Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Questions (319)

Christopher O'Sullivan

Question:

319. Deputy Christopher O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media if extra resources will be provided to Fáilte Ireland to enable it to more quickly process restart grant plus applications (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38504/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Tourism)

The Restart Grant Plus for B&Bs affiliated to Fáilte Ireland, was launched on 14th September and closed on 28th October 2020. A 2nd phase of the scheme, for B&Bs not affiliated to Fáilte Ireland, opened on 19th October and will close of 30th November 2020. A total of 571 applications have been paid under the Restart Grant Plus Scheme under Phase 1 and a further 31 applications have been processed and will be paid in due course.

The administration of the Restart Grant Plus is a matter for the Board and Management of Fáilte Ireland. Accordingly I have referred the Deputy's concerns and question to Fáilte Ireland for further information and direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Questions (320)

Thomas Gould

Question:

320. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the details of funding to be made available to sporting and community organisations to support their continued overheads throughout the Covid-19 pandemic; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38607/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Tourism)

On 2 November, I announced details of an €85 million funding package for the Irish sport sector, which has been significantly impacted by the various COVID-19 restrictions imposed since March 2020.

The funding, which is being allocated by Sport Ireland, will address the existential threat to National Governing Bodies and their club networks, allowing sports organisations to offset significant losses incurred in recent months and add a semblance of certainty to planning for 2021. The significant investment will reach all levels of the sport sector with National Governing Bodies, Local Sports Partnerships and thousands of grassroots clubs across Ireland set to benefit.

The funding package includes COVID-19 funding of €70 million, which will provide support for the three main field sports organisations (the FAI, GAA and IRFU), a Resilience Fund to support the National Governing Bodies of Sport, a Sports Club Resilience Fund to support clubs, and a Sports Restart and Renewal Fund.

The funding is being invested through grant schemes with Sport Ireland’s recognised funding partners, including the National Governing Bodies of Sport, Local Sports Partnerships and other funded sporting organisations. Sport Ireland will not provide funding directly to sports clubs, this funding will be accessed through programmes established by each of the National Governing Bodies in receipt of funding. It is expected that the National Governing Bodies will publish details of funding allocated to clubs under these programmes in due course.

A breakdown of the amounts allocated by Sport Ireland under each of the schemes is available on Sport Ireland's website at the following link: https://www.sportireland.ie/news/eu85-million-provides-timely-boost-to-irish-sport-sector

In recent contacts with the sport sector, it has been made clear that the financial and operational challenges associated with COVID-19 will continue into 2021. I am pleased to have secured an additional €26.25 million in the 2021 budget which will ensure that Sport Ireland can continue to support our valued sport sector next year.

Sports Capital Programme

Questions (321)

Darren O'Rourke

Question:

321. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media when the next call for applications for the sports capital grant is expected to issue; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38645/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Tourism)

The Sports Capital Programme (SCP) is the primary vehicle for Government support for the development of sports and recreation facilities and the purchase of non-personal sports equipment throughout the country. Over 12,000 projects have now benefited from sports capital funding since 1998, bringing the total allocations in that time to close to €1 billion.

The Programme for Government commits to continuing the SCP and to prioritise the investment in disadvantaged areas.

The most recent (2018) round of the SCP attracted a record 2,337 applications. Allocations were announced in January, May and November of last year with a total of over €56 million awarded to 1,648 different projects. All unsuccessful applicants were given the opportunity to appeal the Department’s decision. In relation to the capital grants announced in November, a total of 122 appeals were submitted by the December deadline. The review of these appeals was completed in April with 6 new allocations approved.

With regard to the 2020 rounds of the programme, a full Review of the 2018 round of the SCP has now been completed and the terms and conditions of the next round of the programme will be based on the recommendations in the Review. I intend to publish the guide to making an application and to launch the programme before the end of this month. This will include the specific details of when applications will be accepted and I expect this to be from early December. To take account of travel and other restrictions arising from the Covid pandemic I intend to give applicants until early February to complete the application process. It is planned to make allocations later in 2021.

