co Wexford

- Abbeyfeale, Adare, Askeaton, Caherconlish, Cappamore, Castleconnell, Croom, Foynes, Kilmallock, Newcastlewest, Pallasgreen, Patrickswell, Murroe and Rathkeale, County Limerick. 

Drawdown of funding is arranged for in the following way: First, successful applicants receive confirmation they have been approved for a grant under the scheme and confirmation of the amount of the grant.  50% of the grant amount is released at this stage, on signature by the successful applicant of the grant agreement.  This allows successful applicants to proceed with the installation of the system, secure in the knowledge that the grant has been approved and with the availability at that stage of 50% of the grant. All such payments are made via the relevant Local Authority.

The balance of the grant is released and transferred when the successful applicant provides the Department with information (confirmed by An Garda Síochána) that the CCTV system is fully operational.

I would recall in that regard that my Department administers the CCTV grant aid scheme but is not responsible for oversight of the operation of CCTV schemes more generally.  The practical operation of such schemes is a matter for the relevant applicants; with responsibility for data protection resting with the relevant local authority as data controller.  This is without prejudice to the wider arrangements and structures provided for by law, for example in terms of role of the Data Protection Commission with regard to compliance of data controllers with data protection law and supervision by An Garda Síochána in relation to any conditions of authorisation of CCTV under section 38 of the Garda Síochána Act.

The grant aid scheme remains open for applications in 2019.  I am keen to ensure that all interested groups, in both rural and urban areas, have the opportunity to take advantage of the availability of the grant aid scheme.  Further details are available to download from my Department's website - www.justice.ie and support and guidance is available to help interested groups through a dedicated email address, communitycctv@justice.ie.

Garda Transport Data

Questions (276)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

276. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the national breakdown by Garda district of all types of vehicle in the Garda fleet, including unmarked vehicles, as of 16 June 2019. [25556/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The resources provided by Government to An Garda Síochána have reached unprecedented levels, with an allocation for 2019 of €1.76 billion.  Very significant capital investment is also being made in An Garda Síochána, including a total of €46 million for investment in the Garda fleet between 2016 and 2021.  This continuing investment is intended to ensure that An Garda Síochána has a modern, effective and fit-for-purpose fleet and can be mobile, visible and responsive on the roads and in the community to prevent and tackle crime.

As the Deputy will appreciate, in accordance with the Garda Síochána Act 2005 as amended, the Garda Commissioner is responsible for managing and controlling the administration and business of An Garda Síochána.  Further, the allocation of Garda resources is a matter for the Commissioner, in light of identified operational demands. This includes responsibility for the allocation of Garda vehicles among the various Garda divisions.  As Minister, I have no role in these matters. I am assured, however, that Garda management keeps the distribution of resources under continual review in the context of crime trends and policing priorities to ensure their optimum use.

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the following table outlines details of the Garda fleet (including unmarked vehicles) attached to Garda districts throughout the country as of 17 June, 2019. The Deputy should note that this table excludes vehicles assigned to National Units and Garda HQ.

The Deputy may also wish to be aware that a total of €10 million has been made available for the purchase and fit-out of Garda vehicles in 2019.  I understand from the Garda authorities that this allocation will be used for purchase and fit-out of over 300 new vehicles for operational use this year.

Garda Fleet by District (excluding National Units and Garda HQ), correct as at 17 June 2019

