Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (170)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

170. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the level of resources that the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement has in the context of funding, office space, capacity to work from home, vehicles, IT hardware and software; and the details of requests made by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement for additional allocation of resources and staff in respect of 2020 and 2021. [38625/20]

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Written answers (Question to Enterprise)

The issue of resourcing of the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement is kept under review on a regular basis by the Department and the ODCE as part of the ongoing work in operationalising the transition of the ODCE to a stand-alone agency and also as part of the normal liaison on operational matters relating to the Office.

Funding

The distribution of the funding allocations for the Department’s Vote, including that of the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement, is determined through the annual Revised Estimates Volume (REV) process.

In 2019 an additional €1 million was provided for the ODCE to reflect the costs associated with the transition of the ODCE into a stand-alone Agency. The total funding allocation of €6.057million represented a 20% increase on the previous year. This increased funding allocation was provided again in 2020 with €3,740,000 allocated in respect of pay and €2,317,000 allocated in respect of non-Pay. The resources sought and allocated for 2021 remain unchanged.

Office space

The ODCE resides on three floors of a shared building in Parnell Square. The office space available is at capacity for current staffing levels.

In consideration of issues arising on the establishment of the ODCE as a stand-alone agency and in preparation for this change, the Director and staff of the ODCE have been working with my Department and the OPW on necessary accommodation arrangements that will likely be required following transition to the Corporate Enforcement Authority.

Capacity to work from home

The equipment available for remote working comprises a mix of encrypted mobile remote access devices and encrypted desktop PCs enabled for remote working and ensures that all that all staff are fully equipped for working from home.

Vehicles

ODCE does not have any vehicles; the Garda Unit however has vehicles available to them which are provided by An Garda Síochána.

IT Hardware and Software

The ODCE is in the process of finalising a contract for IT hardware for its forensics laboratory which will fulfil the hardware requirements of the laboratory.

All other general IT hardware is sourced through a Departmental contract and a supplementary order is currently being processed on behalf of the Office which this will fulfil the IT hardware requirements of the Office for general use. General use software is similarly sourced though Departmental contracts. Where additional and specialised software is required, the Office is fully funded to source it through procurement procedures.

Requests made by the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement for additional allocation of resources and staff in respect of 2020 and 2021

As I said previously, in 2019 an additional €1 million was provided for the ODCE to reflect the costs associated with the transition of the ODCE into a stand-alone Agency. In 2020 a total allocation of €6,057,000 was provided for the ODCE, €3,740,000 allocated in respect of pay and €2,317,000 allocated in respect of non-Pay. An additional €1,874,000 had initially been requested by the ODCE for 2020 for non-pay purposes to cover potential legal and rental costs. These costs did not materialise in 2020.

With respect to Garda resources, while the Companies Act 2014 provides for the secondment of Gardaí to the ODCE, the Director and the Garda Commissioner are independent in their functions and the assignment of Gardaí to the ODCE is an operational matter for both the Director and the Commissioner. The Director of Corporate Enforcement engages directly with An Garda Síochána regarding Garda resourcing of the ODCE. The Department is aware that a request for Garda resources has been made and 6 officers are expected to be assigned by year-end.

In terms of civilian staffing resources, as part of the work underway to progress the transition of the ODCE to the Corporate Enforcement Authority, the Department and the ODCE are working closely in assessing and identifying the specific posts that will be required for the future operation and governance of the proposed new agency.