Any organisation that has not already registered with the Department and wishes to apply for funding must first register on www.sportscapitalprogramme.ie. Organisations must have a tax registration number from the Revenue Commissioners if they wish to register.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Questions (322)

Darren O'Rourke

Question:

322. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the funding available to local soccer clubs that do not have and have never had gate receipts but that have been restricted in their fundraising efforts due to Covid-19 and find themselves excluded from some schemes of an organisation (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38646/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Tourism)

On 2 November, I announced details of an €85 million funding package for the Irish sport sector, which has been significantly impacted by the various COVID-19 restrictions imposed since March 2020.

The funding, which is being allocated by Sport Ireland, will address the existential threat to National Governing Bodies and their club networks, allowing sports organisations to offset significant losses incurred in recent months and add a semblance of certainty to planning for 2021. The significant investment will reach all levels of the sport sector with National Governing Bodies, Local Sports Partnerships and thousands of grassroots clubs across Ireland set to benefit.

The funding package includes COVID-19 funding of €70 million, which will provide support for the three main field sports organisations (the FAI, GAA and IRFU), a Resilience Fund to support the National Governing Bodies of Sport, a Sports Club Resilience Fund to support clubs, and a Sports Restart and Renewal Fund.

The funding is being invested through grant schemes with Sport Ireland’s recognised funding partners, including the National Governing Bodies of Sport, Local Sports Partnerships and other funded sporting organisations. Sport Ireland will not provide funding directly to sports clubs, this funding will be accessed through programmes established by each of the National Governing Bodies in receipt of funding. It is expected that the National Governing Bodies will publish details of funding allocated to clubs under these programmes in due course.

A breakdown of the amounts allocated by Sport Ireland under each of the schemes is available on Sport Ireland's website at the following link: https://www.sportireland.ie/news/eu85-million-provides-timely-boost-to-irish-sport-sector

Under the Sports Restart and Renewal Fund, over €1.9 million was allocated to 1,637 clubs throughout the country as part of small grant schemes operated by Local Sports Partnerships. These schemes provide an additional mechanism to support community groups and clubs who may not be affiliated to a national organisation or recognised National Governing Body but provide a vital local service. A breakdown of the amounts allocated by Sport Ireland to the Local Sports Partnerships is available on Sport Ireland's website at the following link: https://www.sportireland.ie/sites/default/files/media/document/2020-11/sport-ireland-covid-19-funding-annoucement-breakdown.pdf

In recent contacts with the sport sector, it has been made clear that the financial and operational challenges associated with COVID-19 will continue into 2021. I am pleased to have secured an additional €26.25 million in the 2021 budget which will ensure that Sport Ireland can continue to support our valued sport sector next year.

Sports Funding

Questions (323, 324, 326)

Neale Richmond

Question:

323. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the measures she has taken to encourage female participation in sport, especially at youth level; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38683/20]

View answer

Neale Richmond

Question:

324. Deputy Neale Richmond asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media if consideration has been given to a dedicated sporting grant for female clubs or to encourage female participation in sports; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38684/20]

View answer

Róisín Shortall

Question:

326. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the steps she is taking to support female participation in sport, both amateur and professional; the supports in place to provide greater coverage in the media for same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38777/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Tourism)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 323, 324 and 326 together.

The Government has demonstrated its commitment to women's sport over many years, and considerable Exchequer funding has been allocated to programmes aimed at encouraging active and social participation in sport by women and girls. A fundamental aim of the Government’s National Sports Policy 2018 -2027 is to increase the levels of participation in sport and physical activity across the population over the period of the policy, with a specific focus on less represented groups including women and girls.