District

Cars

Vans

Bikes

4x4

Others

Total

BLACKROCK-W DISTRICT

18

1

0

1

1

21

DUNLAOGHAIRE-F DISTRICT

21

8

0

0

1

30

BALBRIGGAN-Y DISTRICT

9

1

0

0

1

11

BALLYMUN DISTRICT

28

10

0

1

3

42

COOLOCK-R DISTRICT

21

3

0

0

0

24

RAHENY-J DISTRICT

15

4

0

0

0

19

BRIDEWELL DISTRICT

7

3

0

0

0

10

FITZGIBBON STREET DISTRICT

12

3

0

2

0

17

STORE STREET DISTRICT

22

6

0

1

1

30

CRUMLIN-G DISTRICT

18

10

0

0

0

28

TALLAGHT-M DISTRICT

22

5

0

1

0

28

TERENURE-P DISTRICT

13

2

0

1

0

16

DONNYBROOK-E DISTRICT

10

6

0

0

0

16

KEVIN STREET-A DISTRICT

22

4

0

0

1

27

PEARSE STREET-B DISTRICT

8

4

0

0

1

13

DMR TRAFFIC-DUBLIN CASTLE DISTRICT

17

1

48

4

3

73

BLANCHARDSTOWN-K DISTRICT

31

6

0

0

2

39

CLONDALKIN-L DISTRICT

14

5

0

0

0

19

LUCAN-Q DISTRICT

14

2

0

0

7

23

KILDARE DISTRICT

16

5

0

2

1

24

LEIXLIP DISTRICT

10

2

0

0

0

12

NAAS DISTRICT

12

5

1

1

2

21

BIRR DISTRICT

5

2

0

0

0

7

PORTLAOISE DISTRICT

21

6

2

1

3

33

TULLAMORE DISTRICT

10

5

0

0

1

16

ASHBOURNE DISTRICT

16

4

1

1

0

22

KELLS DISTRICT

7

2

0

0

0

9

NAVAN DISTRICT

11

5

0

0

0

16

TRIM DISTRICT

8

1

0

0

0

9

ATHLONE DISTRICT

12

2

1

1

1

17

MULLINGAR DISTRICT

33

13

2

2

5

55

BALTINGLASS DISTRICT

10

2

0

1

0

13

BRAY DISTRICT

19

4

1

1

1

26

WICKLOW DISTRICT

12

4

0

3

1

20

BAILIEBORO DISTRICT

9

2

0

0

0

11

CARRICKMACROSS DISTRICT

7

2

0

1

0

10

CAVAN DISTRICT

14

4

1

0

1

20

MONAGHAN DISTRICT

8

6

1

0

2

17

BALLYSHANNON DISTRICT

14

4

0

2

1

21

BUNCRANA DISTRICT

9

2

2

0

0

13

LETTERKENNY DISTRICT

17

6

1

0

1

25

MILFORD DISTRICT

7

2

0

1

0

10

ARDEE DISTRICT

4

3

0

0

0

7

DROGHEDA DISTRICT

11

1

2

1

2

17

DUNDALK DISTRICT

17

5

0

2

2

26

BALLYMOTE DISTRICT

6

2

0

0

0

8

LEITRIM DISTRICT

11

4

1

0

0

16

SLIGO DISTRICT

18

7

1

0

1

27

CARLOW DISTRICT

12

5

1

1

0

19

KILKENNY DISTRICT

26

8

0

1

4

39

THOMASTOWN DISTRICT

15

5

0

0

3

23

CAHIR DISTRICT

13

2

0

2

1

18

CLONMEL DISTRICT

7

2

0

0

0

9

NENAGH DISTRICT

8

2

0

1

0

11

THURLES DISTRICT

13

5

2

1

0

21

TIPPERARY DISTRICT

4

2

0

0

0

6

DUNGARVAN DISTRICT

14

2

0

0

0

16

TRAMORE DISTRICT

9

1

1

1

0

12

WATERFORD DISTRICT

19

11

2

3

3

38

ENNISCORTHY DISTRICT

21

2

1

1

0

25

NEW ROSS DISTRICT

7

2

0

0

0

9

WEXFORD DISTRICT

19

7

0

1

1

28

ANGELSEA STREET DISTRICT

53

14

7

3

4

81

GURRANABRAHER DISTRICT

11

1

0

0

1

13

MAYFIELD DISTRICT

8

4

1

0

4

17

TOGHER DISTRICT

13

2

0

0

0

15

FERMOY DISTRICT

11

3

0

0

1

15

MALLOW DISTRICT

11

4

1

0

0

16

MIDLETON DISTRICT

14

5

1

0

0

20

BANDON DISTRICT

15

6

1

0

2

24

BANTRY DISTRICT

6

3

0

0

0

9

CLONAKILTY DISTRICT

6

1

0

0

0

7

MACROOM DISTRICT

15

2

0

2

0

19

KILLARNEY DISTRICT

10

3

0

0

0

13

LISTOWEL DISTRICT

8

2

0

0

0

10

TRALEE DISTRICT

19

6

3

1

2

31

BRUFF DISTRICT

4

2

0

0

0

6

HENRY STREET LIMERICK DISTRICT

33

10

3

3

3

52

NEWCASTLEWEST DISTRICT

12

2

0

0

0

14

ROXBORO ROAD DISTRICT

8

2

0

0

2

12

ENNIS DISTRICT

25

10

2

0

1

38

KILRUSH DISTRICT

11

3

0

1

0

15

BALLINASLOE DISTRICT

6

1

0

0

0

7

CLIFDEN DISTRICT

5

2

0

0

0

7

GALWAY DISTRICT

27

13

4

3

4

51

LOUGHREA DISTRICT

9

3

0

0

0

12

SALTHILL DISTRICT

8

2

0

0

0

10

TUAM DISTRICT

10

2

2

0

1

15

BALLINA DISTRICT

7

4

0

0

0

11

BELMULLET DISTRICT

2

1

0

0

0

3

CASTLEBAR DISTRICT

8

3

1

0

1

13

CLAREMORRIS DISTRICT

11

2

0

2

1

16

WESTPORT DISTRICT

5

2

0

0

0

7

CASTLEREA DISTRICT

12

4

0

0

3

19

GRANARD DISTRICT

4

2

0

0

0

6

LONGFORD DISTRICT

14

2

1

0

0

17

ROSCOMMON DISTRICT

10

5

2

0

1

18

Total by Division, excluding National Units and HQ vehicles

1294

385

101

58

89

1927

*The category "others" refers to MPV, SUV, minibus or prisoner conveyance vehicles

Garda Station Opening Hours

Questions (277)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

277. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the Garda stations that are open on a 24-hour basis and part-time basis, respectively, by county, in tabular form. [25557/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

As the Deputy will appreciate, the Garda Commissioner is primarily responsible for the effective and efficient use of the resources made available to An Garda Síochána. This includes responsibility for the formulation of proposals in relation to the opening and closing of Garda stations and the allocation of resources in that regard.

I have asked the Garda Commissioner for the information requested by the Deputy and I will write directly to the Deputy when I receive it.

Coroners Service

Questions (278)

Seán Fleming

Question:

278. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will consider setting up a service to facilitate families in which a death must be the subject of an inquest; if funding will be provided to support families in terms of possible legal costs and the representation that may be required at these inquests (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25566/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Justice)

The operation of the coronial system is governed under legislation by the Coroners Act 1962, as amended. The conduct of a death investigation and any subsequent inquest is a matter for the coroner concerned.

Section 60 of the Act provides that a family member may, prior to the commencement of an inquest, make an application to the Coroner for legal aid and legal advice. The Coroner will then determine whether an application should be granted and will notify the applicant of his or her decision within 10 working days. As the Coroner is independent in the conduct of their functions, neither my Department nor I have any role in the granting of such an application.

I am informed that, since September 2015, a total of 38 applications for legal aid have been made. Of these, 33 were granted, 2 were not followed up by the applicant and 3 are going through the assessment process. I am not aware that any applications have been refused.

Trade Promotion

Questions (279)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

279. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the jurisdictions with which greatest improvement of trade is likely to be achieved in the aftermath of Brexit; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25583/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

An analysis of CSO Trade data shows that in 2015, the year before the Brexit Referendum in the UK, 16% (€37.1bn) of the value of total Goods and Services Exports was to the UK and in 2018 this reduced to 14% (€43.8bn).  In the period 2015 to 2018, the value of total exports from Ireland increased by €77.6bn or 33% to a record level of €316bn.  

In 2018, the dependency on the UK as a destination for EI client company exports reduced to 33%, down from 44% in 2007.  While the UK is and will remain a major market for Irish companies, expanding the Irish export footprint in markets beyond the UK is a key priority. In that context, Enterprise Ireland’s strategy is to support Irish exporters to be more innovative, competitive and market diversified.  

