National Development Plan Data

Questions (527)

Jonathan O'Brien

Question:

527. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the funding budgeted under the National Development Plan 2018-2027 in each of the next five years by transport, tourism and sport by year and project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51292/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

As the Deputy may be aware, the capital allocation provided to my Department in Budget 2020 is €1,943m. This represents an increase of more than €357m over 2019 levels.

In the Press Release linked below, Minister of State Griffin and I have listed the investment priorities within my Department for 2020 and also provided information on how the Capital Allocation will be invested.

https://www.gov.ie/en/news/bf4905-ministers-ross-and-griffin-welcome-27-billion-allocation-for-transpo/

As part of the National Development Plan my Departments Capital allocation for 2021 is €2,526m and for 2022 it is €2,405m. As of yet we do not have our Capital allocations finalised from 2023 onwards.

The planned increase in the capital ceiling for this Department is to support increasing investment across a range of capital projects managed by the Department mainly in the areas of Public Transport and Roads, as set out in the Project Ireland 2040 Tracker, available at the following link.

www.gov.ie/en/publication/6db7c4-investment-projects-and-programmes-tracker/.

Departmental Advertising Campaigns

Questions (528)

Niall Collins

Question:

528. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the advertising campaigns, promotional events and launches planned by his Department for the first six months of 2020; the budgeted costs of these campaigns; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51418/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Plans and allocations for divisions within my Department have not yet been finalised for 2020 and therefore a full list of such events for the first half of 2020 is not yet available. However, the following events are scheduled at present.

My Department plans to launch the 2020 Round of the Sports Capital Programme in the first half of 2020. The cost of advertising and communicating the programme will be circa €9,000.

My Department is also planning a launch for the Royal Canal Greenway in Quarter 1 or Quarter 2 of 2020. The costs cannot be determined at this time but are likely to be minimal (photographer, refreshments) and will be borne by the local authority as part of the Capital funding for the project.

The Irish Coast Guard will be attending the BT Young Scientist event in January and Bloom event in May. Event participation will cost circa €10k for six months. The Volunteer led Coast Guard Units will, as in previous years, conduct a programme of community safety and school briefings. Promotion material for 2020 has been pre-purchased. The Irish Coast Guard is budgeting a spend of €35k on safety on the water publications and an update of the website.

Data Sharing Arrangements

Questions (529)

Jack Chambers

Question:

529. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the data sharing agreements his Department has in place with organisations that are not other Departments or State agencies; the purpose of these data sharing agreements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51435/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

There are a small number of Data sharing Agreements in place between my Department and organisations that are not Government Departments or State Agencies

I can confirm that the Driver and Vehicle Computer Services Division of my Department has agreements in place to share data with motor vehicle distributors for vehicle safety recalls, and also with various commercial companies for the sharing of non-personal data to verify vehicle indemnity.

There is also an agreement in place for the transfer of data to the National lottery to allow beneficiaries of funding under the Sports Capital Programme to be identified as recipients of funding from the National lottery.

Freedom of Information Data

Questions (530)

Jack Chambers

Question:

530. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of freedom of information requests in which his Department made a decision to deny; and the number in which the Information Commissioner overturned the decision of his Department in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019. [51469/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

2016

2017

2018

2019

FOI Requests Refused

85

93

96

96*

FOI Part-granted

97

121

135

119*

OIC Decisions overturning DTTAS Decisions

4

1

1

0*

*This figure was correct as of 1st December 2019

Departmental Agencies Data

Questions (531)

James Browne

Question:

531. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the agencies or organisations under the remit of his Department; the number that have boards; the number of positions on each board; the number of vacant positions; and the agencies or organisations that have boards whose members have an obligation to appear before committees of the Houses of the Oireachtas. [51503/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The information requested by the Deputy is as follows:

My Department has 23 agencies under its remit of which 20 have Boards. There are a further two advisory organisations which appear on my Department's website for Board appointments.