Sport Ireland, which is funded by my Department, is the statutory body with responsibility for the development of sport, including the allocation of funding under its various programmes. It also has responsibility for the development of strategies for increasing participation in sport, including participation by women and girls. In 2019, Sport Ireland launched its Policy on Women in Sport. The policy expresses Sport Ireland’s commitment to women in sport. It builds on the significant work that has already been undertaken in this area within the sport sector to date and, in recognising the opportunity to make a significant impact on the lives of women through their involvement in sport, it provides a blueprint for Sport Ireland’s future work.

Sport Ireland does not provide funding direct to clubs but channels its funding through the National Governing Bodies of sport (NGBs). In additional to funding allocated to NGBs under core grants and high performance programme, Sport Ireland also allocates funding to NGBs under the Women in Sport (WIS) programme. The WIS programme was established in 2005 and has provided funding support of over €20 million to a broad range of programmes aimed at increasing participation by women and girls.

As part of the new Women in Sport Policy, a revised Women in Sport investment programme was launched last year with an investment of €3 million over the two years 2019 and 2020. This doubled the funding for the Women in Sport programme. The two year funding will enable NGBs to make significant progress in their strategic objectives for women in sport.

Insofar as media coverage of women’s sport is concerned, although the current situation represents an improvement the case for further improvement is compelling. The Federation of Irish Sport's 20 x 20 campaign has highlighted the important association that media coverage has with driving increased participation amongst the female population. Whilst coverage decisions are ultimately matters for the media organisations concerned, whether in the print or broadcast setting, I fully support greater visibility being given in all sections of the media to our many exceptional and talented female athletes. The more these are lauded, valued and respected in the public arena, the more likely it is that young girls will be inspired to follow suit.

The Irish Times and Sport Ireland support women in sport with The Irish Times Sport Ireland Sportswoman of the Year Awards which recognise the abilities and achievements of women in Irish sports. Through their partnership they have highlighted the tremendous achievements of Irish Sportswomen across a range of sports, and they are committed to continuing to raise the profile of Irish Sportswomen.

I am arranging for Sport Ireland to provide the Deputy with a comprehensive outline of its strategies and initiatives in place to increase participation by women and girls. Please contact my private office if you do not hear within ten working days.

In relation to Sports Capital Programme, one of the key criteria in scoring applications has always been whether the proposed project will increase participation and in this regard the scoring system for the most recent round of the SCP specifically references the likelihood of increasing female participation. A full Review of the 2018 round of the SCP has now been complete and the terms and conditions of the next round of the programme will be announced before the end of the month. I expect that projects likely to increase female participation will continue to be prioritised when these terms and conditions and the scoring system are finalised.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Question No. 326 answered with Question No. 324.

Question No. 327 answered with Question No. 314.

Questions (325)

Alan Dillon

Question:

325. Deputy Alan Dillon asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the measures she plans to put in place to enable the tourism and hospitality sector to reopen; and if she plans to allow persons to travel outside their county when moving out of level 5 restrictions. [38319/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Tourism)

Budget 2021 included a number of substantial measures to support and strengthen the tourism sector and are supplemented by the economy-wide business supports and social welfare measures.

As part of the Budget package of measures, €55 million has been provided for Business Continuity Schemes for strategic tourism businesses to help them survive through the pandemic and be there to help drive the recovery. This funding will be administered by Fáilte Ireland and focused on those strategic businesses. In addition, the Budget provided for an additional €5m investment in training and support to businesses to improve their web and digital presence. Combined with the COVID Resilience Support Scheme (CRSS), the VAT cut and the rates waiver, the Government is helping to sustain businesses that have been most severely affected by the necessary public health restrictions.

The Tourism Recovery Taskforce, which reported to me in October, undertook a comprehensive analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on the sector and drew up a Recovery Plan containing over 30 recommendations across a number of areas designed to help the sector to survive and recover from the crisis out to 2023. Its short-term recommendations informed the sector-specific measures adopted in the Budget. To help inform the ongoing response to the pandemic, I will shortly appoint an Oversight Group which will monitor the implementation of the Recovery Plan as well as the recovery of the tourism sector in general.