The Irish exporting landscape is strong and companies in Ireland are succeeding in winning business worldwide for their products and services.  Enterprise Ireland client companies achieved record levels of exports in 2018 of €23.8bn, against the backdrop of Brexit uncertainty. In 2018, the Eurozone region, which is a key focus of Enterprise Ireland’s diversification strategy, saw growth of 7.6% to €4.8bn, with Germany, France and the Netherlands each exceeding €1bn in exports.  Exports to North America increased from €3.87bn in 2017 to €4.08bn in 2018, an increase of 5.5%.  Our Enterprise agencies are now opening new offices around the world to support our companies in competing and thriving in global markets.  

Ministerial-led Trade Missions support the Government's major drive towards market diversification.  The majority of trade missions are taking place to the Eurozone, North America and Asia Pacific, which represent the strongest growth opportunities for Irish companies.  These Trade Missions focus on promoting the innovative capabilities and competitive offerings of Irish companies to international buyers in sectors including internationally traded services, fintech, high-tech construction, engineering, ICT and lifesciences.

As well as the global efforts supported by our agencies, key to our success has been our commitment to trade liberalisation in order to open new markets for our indigenous sectors. The EU has successfully concluded a number of important trade agreements with trading partners and is in the process of negotiating or upgrading its agreements with many more. The existing suite of EU Free Trade Agreements and new trade deals will continue to be very important for Ireland. With a small domestic market, further expansion in other markets is essential to our continued economic growth and, in this regard, Ireland will continue to support the EU’s ambitious programme of negotiating new Free Trade Agreements, opening new markets for Irish companies and increasing export and investment opportunities.

Economic Competitiveness

Questions (280)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

280. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the 2018 and 2019 rankings for each metric used for Ireland (details supplied). [24843/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

The IMD's World Competitiveness Yearbook assesses countries across the globe using over 230 competitiveness indicators. It ranks and analyses the ability of nations to create and maintain a competitive business environment and as a result, foster prosperity and long-term value creation. It considers competitiveness using a mixture of quantitative and qualitative data.

In the 2019 IMD report, Ireland is ranked 7th out of 63 economies – an improvement of five places from 2018. Amongst the euro area countries, Ireland is ranked 2nd most competitive, which represents an increase of one place since 2018

Ireland improved its rankings from 2018 in three out of the four core pillars of competitiveness assessed by the IMD – Economic performance, 6th (up 5 places), Government efficiency, 11th (up 2 places), Business efficiency, 3rd (up 7 places) and Infrastructure, 23rd (down 2 places).

Annual change in rankings for selected sub indicators are presented in the following table.

Sub-indicators

2019

2018

Export concentration by partner

57th

55th

Export concentration by product

47th

50th

Skilled Labour is readily available

12th

20th

Maintenance and development of infrastructure are adequately planned and financed

33rd

33rd

Total R&D spend as a % of GDP

35th

32nd

Total public expenditure on education per capita

15th

17th

Total public expenditure on education as a % of GDP

54th

55th

Apartment (3-room) monthly rent

55th

51st

Office rent occupation cost

54th

53rd

Overall

7th

12th

Enterprise Support Schemes

Questions (281)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

281. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of payments issued to date for successful applications made under the disruptive technologies innovation fund, by county, in tabular form; the number of applications at grant agreement stage; the number of applications earmarked for prepayment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24846/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

The Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) is a €500 million fund established under Project Ireland 2040. In December 2018, 27 collaborative projects were approved for funding under the first call of the DTIF. The DTIF will see investment in the research, development and deployment of disruptive technologies and applications on a commercial basis. The successful projects represent the health, food, ICT and manufacturing sectors in Ireland. There are 104 organisations involved across the 27 projects that will receive funding and these include large enterprises, SMEs and higher education institutions/ public research bodies. A number of HEIs/public research bodies are involved in multiple projects. As indicated in December 2018, the 27 projects involve a request for DTIF funding of circa €75 million of which €20m is due to be drawn down during 2019. The DTIF is being administered by Enterprise Ireland on behalf of my Department.

No payments have yet been made under DTIF Call 1. Contracts are now being finalised by Enterprise Ireland in respect of each of the 27 projects and grant drawdown will commence shortly. In terms of prepayments, the public research bodies involved in the 27 projects will receive a share of their award on signature of contracts (in line with existing practice across other RD&I programmes). Public research bodies are involved in 25 of the 27 DTIF Call 1 projects. Small enterprises (less than 50 employees) involved across the 27 projects have also been invited to request an element of pre-funding (in line with Enterprise Ireland’s existing legislation). The number of small enterprises that will request pre-funding is not yet known. By September 2019, the first payments under DTIF Call 1 will have been made and I will be in a position to provide tabular information by county at that point. The first claims for incurred expenditure will not be made until November 2019 and, therefore, I expect that it will be late in 2019 before I can report on the full 2019 drawdown of DTIF funding.

Pending this, the details of each of the successful projects including the partners involved in each, a brief description of each project and the value of funding approved is available on my Department’s website and is replicated in the following table.

Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund (DTIF) - Awards Under First Call (2018)

Projects approved for €5 to 10 million in DTIF funding over the 3 years to 2021

Title

Consortium Members

Project Summary

Research Priority Area and Technologies

Enterprise Partner Locations

Maximum Award (subject to contract negotiation)

A Disruptive Gene Therapy Platform, Replacing Viruses in the Treatment of Genetic Conditions

Amryt Pharma, Curran Scientific Ltd, UCD, DEBRA Ireland

This project aims to disrupt the Viral Gene Therapy Market using a new Polymer-based Delivery Platform.