The information requested by the Deputy in relation to the number of Board positions on each Board and the current vacancy per Board is available on my Department’s website at the following link: www.gov.ie/en/collection/465d79-state-board-membership-and-approved-fees/.

As per section 5.3.5 of my Department's Corporate Governance Framework, the following should be noted in relation to obligations to appear before Committees of the House of the Oireachtas:

5.3.5 Government/Oireachtas Reporting

The Chairperson and/or Chief Executive of State agencies are required to accept any request in writing from a Committee established by the Oireachtas to attend before it to give account for the general administration of the agency concerned.

The Chairs of State Boards are also required to make themselves available to the appropriate Oireachtas Committee as outlined in Department of Public Expenditure and Reform's guidelines on Appointments to State Boards 2014.

The establishing legislation of some of the agencies under the remit of my Department also requires attendance before a Committee of the Oireachtas.

Departmental Staff Data

Questions (532)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

532. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the budget and number of staff working in his Department in each of the years 2014 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51573/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the table below.

Budget and Number of Employees in the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Year

Number of employees as at 31st December*

Budget Allocation (billions)

2014

452

€1,442,469

2015

454

€1,345,037

2016

486

€1,466,359

2017

515

€1,453,077

2018

557

€2,059,758

2019

606

€2,316,869

*number of employees refer to the Department headcount on 31 December each year with the exception of 2019 which is headcount on 30 November.

Bus Services

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Questions (533)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

533. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the position regarding the establishment of bus shelters at bus stops (details supplied) in County Sligo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51574/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport.  The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the planning and development of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area, including the provision of bus stops and bus shelters.

Noting the NTA's responsibility in the matter, I have referred the Deputy's question to the NTA for a direct reply.  Please contact my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Industrial Relations

Questions (534)

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

534. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the body, authority or court to which an employee can refer issues relating to the employee's rights under section 12(9) of the State Airports Act 2004 (as amended). [51585/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Section 12(9) of the States Airports Act 2004 (as amended) refers to the terms and conditions attached to staff transferred from the Dublin Airport Authority to Cork Airport Authority or Shannon Airport Authority on their respective appointed days.

I understand that, in the first instance, where employees have issues in relation to the terms or conditions applied, the companies have procedures in place to deal with these issues. In the event that matters cannot be addressed through internal grievance procedures, they can be referred to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) and Labour Court under the Industrial Relations Acts.

The WRC is the State body with responsibility for all workplace relations, and with the enactment of the Workplace Relations Act 2015, the Labour Court has sole appellate jurisdiction in all disputes arising under employment rights enactments.

EU Directives

Questions (535, 536)

Declan Breathnach

Question:

535. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason Council Directive (EU) 2017/159 of 19 December 2016 implementing the agreement regarding the implementation of the Work in Fishing Convention 2007 of the International Labour Organization has not been transposed by Ireland by the deadline of 15 November 2019 as contained in Article 4 of the directive and as agreed in the settlement agreement reached between the State and a union (details supplied) on 3 April 2019; when regulations transposing the directive will be signed by him; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51592/19]

View answer

Declan Breathnach

Question:

536. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans to make amendments to the European Communities (Workers on Board Sea-Going Fishing Vessels) (Organisation of Working Time) Regulations 2003, in particular regulation 6, to reflect accurately the terms of Article 21 of Directive 2003/88/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 regarding certain aspects of the organisation of working time as it relates to maximum hours or work and minimum hours of rest on sea-fishing vessels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51593/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 535 and 536 together.

Council Directive (EU) 2017/159 on the implementation of the social partners’ agreement on the Work in Fishing Convention aims to enhance the working and living conditions for fishers working in the fishing sector on vessels registered in an EU Member State. My Department is supportive of the objective of Council Directive (EU) 2017/159 and has been working on a package of regulations in order to transpose the Directive. Work is at an advanced stage and it is hoped that these regulations will be signed into law in the coming weeks.