With specific regard to inter-county travel and any plans to amend related restrictions, this is a matter for consideration by the Government and no decisions have yet been made in this regard.

Question No. 326 answered with Question No. 324.
Question No. 327 answered with Question No. 314.

Covid-19 Paindéim

Questions (328)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

328. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Turasóireachta, Cultúir, Ealaíon, Gaeltachta, Spóirt agus Meán an bhfuil iarratas faighte ó eagraíocht sonraí (tugtha) ar chúnamh le na costais atá orthu de bharr Covid 19 a ghlanadh; an bhfuil i gceist aige breathnú go báúil ar seo de bharr méid na hinfeistíochta atá déanta ag a Roinn san eagraiocht seo i bhfoirm deontais; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. [38857/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Tourism)

Faoin gCiste Atosaithe agus Athnuachana Spóirt, leithroinneadh breis is €1.9 milliún ar 1,637 club ar fud na tíre mar chuid de scéimeanna maidir le deontais bheaga a chuireann Comhpháirtíochtaí Áitiúla Spóirt i bhfeidhm. Cuireann na scéimeanna seo meicníocht bhreise ar fáil chun tacú le grúpaí agus clubanna pobail a bhféadfadh sé nach bhfuil aon bhaint acu le heagraíocht náisiúnta ná le Comhlachtaí Náisiúnta Rialachais aitheanta ach go gcuireann siad seirbhís ríthábhachtach áitiúil ar fáil. Is í an bhunaidhm atá leis na deontais ná na costais a bhaineann le prótacail sláinteachais agus scartha sóisialta Covid-19 a chur i bhfeidhm a chlúdach. Tá an scéim deontais clubanna leagtha amach chun tacú le filleadh ar ghníomhaíochtaí spóirt agus sin amháin agus chuige sin. Tá briseadh síos ar na suimeanna a leithroinn Spórt Éireann ar na LSPanna le fáil ar láithreán gréasáin Spórt Éireann ag https://www.sportireland.ie/sites/default/files/media/document/2020-11/sport-ireland-covid-19-funding-annoucement-breakdown.pdf

De bharr go bhfuil an scéim seo maoinithe ag Spórt Éireann agus á cur i bhfeidhm ag na Comhpháirtíochtaí Áitiúla Spóirt, táim ag socrú go gcuirfidh Spórt Éireann freagra díreach chuig an Teacht maidir leis an gclub sonrach a luadh.

European Court of Justice Rulings

Questions (329, 333)

Darren O'Rourke

Question:

329. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the steps he has taken and will take to address the findings of the Court of Justice of the European Union against Ireland regarding a windfarm (details supplied) in County Galway; the costs to the taxpayer in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37819/20]

View answer

Mairéad Farrell

Question:

333. Deputy Mairéad Farrell asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if his attention has been drawn to the Supreme Court ruling in An Taisce v. An Bord Pleanála on 1 July 2020 which found substitute consent to be inconsistent with the environmental impact assessment directive; if the ruling affects the way in which his Department plans to proceed with respect to resolution of the 2008 Court of Justice of the European Union ruling in a case (details supplied) requiring an environmental impact assessment be carried out at a windfarm; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37769/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 329 and 333 together.

On Tuesday 12th November 2019, the Court of Justice of the European Union issued its judgment in case C-261/18, which followed on from the judgment in case C-215/06. The judgment ruled against Ireland and imposed a lump sum fine of €5m and a daily fine of €15,000 until compliance is achieved, plus legal costs. The €5m lump sum penalty was paid in January 2020. In October 2020, €2,745,000 was paid to the European Commission in respect of daily fines accrued to date.

The court judgement will be complied with when the Derrybrien Wind Farm, which is owned and operated by a subsidiary of ESB, is subjected to a retrospective Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) - otherwise known as substitute consent.