Health & Wellbeing – Diagnostics & Therapeutics

Amryt – Dublin

Curran – Limerick

€8.4m

HOLISTICS - Holistic Human Sensing for Health, Aging and Wellness

Tyndall National Institute, DABL, PMD Solutions, De Royal, Setanta, UCC Lero, Sanmina, Design Partners, VRAI, Henkel, ADI, HRB CRF-C, UCC Insight

HOLISTICS will create for the first time in Ireland, a disruptive Smart Wearables Industry Value Chain to deliver end-to-end HealthTech solutions based on emerging human-centric intelligent sensors and their wireless communication (abbrev. WSN) to support new products.

Health & Wellbeing

ICT

DABL - Dublin

PMD Solutions- Cork

De Royal - Dublin

Sanmina Design Partners – Cork

Henkel – Dublin

VRAI – Dublin

Analog Devices – Limerick

€7.4m

AuriGen Solution for Persistent Atrial Fibrillation

Aurigen Medical Ltd, UCC/Tyndall, NUIG (TMD LAB)

This project will finalise the development and move to commercialisation, a cardiac implant to treat the stroke and arrhythmia risk associated with longstanding atrial fibrillation.

Health & Wellbeing – Medical Devices

Galway

€5.9m

‘The Future of Colorectal Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment: Combining Tissue Responsive Probes, AI and Machine Learning to Transform Medical Care’

RCSI, Deciphex, IBM Research, UCD

This project aims to transform the diagnosis and surgical treatment of Gastro-Intestinal (GI) diseases, specifically cancer, by allowing decision-support information to be available when needed for faster and more accurate interventions for patients. Applications will be developed in surgery and diagnostics using AI and machine learning.

Health & Wellbeing – Medical Devices, Diagnostics & Therapeutics

Dublin

€5.7m

Therapeutic enzymes as a treatment for sepsis cellix

Cala Medical, Curran Scientific, UL

This consortium has a disruptive technology, Cytoflow5, for the treatment of sepsis. The technology will be further expanded to disrupt areas currently dominated by monoclonal antibodies and thus disrupt the biologics area. This will result in a panel of new therapies for the treatment of diseases including sepsis, psoriasis, arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

Health & Wellbeing – Diagnostics & Therapeutics

Limerick

€5.0m

Projects approved for €3 to 5 million in DTIF funding over the 3 years to 2021

Title

Consortium Members

Project Summary

Research Priority Areas and Technologies

Enterprise Partner Locations

Award (subject to contract negotiation)

Towards safe and effective off the shelf cellular therapy for cancer

Onkimmune, Janssen, NUIG

This project will develop a disruptive, optimised, off-the-shelf Natural Killer (NK) Cell therapeutic platform for the treatment of multiple cancers.

Health & Wellbeing - Therapeutics

Onkimmune – Kildare

Janssen - Dublin

€4.3m

Photonics Manufacturing Pilot Line

Tyndall National Institute, Ficontec, MBRYONICS, Eblana Photonics, Sanmina Ireland, Faztech

This project will build a physical Photonic Packaging Pilot Line in Ireland designed to fill the gap that exists today, i.e. to fabricate tens to hundreds of units. The Photonic Packaging Pilot Line Hub will A) develop packaging designs tailored to fast cost-effective packaging processes and equipment and B) develop and install next generation packaging equipment (including test) with reduced cycle-times.

ICT & Manufacturing

MBryonics – Galway

Eblana Photonics – Dublin

Sanmina -Ireland – Cork

Faztech - Dublin

€4.1m

Microfluidic Gene Transfection Cell Analysis and Sorting Platform (GTCASP)

Cellix Ltd, TCD Physics, TCD Med, NUIG

This project will see the company deliver new cell manufacturing solutions to the pharma industry, building on excellent scientific research in gene therapy.

Health & Wellbeing – Diagnostics & Therapeutics

Dublin

€3.4m

Projects approved for €1 to 3 million in DTIF funding over the 3 years to 2021

Title

Consortium Members

Project Summary

Research Priority Area and Technologies

Enterprise Partner Locations

Award (subject to contract negotiation)

Cooperative Energy Trading System (CENTS)

International Energy Research Centre, MPower, MSemicon, Templederry Renewable Energy Supply, UCC, NUIG, DIT

CENTS (Cooperative Energy Trading System) is proposing a disruptive technology platform for the electricity sector where consumers and communities will be empowered with the necessary infrastructure to generate their own electricity, earn from the excess electricity generation, and finally, to be an integral part of decarbonizing their homes and communities for sustainable living. With CENTS a software solution for a blockchain enabled cooperative peer-to-peer energy trading platform will be provided and necessary hardware requirements and market/regulatory strategies will be proposed.

ICT

Energy, Climate Action & Sustainability

Templederry – Tipperary

MSemicon - Dublin

€3.0m

Nex

Davra Networks, DANALTO, INTEL, DCU

The goal of this project is to provide a reliable, verifiable and secure end-to-end remote patient monitoring system which has rich data, affordable & reliable network connectivity, machine learning and data integrity at its core.

Health & Wellbeing

ICT – Internet of Things

Davra – Dublin

Danalto – Dublin

Intel – Kildare

€3.0m

ARDENT II

Neurent Medical Ltd, NUIG

Neurent Medical is creating a new therapy for patients suffering from rhinitis that will give the patient immediate and long-lasting relief from their symptoms and remove the need to take daily medication to manage their condition.

Health & Wellbeing – Medical Devices

Galway

€2.8m

Medical Imaging Ireland

IBM Ireland, Nova Leah, UCD, DKIT, Davra Networks Ltd

Medical Imaging Ireland (MED-I) will build a platform offering enabling technologies which can host, manage, process and analyse image and text data and brings together the entire ecosystem of actors in the medical imaging domain.

Health & Wellbeing -

IBM – Dublin

Nova Leah – Dundalk

Davra - Dublin

€2.2m

ArtEngine 2.0: Bringing Automated, AI-Driven 3D World Creation to Market

Artomatix, Black Shamrock, WarDucks, Keywords

This project leverages Artificial Intelligence to automate the creation of 3D models and worlds,

However, the cost of 3D content creation is prohibitive for small studios and this project is an enabler for the development and adoption of AR/VR.