With regard to organisation of working time, Article 11 of the Annex to Council Directive (EU) 2017/159 relates to the hours of work and hours of rest. Article 11.1(a) of the Directive states that Articles 3 to 6 inclusive, 8 and 21 of Directive 2003/88/EC shall not apply to fishermen covered under this Agreement. As such, the limits on fishers’ hours of work and rest, as set out in Article 11 are as follows:

Subject to the limit of an average of 48 hours of work a week over a reference period not exceeding 12 months, the limits on hours of work and rest in respect of a worker on board a sea-going fishing vessel shall be either:

- maximum hours of work which shall not exceed 14 hours in any 24-hour period, and 72 hours in any seven-day period; or

- minimum hours of rest which shall not be less than 10 hours in any 24-hour period, and 77 hours in any seven-day period

Draft regulations to reflect the provisions of the Council Directive are currently under legal review by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel. However, it should be noted that the provisions relating to hours of work and rest are substantially the same as existing legislation in this area.

Sports Funding

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Questions (537)

James Lawless

Question:

537. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the initiatives or grants available for local organisations and groups to assist local schools in the promotion of sports and active lifestyles courses for students; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51625/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Sport Ireland, which is funded by my Department, is the statutory body with responsibility for the development of sport, increasing participation at all levels and raising standards, including the allocation of funding across its various programmes. Sport Ireland channels funding for sport through the relevant recognised National Governing Bodies of Sport and its network of Local Sports Partnerships.

I have referred the Deputy's question to Sport Ireland for direct reply in relation to this matter. I would ask the Deputy to inform my office if a reply is not received within 10 days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Traffic Management

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Questions (538)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

538. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the Dublin city centre resignalling project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51648/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for policy and overall funding in relation to public transport. The National Transport Authority (NTA) has statutory responsibility for the development and delivery of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area including, in consultation with Iarnród Éireann, the City Centre Resignalling Project which, as the Deputy is aware, is a central element of the upgrading of commuter rail services in the GDA.

Noting the role of the NTA in the matter, I have forwarded the Deputy's question to the NTA for further response.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Employment Rights

Questions (539)

Declan Breathnach

Question:

539. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the number of unannounced inspections conducted by the Marine Survey Office, MSO, as a result of referrals by the Workplace Relations Commission, WRC, since the agreement reached between the MSO and WRC on exchange of information as part of the settlement of legal proceedings between the State and a union (details supplied) on 3 April 2019; the number of violations of applicable regulations observed as a result of such inspections; the number of prosecutions initiated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51674/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

In relation to the receipt by the Marine Survey Office (MSO) of referrals from the WRC reporting potential contraventions of the European Communities (Workers on board Sea-Going Fishing Vessels) (Organisation of Working Time) Regulations 2003, in the period since 3rd April 2019 the MSO has carried out resultant inspections of 20 fishing vessels. A total of 17 relevant deficiencies were notified to the owner or Master of the vessels concerned for rectification. In relation to prosecutions, it would not be appropriate for me to comment regarding pending proceedings.

Taxi Regulations

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Questions (540)

Eamon Scanlon

Question:

540. Deputy Eamon Scanlon asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will revise the local area hackney scheme by changing the area within which a driver may pick up passengers from the existing 5 km to 7 km to an increased area of 16 km to 20 km from their home addresses for towns and villages in which the population does not exceed 1,500; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51688/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

The regulation of the small public service vehicle (SPSV) sector, including the conditions that apply to local area hackney licences, is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA) under the provisions of the Taxi Regulation Act 2013.

Given the role of the NTA as regulator, I have forwarded your correspondence to the Authority for consideration and direct reply. Please advise this office if you do not receive a response within 10 working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Tender Process

Questions (541)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

541. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if a tender to construct a new national velodrome and badminton centre has been published; and if so, when construction will commence [51692/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

Sport Ireland, which is funded by my Department, is the statutory body with responsibility for the development of sport, increasing participation at all levels and raising standards, including the development of the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus at Abbotstown.