On Friday 21st August 2020, the ESB submitted a substitute consent application to An Bord Pleanála (the Board). I understand that the Board have set an indicative decision date of 4th January 2021. However, in accordance with Section 30 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, I am precluded from exercising any power or control in relation to any particular case with which a planning authority or the Board is or may be concerned.

In this regard, it would be a matter for the Board, in terms of issuing a decision on the substitute consent application, as well as for the ESB, in terms of carrying out any associated works which might be required to comply with the Board’s decision.

Concerning the issues raised with the substitute consent legislation by the Supreme Court in the judgment referenced in the question, the judgment and its implications has been examined and my Department is working with the Office of the Attorney General to bring forward measures to address the findings of the judgment as expeditiously as possible. It is envisaged that these measures will be in place by the end of 2020 and will address substitute consent applications currently before the Board.

My Department is working closely with the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, which is a shareholder of ESB and has corporate governance responsibility for same, and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, with respect to the resolution of the judgment and payment of the related fines. Discussions between the three Departments are ongoing.

Wind Energy Generation

Questions (330)

Darren O'Rourke

Question:

330. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if his attention has been drawn to a recent peat slippage near a windfarm (details supplied) in County Donegal; the way in which this will be investigated and addressed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37840/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

I am aware of the recent peat slide at Meenbog wind farm, Barnesmore Gap, south of Ballybofey, Co Donegal which is currently under construction. The matter is being actively investigated by a number of statutory agencies led by Donegal County Council and also involving the EPA, Irish Water, the Loughs Agency, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, as well as Derry City and Strabane District Council and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, having regard to the fact that the development is a transboundary project.

At this early stage, the precise cause of the peat slide is yet to be determined, be it construction works on the wind farm, weather impacts, other factors or a combination of various factors.

Investigations on the cause are ongoing but the immediate focus of the agencies involved has been to deal with immediate steps to remediate the site and minimise any environmental impacts. Once those measures are in place, the agencies involved will then endeavour to determine the precise cause of the peat slide and deal with technical breaches of planning and environmental requirements, if any, after that.

All works on the wind farm have been temporarily ceased arising from the peat slide with the exception of those that relate to mitigating the impact of the peat slide and reducing the risk of further slides.

Under section 30 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, I am specifically precluded from exercising any power or control in relation to any particular case with which a planning authority or the Board is or may be concerned, except in very specific and extreme circumstances, which do not apply in this instance.

Commercial Rates

Questions (331)

Kathleen Funchion

Question:

331. Deputy Kathleen Funchion asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if consideration will be given to expanding the commercial rates waiver to cover the first quarter of 2021 (details supplied). [38126/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

My Department has engaged extensively with representatives of the local government sector and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform over recent months concerning the financial challenges facing local authorities as a consequence of the pandemic.

€600m was allocated by Government to fund the cost of a six-month waiver of rates from 27 March to 27 September 2020. To strengthen this support, and in line with the committment in the Programme for Government 'Our Shared Future' to set out how rates would be treated for the remainder of 2020, Government subsequently extended the waiver until 27 December 2020, at an additional cost of €300m. This brings to €900m the financial support to fund the cost of a waiver of commercial rates, which is an unprecedented measure that offers support to both businesses and to local authorities.

The local authority budget process for 2021 is now underway. In that context, Minister O'Brien and I recently wrote to each local authority to advise that, in light of the fact that the future trajectory of Covid-19 is unclear, it is not currently possible for Government to make open-ended commitments in respect of commercial rates or other income pressures that may arise in 2021. However, as has been the case since the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, my Department will continue to engage regularly and constructively with the local government sector and with individual local authorities on the financial impacts of the pandemic and other matters arising.

Rural Recreation Policy

Question No. 333 answered with Question No. 329.

Questions (332)

Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

332. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if he will address concerns raised in correspondence (details supplied) in relation to rough shooting. [38512/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

I have noted the issues outlined by the association in question including the reference to a statement by An Garda Siochana in the matter. My Department has no function in granting exemptions from compliance with public health regulations made in the context of COVID -19.