ICT – AI, AR/VR

Dublin

€2.0m

HYDRO-fish: Combining targeted nutraceuticals and traceability technology for a smarter and sustainable Irish fish aquaculture industry

NUIG, Bio-Marine Ingredients Ireland, Teagasc, Marine Institute

HYDRO-fish is a multi-disciplinary research programme, specifically designed to employ current technologies from other sectors to disrupt and enhance current fish farming practices. The project entails reinforcing the supply chain of Irish salmon production, in particular for organic salmon farming.

Food

Monaghan

€2.0m

BioHealx

Signum Surgical Ltd, Anecto Ltd

This project uses the BioHealx device (a bioabsorbable implant) to treat anal fistula and reduce surgical complexity.

Health & Wellbeing – Medical Devices

Galway

€1.9m

E-BAMBI - Enhanced Biocompatibility of Additively Manufactured Biomedical Implants for Improved Clinical Outcomes

SEAM Research Centre, Schivo Medical, Graph Treatments Ltd, STRYKER, DIT

This project will develop Additively Manufactured (using 3-D printing), Biocompatible, metallic components for the medical device industry. The project will focus both on the creation of implants with improved functional properties such as drug elution and also on metallic structures that can be absorbed into the human body when they have successfully completed their clinical function.

Health & Wellbeing – Medical Devices

Manufacturing & Materials – Additive Manufacturing

Schivo Medical – Waterford

Graph Treatments – Dublin

Stryker – Cork/Limerick

€1.9m

High throughput microfluidic drug screening platform

HookeBio Ltd, CIT, CAPPA, NUIG

The HookeBio platform is a disruptive technology that will allow pharma companies and clinicians to develop more accurate and responsive disease models for drug testing and may be expanded to testing of existing therapies on individual patient’s disease samples.

Health & Wellbeing – Diagnostics & Therapeutics

Limerick

€1.9m

Optimised commercial-scale cultivation of protein-rich biomass from Palmaria palmata for the generation of health enhancing plant based proteinaceous ingredients.

Allihies Seafood, Carbery, UL

This project aims to sustainably generate plant-based proteinaceous ingredients for exploitation as a source of high quality protein and contribute to meeting the growing global demand for plant-based proteinaceous ingredients for animal and human consumption.

Food

Cork

€1.8m

Future Software Systems Architectures

DCU & Lero, FOURTHEOREM, FINEOS

This project will leverage the internet network capability (and to some extent the Internet of Things) as a means to rapidly operationalise new software features. Central to this project will be the capacity to transform traditional slow software development organisations into rapid feature delivery firm. AI research is also a feature

ICT – IoT, AI, Digital Platforms and Applications

Fourtheorem – Cork

Fineos – Dublin

€1.6m

Irish Lasers for the Internet of the Future (iLife)

Pilot Photonics, DCU and TCD

This project proposes a solution to the impending “capacity crunch” problem for optical telecommunication and datacentre networks using optical frequency comb sources, a new type of laser which can replace the single mode lasers that have been used in long haul optical transport equipment for two decades.

ICT – Future Networks, IoT

Dublin

€1.6m

Connected Medical Device Cybersecurity Transparency

Nova Leah, DKIT

This project will see the use of Artificial Intelligence, Data Analytics and Blockchain techniques to provide a real-time platform for the two-way communication of safety-critical security information (i.e. vulnerabilities, threats) between Medical Device Manufacturers and Hospitals .

ICT – AI, Data Analytics and Blockchain

Health & Wellbeing – Medical Devices

Louth

€1.5m

Creating the Bionic Man: Development of a “neural training suit” to assist individuals with sensorimotor impairments.

TCD, Biomedical Research

This project aims to develop the “Swiss-Army Knife” of Neurorehabilitation, a multifunctional neuromotor training suit. The suit will integrate an array of wearable biological sensors and a multisite neuromuscular stimulation system.

Health & Wellbeing

Dublin

€1.5m

Irish Lasers for the Internet of the Future (iLife)

Pilot Photonics, DCU and TCD

This project proposes a solution to the impending “capacity crunch” problem for optical telecommunication and datacentre networks using optical frequency comb sources, a new type of laser which can replace the single mode lasers that have been used in long haul optical transport equipment for two decades.

ICT – Future Networks, IoT

Dublin

€1.6m

Beyond Food Labelling

IdentiGEN, UCD

Using massively multiplexed Next Generation Sequencing to provide a crypto-anchor for food authentication and as a substitute for costly, error prone labelling and certification systems

Food and ICT

Dublin

€1.4m

Advanced Environmental Decision Support System for Coastal Areas

Techworks Marine Ltd. DCU

This project will provide an advanced environmental decision support system to address issues such as coastal pollution and flooding. Such a system will provide enhanced insights to coastal industries, local authorities, government agencies and will ultimately benefit Irish society.

Energy, Climate Action & Sustainability

ICT – Data Analytics, Platforms and Content

Dublin

€1.1m

Smart-Cardio – A Paradigm shift in Cardiac Arrhythmia Treatment

Atrian Medical Ltd, NUIG

This project will develop a medical device for treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) that will lead to substantially improved outcomes over current treatments. In addition, it will alter how arrhythmia treatment services are provided to patients – throughput in hospitals and clinics will be dramatically increased and per patient costs will be reduced.

Health & Wellbeing – Medical Devices

Galway

€1.1m

DEFINE-AM – Disruptive Finishing using Electrochemical machining for Additive Manufacturing

Blueacre Technology, TCD

The DEFINE-AM project consortium aims to develop an innovative Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) Hybrid Laser-Jet Electrochemical Machine tool with 5-axis of motion that addresses the challenges of post-processing 3D-printed metallic parts i.e. parts produced by the Laser Metal Deposition (LMD) additive manufacturing technique.

Manufacturing & Materials – Advance and Additive Manufacturing

Louth

€1.0m

Blockchain in the Technology Product Supply Chain

Exertis Supply Chain Services, Sonalake, UCD (CeADAR)

This project aims to implement a Production blockchain to transform the Technology Product supply chain.