The National Development Plan 2018-2027 has made provision for the development of a National Velodrome and Badminton Centre at the Campus from 2020 onwards. It is expected that the proposed facility would comprise a 250-metre cycling track, between 12 and 16 Badminton Courts in the in-track area, some spectator seating and ancillary facilities including office space.

Planning permission for this project was granted in March 2015 based on a specific design. In July 2019, Sport Ireland appointed project managers and a design team to undertake a review of the project to assess the suitability and fitness of the design for present and future purposes. The review, which was completed in October 2019, proposes a number of design changes. The new design will require a new planning application. It is expected that this will be submitted in Q1/Q2 of 2020.

Subject to the outcome of a financial appraisal of the project, it is expected that a formal tender would take place during 2020.

Ministerial Meetings

Questions (542)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

542. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when he last met the CEO of the DAA (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51693/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

My last meeting with the CEO of the daa was on 14th February 2019 following a Sod Turning event for the North Runway Project at Dublin Airport. I have met him informally on several occasions since then and have been in regular contact with him.

Sports Capital Programme Eligibility

Questions (543, 544)

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

543. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason a sports capital grant application by a club (details supplied) was unsuccessful in the most recent round of the programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51701/19]

View answer

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

544. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason a sports capital grant application by a club (details supplied) was unsuccessful in the most recent round of the programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51702/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 543 and 544 together.

The most recent (2018) round of the Sports Capital Programme attracted a record 2,337 applications. Allocations were announced in January, May and November of this year with a total of over €56 million awarded to 1,648 different projects. All applicants, including those referred to by the Deputy have now been notified of the outcome of the assessment process including the reasons applications were deemed invalid.

Applications were deemed invalid primarily for one or more of the following reasons:

- Title/Access requirements of the Sports Capital Programme not satisfied

- Evidence of own funding not provided in prescribed format

- Insufficient own funding

All unsuccessful applicants have been given the opportunity to appeal the Department’s decision. The deadline for receipt of appeals is Friday 20th December.

Following the conclusion of the appeals process, a full review of the 2018 Sports Capital Programme will be undertaken with recommendations on any further improvements for the next round. It is expected that a new round of the programme will open for applications early in 2020.

Road Traffic Offences Data

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Questions (545)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

545. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the cost to the Road Safety Authority, RSA, of using an external provider to carry out the task of manually inputting the data received from the Courts Service on court disqualifications by year to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51708/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

This is a matter for the Road Safety Authority. I have referred the question to the Road Safety Authority for direct reply. I would ask the Deputy to contact my office if a response is not received within 10 days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Road Traffic Offences Data

Questions (546)

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

546. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport when the data and information on the national vehicle drivers file will be made available via direct feed to An Garda Síochána for their handheld devices; when the process will be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51711/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Transport)

My Department, through the National Vehicle and Driver File (NVDF), currently transfer data daily to An Garda Síochána’s (AGS) Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system. This dataset contains details of untaxed and untested vehicles (private and commercial) only.

The data extracts to AGS and other relevant stakeholders are provided by legacy systems which do not support easy implementation of 24x7 high availability real-time data. My officials in the Driver Vehicle and Computer Services Division (DVCSD), who manage the NVDF, are currently developing an Application Program Interface (API) solution which will allow for specific real-time data to be shared with requestors in a controlled fashion, and which will provide for increased access security and data protection requirements. This will cater for many of the interface requirements for the NVDF in the future such as the Garda Mobility Project, as referenced here.

The API is scheduled to be available to NVDF stakeholders from May 2020. My Department are currently working with An Garda Síochána with regard to the use of this API to enable their handheld devices access real-time driver and vehicle data. While the technology is being developed, both the AGS and my officials are in the process of determining the data that is required, and ensuring all the relevant legal and data protection provisions are in place. While rollout of the handheld devices is ultimately a matter for the Garda Commissioner, my Department recognise the significant role it will have in the enforcement of driver and vehicle regulation, and are very supportive of the initiative.