Question No. 333 answered with Question No. 329.

Social and Affordable Housing

Questions (334)

Patricia Ryan

Question:

334. Deputy Patricia Ryan asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage when the affordable housing plan will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37776/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Programme for Government makes clear our commitments to provide measures for good-quality housing to purchase or rent at an affordable price.

To this end, in providing Capital funding of €468 million, Budget 2021 made clear our intentions to deliver on these commitments and outlined our plans to cover affordability measures including:

1. €110 million which will be ring-fenced for a new national Affordable Purchase Shared Equity Scheme and a new Cost Rental Equity Loan facility to help deliver Cost Rental homes both of which will begin in 2021;

2. €50 million in Services Sites Funding which will support the delivery of more affordable purchase and Cost Rental Homes on Local Authority Lands;

3. €38 million in Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Funding which will support the delivery of homes on private lands including many discounted on open market prices;

4. €210m for lending under the Rebuilding Ireland Home loan which provides a route to home ownership for those who cannot secure the necessary commercial loan.

5. €205m to be spent by the Land Development Agency in its progression of housing including affordable homes on key strategic sites, of which €60m will be provided through the Vote of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

These measures comprise the initial broad suite of steps the Government is taking to improve access to more affordable housing.

Government is taking a two pronged approach to:

In the first part, introduce measures to provide an immediate response to alleviate very real near term challenges for certain groups and make affordable home ownership and rental a reality for many households in the short term. This includes a budget of €110 million to secure the introduction in 2021 of a new national Affordable Purchase Shared Equity Scheme and fast-tracked Cost Rental options. To this end, significant preparatory work has already been carried out by my Department working primarily with the Housing Agency, the Housing Finance Agency, the Department of Finance and Approved Housing Bodies. Intensive engagement continues with key stakeholders informing the final detailed parameters of the schemes, as well as with home builders to seek to increase the output of new homes in response to the new schemes.

In parallel with these immediate measures, we will drive fundamental supply side measures and structural reform in the way we deliver housing. Over the medium term, this will result in a far greater level of social and affordable housing provided by our local authorities on their land. It also sees the Land Development Agency working with Government departments, local authorities, State Agencies and other stakeholders and assembling large and strategic sites to deliver social and affordable homes for rent and purchase.

The Budget 2021 funding of €468 million secured, together with LDA non-voted activity to funded through capitalisation of ISIF, will allow these schemes to be developed and implemented over the coming year and beyond, on a multi-annual basis.

I intend to bring forward any necessary provisions to underpin these schemes in a forthcoming Affordable Housing and Land Development Agency Bills which will be brought to Government in the coming weeks.

Public Procurement Contracts

Questions (335)

Carol Nolan

Question:

335. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the details of contracts of €25,000 or more than have been awarded by his Department or bodies under the aegis of his Department that were found to be non-compliant with procurement guidelines from 1 January 2019 to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37801/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

In accordance with Circular 40/2002, issued by the Department of Finance, my Department completes an annual return in respect of contracts above a €25,000 threshold which have been awarded without a competitive process. These returns are submitted annually to the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General as part of the Appropriation Account process and include contracts awarded that were found to be non-compliant with procurement guidelines.

The return for 2019 contained 9 such contracts and details are provided in Table 1. Additional information in respect of these contracts is available in the published Appropriation Account at https://www.audit.gov.ie/en/Find-Report/Publications/2020/Vote-34-Housing-Planning-and-Local-Government.pdf The 2020 position will not be known until the Appropriation Account for that year has been completed by the Comptroller and Auditor General.

Compliance with procurement guidelines by bodies under the aegis of my Department is the responsibility of those bodies. My Department does not hold that information. The bodies in question may be contacted directly by e-mail by members of the Oireachtas, as set out in the document.

Under the Aegis of the Dept

Table 1