ICT - Blockchain

Dublin

€1.0m

Work Permits Eligibility

Questions (282)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

282. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation when the mid-year review of the occupation lists for employment permits for workers from outside the European Economic Area will be completed. [24847/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

The lists of occupations for employment permits are subject to twice yearly review which examines labour market conditions at occupation level. The process involves in depth examination of the research and labour market intelligence undertaken by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (Solas), the Expert Group of Future Skills Needs, and the National Skills Council, review of relevant Reports, education outputs and initiatives, sectorial upskilling and training initiatives and any known contextual factors. The observations and input of relevant Government Departments are also incorporated in addition to a public consultation process. Submissions to the review process are also considered by the Economic Migration Policy Interdepartmental Group chaired by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation with membership drawn from senior officials of key Government Departments and Solas.

I announced the commencement of the next review of the occupations lists on 31st May with a closing date of 12th July for receipt of submissions. Submissions received up to that date will undergo a review process which will also incorporate the scheduling of engagement with relevant lead policy Government Departments for their views and observations and consultation with the Interdepartmental Group on Economic Migration Policy. My Department undertakes this review process twice yearly with all elements of each process expected to take approximately six months to complete. This ensures the occupations lists undergo regular and timely updating to ensure a flexible and robust employment permits regime in line with the changing needs of the economy. It is expected that this review will be completed by the end of the year.

Parental Leave

Questions (283)

Billy Kelleher

Question:

283. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if she and her officials made a submission to the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection regarding the cost impact of proposals (details supplied) on small businesses with respect to extra paid parental leave. [24850/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

The General Scheme of the Parental Leave and Benefit Bill 2019 is led by the Department of Justice and Equality and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection. The legislation was drafted by the Department of Justice and Equality to provide for paid parental leave and benefit and a number of related matters. The Minister has not made a submission, outside of the usual cross Government channels, to the sponsoring Ministers on the proposals contained in the Bill.

Departmental Meetings

Questions (284)

Alan Kelly

Question:

284. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the contacts, meetings and correspondence between her office or her officials and INAB in 2019; and the dates, attendees, participants and topics, in tabular form. [24984/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

The Health and Safety Authority is a State Body, which operates under the aegis of my Department. In this context, my Department officials are in daily contact with the Health and Safety Authority on a range of matters relating to the resourcing, funding and policy and legislative activities of the Health and Safety Authority. The Irish National Accreditation Board, which is the national body with responsibility for the accreditation of laboratories, certification bodies and inspection bodies, operates as a committee within the Health and Safety Authority, and has its own independent Board.

Normal day-to-day interactions and discussions between Departmental officials and the Health and Safety Authority would include discussions on issues concerning the staffing and resourcing of INAB in the context of the overall operational management of the Health and Safety Authority.

INAB is the sole accreditation body for Ireland in line with Regulation (EC) 765/2008.  The functions of INAB include the provision of accreditation in accordance with the relevant International Organisation for Standardisation ISO 17000 series of standards and guides. INAB is  regularly peer reviewed by other European Accreditation Bodies, the most recent peer view was carried in September 2018.

My Department interacts directly with INAB on a range of topics but primarily in the context of the Notifying Authority role that the Department has in respect of a number of EU Directives.  This role includes the appointment of Notified Bodies to carry out conformity assessments of products for example machinery, pressure equipment, personal protective equipment being placed on the internal market. Officials from my Department liaise directly on a regular basis with INAB in relation to confirmation of accreditation audits and provision of certificates by INAB to Conformity Assessment Bodies seeking to be appointed as Notified Bodies.  All applicants seeking to be appointed as Notified Bodies by a Notifying Authority must in the first instance have been accredited by INAB in accordance with Regulation (EC) 765/2008.

In addition to the accreditation function that INAB carries out in relation to accreditation of Conformity Assessment Bodies, it separately also accredits laboratories.  INAB acts independently in carrying out all of its accreditation functions.

INAB is also a member of the Market Surveillance Forum, an inter-Departmental/Agency forum, chaired by my Department, involving all the Market Surveillance Authorities within the State in addition to other relevant stakeholders. This forum meets on a quarterly basis with the first meeting of 2019 held on the 4th of April and the second meeting of 2019 scheduled for the 27th of June.

Given the nature of the ongoing regular contact with the Health and Safety Authority and INAB, it is not possible to account for each individual exchange.  However, the detail in the following table should assist in informing the Deputy.

Schedule of meetings mentioned

Market Surveillance Forum* – 2018/2019

2018

2019

24 April

4 April

25 July

27 June

27 September

September TBC

6 December

December TBC

HSA Liaison Meetings* – 2018/2019

2018

2019

14 March

2 April

7 August

27 June

16 October

September TBC

18 December

December TBC

*These meetings are scheduled to meet quarterly and all meetings have agendas and minuted.

Accreditation awards from INAB to Conformity Assessment Bodies in 2018/2019

Eight (8) Accreditation awards from INAB to Conformity Assessment Bodies in 2018/2019 have led to seven (7) Notified Body type appointments by the Minister.

The companies involved are SATRA Technology Europe Ltd.; Safenet Certification Services Ltd.; FM Approvals Europe Ltd.; HPI Vertification Services (Ireland) Ltd.; Industrial Pressure Testing Ltd.; Vertigo inspection (ROI) T/A Irish Engineering Services and WQ Inspection & Certification (WQic).

INAB peer reviewed by other European Accreditation Bodies carried in September 2018

INAB underwent a Peer Evaluation in 2018. A team made up of peer evaluators from across Europe, visited the INAB offices in September 2018. The Peer Evaluation team, made up of 8 persons, reviewed and scrutinised INAB accreditation activities. The evaluation lasted approximately 5 days.

At a meeting of European Accreditation organisation on the 8th /9th of May 2019 in Iceland, the successful outcome of the peer review was confirmed to INAB. Additional information relating to that meeting is available at the following link:

https://european-accreditation.org/extension-of-scopes-and-new-signatories-to-the-ea-mla-decided-during-the-ea-mac-41th-meeting/

Departmental Meetings

Questions (285)

Alan Kelly

Question:

285. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the communications and meetings she or her staff have had with the Department of Health to date in 2019; and the dates, attendees and participants, in tabular form. [24985/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

My Department has regular communications and meetings with all other government departments on a variety of issues across the wide range of its remit. It is not possible to provide details of the many individual phone and email communications that may have taken place with the Department of Health in 2019 to date. Details of formal meetings between officials from my Department and the Department of Health, and of meetings at which officials from both Departments were in attendance, that have taken place in 2019 to date are set out in the following table.

Date

Meeting

Attendees

10.01.19

Health Innovation Hub Ireland, National Oversight Group Meeting

DBEI Officials, DoH Officials, Others

18.01.19

Interdepartmental Committee on State Aid

DBEI Officials, DoH Officials, Others

30.01.19

Interdepartmental Group on Economic Migration Policy

DBEI Officials, DoH Officials, Others

01.03.19

Horizon 2020 High Level Group

DBEI Officials, DoH Officials, Others

20.03.19

Meeting with Healthy Ireland Initiative Team re DBEI Wellbeing Framework

DBEI Officials, DoH Officials

26.03.19

Healthy Workplace Framework Committee

DBEI Officials, DoH Officials, Others

27.03.19

Discussion on Knowledge Networks

DBEI Officials, DoH Officials

28.03.19

Health Innovation Hub Ireland, National Oversight Group Meeting

DBEI Officials, DoH Officials, Others

11.04.19

Healthy Workplace Seminar

Various invitees

16.04.19

Innovation 2020 Implementation Group

DBEI Officials, DoH Officials

10.05.19

Horizon 2020 High Level Group

DBEI Officials, DoH Officials, Others

16.05.19

Meeting re Implementation of EU Directive on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws and repealing regulation

DBEI Officials, DoH Officials

22.05.19

Interdepartmental Group on Economic Migration Policy

DBEI Officials, DoH Officials, Others

22.05.19

Health Innovation Hub Ireland, National Oversight Group Meeting

DBEI Officials, DoH Officials, Others

10.06.19

Innovation 2020 Implementation Group

DBEI Officials, DoH Officials, Others

10.06.19

Health Innovation Hub Ireland, Stakeholder Advisory Group Meeting

DBEI Officials, DoH Officials, Others

Additionally, I wrote to the Minister for Health in May 2019 seeking an update on the recommendations from the Personal Injuries Commission report that are relevant to this Department.  A response was received from Department of Health officials in June.

Business Regulation

Questions (286)

Joan Burton

Question:

286. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation her plans to help to restore confidence in auditing following a string of corporate collapses; her further plans to implement a public grade system to evaluate the quality of audit work by accountancy firms; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25313/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

Since 2016 the rules governing statutory audit in Ireland have been significantly enhanced following the transposition of two EU instruments. The EU’s decision to reform the regulation of statutory audit came as a result of the EU Commission’s assessment, following the financial crisis, of the role of audit in that crisis. One of the main objectives of the EU reform was to improve audit quality.

The resulting Audit Directive (2014/56/EU) and Regulation ((EU)(537/2014)) updated existing EU law and were given effect in S.I. 312 of 2016 and elevated to primary legislation in the Companies (Statutory Audits) Act 2018.

The Audit Directive put requirements for statutory auditors on a statutory footing such as in relation to assessing and maintaining independence from the audited entity and maintaining professional scepticism. The Audit Regulation, which has direct effect, introduced additional requirements specifically addressed to auditors of public-interest entities. Public-interest entities are systemically important entities such as credit institutions and insurance undertakings. Entities with securities listed on a regulated main market in the EU are also classified as public-interest entities.

The main requirements are

- A public-interest entity must change auditor at least every 10 years

- The prohibition on certain non-audit services to a public-interest entity by its auditor

- A cap on fees from non-audit services relative to audit fees

The transposition of the audit reform package provided the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA), which is an independent body responsible for the supervision of auditing and accounting profession, with new powers to further enhance audit quality and the system of oversight of statutory audit in Ireland.

IAASA is designated as the single competent authority with responsibility for the oversight of statutory auditors and audit firms in accordance with the EU reform package. Under the Audit Regulation, IAASA has direct responsibility for the quality assurance of audits of public-interest entities. IAASA is also responsible for any investigations or sanctions arising, as a result of those quality assurance inspections.

As part of its new responsibilities IAASA issued a public consultation ‘The future publication and grading policy for audit firms that carry out statutory audits of public-interest entities’. IAASA’s consultation and feedback papers on foot of this consultation and its conclusions in this regard are available on the Authority’s website at https://www.iaasa.ie/News/2019/Publication-and-Grading-Feedback-Paper-(1). As IAASA is independent in the exercise of its functions, I have no direct role in this matter.

Business Regulation

Questions (287)

Joan Burton

Question:

287. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if the Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority plans to make public its audit quality inspection reports of public interest entities in view of the fact the results of the inspections have already been shared with the auditors involved; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25314/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

The Irish Auditing and Accounting Supervisory Authority (IAASA) is an independent body responsible for the supervision of the auditing and accounting profession and its functions and powers are set out in the Companies Act 2014.

Under the EU Audit Regulation (Regulation (EU) 537/2014), IAASA has direct responsibility for the quality assurance of audits of public-interest entities (‘PIEs’). Public-interest entities (‘PIEs’) are systemically important entities such as credit institutions and insurance undertakings. Entities with securities listed on a regulated main market in the EU are also classified as public-interest entities. IAASA is also responsible for any investigations or sanctions arising as a result of those quality assurance inspections.

By the end of 2018 IAASA had carried out inspections in each of the nine audit firms that carry out statutory audits of PIEs and accordingly fall under its remit under the above Regulation.

IAASA’s Audit Quality Unit has now commenced the second round of inspections of PIE audit firms. The quality control systems of all firms will be inspected in full over the course of the second round.

In November 2018 IAASA issued a public consultation ‘The future publication and grading policy for audit firms that carry out statutory audits of public-interest entities’. The Consultation Paper sets out the purpose of the reports and IAASA’s proposed policy in this regard. Feedback was published in April 2019. IAASA’s consultation and feedback papers on foot of this consultation and its conclusions in this regard are available on the Authorities website at www.iaasa.ie/News/2019/Publication-and-Grading-Feedback-Paper-(1).

It is intended that reports from the second cycle of audit inspections onwards will be published as the system of inspections will have been fully established on a cyclical basis. At this time it is anticipated that such reports will be published during 2020.

As IAASA is independent in the exercise of its functions, I have no direct role in this matter.

Health and Safety Inspections Data

Questions (288)

Niall Collins

Question:

288. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 255 and 256 of 9 February 2017 (details supplied), the number of such inspections carried out by the authority in 2017 and 2018, respectively, for the same equipment. [25371/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

As outlined in my reply to a recent Parliamentary Question No. 381 of 11 June 2019 the role of the Health and Safety Authority in relation to funfairs arises in the context of their overall legislative remit on workplace health and safety and the protection of workers at work.

In this regard the Health and Safety Authority carried out eighteen (18) inspections from 2011 to date 2019 and the breakdown of those inspections can be seen in the following table.

The findings of these inspections led to 6 formal investigations taking place, 4 instances when verbal advice was provided, 13 instances of written advice and an improvement notice was issued in 1 instance.

The figures supplied include all inspections/investigations under the NACE Code (European industrial activity classification) which includes activities of amusement parks and theme parks. This classification includes parks which may be temporary in nature and have many “various types of funfair equipment/activities".

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Inspections

2

2

0

6

3

1

1

2

1

Investigations

1

0

0

2

1

1

1

0

0

Verbal Advice

0

0

0

0

3

0

0

0

1

Written Advice

2

1

0

6

0

1

1

2

0

Improvement Notice

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

The answer to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 255 and 256 in February 2017 detailed the number of workplace inspections that included some health and safety aspects of equipment at funfairs as part of the overall workplace inspection. These details are set out in the following table for ease of reference with updated information added. It should be noted that these inspections were not stand-alone inspections of fairground and funfair equipment as this is not within the remit of the Health and Safety Authority but were normal workplace inspections.

Workplace inspections that covered some health and safety aspects of equipment at funfairs as part of the overall workplace inspection 2011-2019

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

1

2

0

2

0

0

0

1

0

Responsibility for the licensing and operation of funfairs is a policy matter for Housing, Planning and Local Government as the existing legislation dealing with licensing of funfairs, the duties on organisers of funfairs, and the owners of fairground equipment, in the context of public safety, is covered by the Planning and Development Act 2000.

Departmental Properties

Questions (289)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

289. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the amount of land purchased and leased by size and amount expended in the past five years to date; the location of same; the term of the lease and amount expended per year in cases in which land is leased; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25378/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

My Department does not purchase land or property. The Office of Pubic Works manages the State's property portfolio. It administers all details relating to lease arrangements and related expenditure.

Departmental Properties

Questions (290)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

290. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of buildings and property purchased and leased and the amount expended in the past five years to date; the location of same; the term of the lease and the amount expended per year in cases in which properties are leased; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25395/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

My Department does not purchase land or property. The Office of Pubic Works manages the State's property portfolio. It administers all details relating to lease arrangements and related expenditure.

Ticket Touting

Questions (291)

Maurice Quinlivan

Question:

291. Deputy Maurice Quinlivan asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation when ticket touting legislation will be brought forward; the reason the Sale of Tickets (Sporting and Cultural Events) Bill 2017 is being prevented from moving forward; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [25432/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

At its meeting on 24th July 2018 the Government agreed to support at Second Stage the Private Members' Prohibition of Above-cost Ticket Touting Bill introduced by Deputy Noel Rock and Deputy Stephen Donnelly and approved the taking of Second and Subsequent Stages of the Bill in Government time. The Government further approved the drafting of certain amendments to the Bill, including an amendment prohibiting the use of bot software to circumvent limits on the number of ticket purchases applied by event organisers. In accordance with the Government decision, the Bill's Second Stage was completed in Dáil Eireann on 21 February 2019 in Government time.

My Department has been working with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel on the preparation of amendments to this Bill which is a priority piece of legislation. While good progress has been made and it is my aim to finalise the necessary amendments as soon as possible, it is not possible to provide a precise time frame for their completion. The Office of the Parliamentary Counsel has sought legal advice from the Office of the Attorney General on a number of issues that have arisen in the course of drafting the amendments. There is a need also to consider whether and how a provision on the resale of tickets acquired through the use of automated means recently agreed by the European Parliament and Council but not yet formally adopted should be integrated into the Bill. As I have previously informed the Deputy, when the amendments are finalised, the proposed legislation will have to be submitted to the European Commission in accordance with the provisions of Directive (EU) 2015/1535 on the procedure for the provision of information on technical regulations and rules on information society services. The Directive requires Member States to postpone the adoption of any legislation within its scope for three months from the date of its submission to the Commission.

At the conclusion of Second Stage on the Sale of Tickets (Sporting and Cultural Events) Bill 2017 on 18 May 2017, a motion was approved deeming the Bill to be read a second time in nine months to allow for scrutiny by the Select Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. On 20 February 2018, Dáil Éireann agreed to refer the Bill for scrutiny to that Select Committee. The Committee examined the Bill on 21 May 2018 and published its Scrutiny Report in October 2018. In its Report, the Committee noted the broad support expressed for the principle of the Bill and recommended that, subject to the receipt of a Money Message, the Bill should proceed to Committee Stage. The Bill is currently before Dáil Éireann, Third Stage and awaits a money message. While I support the aims of the Bill and commend the Deputy for introducing it, it needs to be considered whether devoting further time to it when a Bill supported by Government is progressing would represent the best use of parliamentary time. In his contribution to the Second Stage debate on the Bill introduced by Deputies Rock and Donnelly, the Deputy himself made the point that the duplication of Bills on the same topic was not a valuable use of Dáil time.