Defence Forces Data

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 51

Questions (459)

Sorca Clarke

Question:

459. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Defence to set out the number of medical discharges by rank and by discipline in the Defence Forces in each of the years 2018, 2019 and to date in 2020, in tabular form. [38547/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

I have requested the Military Authorities to provide this information as soon as possible and I will revert to the Deputy as soon as the information is made available to me.

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 51
The following table provides details of the number of medical discharges by rank and by discipline in the Defence Forces in each of the years 2018, 2019 and to date in 2020:

 -

2018

2019

2020

Rank

Army

Naval   Service

Air   Corps

Army

Naval   Service

Air   Corps

Army

Naval   Service

Air   Corps

Captain

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

Lieutenant

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

Barrack Quartermaster   Sergeant

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sergeant

5

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

Corporal

9

1

 

 

 

2

5

 

 

Private

13

 

 

7

 

1

13

3

 

Total

28

1

0

7

1

3

21

3

0

Defence Forces Data

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A

Questions (460)

Sorca Clarke

Question:

460. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Defence the median age of those discharged from the Defence Forces on medical grounds in each of the years 2018, 2019 and to date in 2020. [38548/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

The information sought by the Deputy could not be collated within the timeframe. I have requested the Military Authorities to provide this information as soon as possible and I will revert to the Deputy as soon as the information is made available to me.

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A
The following table provides details of the median age of those members of the Permanent Defence Force who discharged on medical grounds in each of the years 2018, 2019 and to date in 2020:

Year

Median   Age

2018

43

2019

51

2020

45

Defence Forces Data

Questions (461)

Sorca Clarke

Question:

461. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Defence the number of members of the Naval Service who have spent between zero to 60, 61 and 75, 76 and 81 and more than 82 days at sea in tabular form. [38549/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

The military authorities have advised me that the data requested by the Deputy is not readily accessible as they do not capture such data in this manner.

I can confirm that the number of personnel who have claimed Patrol Duty Allowance in the bands requested for 2019 and 2020 is as follows:

2019

Number of Days at Sea

Number of Officers

Number of Enlisted

Total

0-60 days

84

287

371

61-75 days

13

60

73

76-81 days

4

16

20

over 82 days

32

197

229

2020*

Number of Days at Sea

Number of Officers

Number of Enlisted

Total

0-60 days

53

295

348

61-75 days

10

38

48

76-81 days

8

29

37

over 82 days

14

81

95

*30 September 2020

Defence Forces Personnel

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 51

Questions (462)

Sorca Clarke

Question:

462. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Defence the number of qualified or specialised members of the Defence Forces who have left the service in each of the years 2018, 2019 and to date in 2020; and the specialised area of each. [38550/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

The information sought could not be collated without some clarification from the Deputy which has been sought through the Minister's Office.

Once this clarification is received, I will request the Military Authorities to provide this information as soon as possible and I will revert to the Deputy as soon as the information is made available to me.

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 51
The number of trained personnel who have discharged from Óglaigh na hÉireann across the three (3) Services in 2018, 2019 and to date in 2020 is as follows (these figures do not include those who left before completing induction training i.e. Recruit training and Cadetship):

Year

Army

Air   Corps

Naval   Service

Total   Trained Discharges

2018

419

59

123

 601

2019

499

81

117

 697

2020*

285

36

  64

 385

*as at 31 October 2020.
Having completed induction training, it is practice for the Defence Forces personnel to accrue a broad range of skills during the course of their career. These skills can include weapons systems, explosive ordnance disposal, mechanical fitter skills, etc.
Each skill has an associated skill code and therefore it would be a resource intensive exercise to extrapolate the codes for every individual who retired during the years in question.

Defence Forces Equipment

Questions (463)

Patrick Costello

Question:

463. Deputy Patrick Costello asked the Minister for Defence the value of equipment purchased and procured for the Defence Forces for each of the past five years by country of origin of goods and services and their value in tabular form. [38574/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

My priority as Minister for Defence is to ensure that the operational capability of the Defence Forces is maintained to the greatest extent possible so as to enable the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service to carry out their roles as assigned by Government.

In terms of suppliers of military equipment, the principle of competitive tendering is used by my Department for the acquisition of defensive equipment for the Defence Forces. Central to those procedures is the requirement to allow fair competition on the e-tenders website and on the Official Journal of the European Union, where appropriate, in line with the European Union procurement Directives, including the Directive 2009/81/EC on the award of contracts in the fields of defence and security. Details of tender competitions can be accessed on the Government's e-tenders website www.etenders.ie.

The following table sets out the expenditure on Defensive Equipment and Capability Development for the Defence Forces for the period 2015-2019. Unfortunately it is not possible to provide this information by country of origin, however my Department routinely publishes details of purchase orders for goods and services valued over €20,000 on its website www.defence.ie which provides details of supplies.

Year

Total Expenditure on Defensive Equipment and Capability Development

2015

€70.5m

2016

€79.2m

2017

€72.6m

2018

€77.1m

2019

€102.5m

The acquisition and upgrading of equipment for the Defence Forces remains a clear focus for me. Future equipment priorities for the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service are considered in the context of the White Paper on Defence, reinforced by the White Paper Update 2019, as part of the capability development and equipment priorities planning process. The principal aim over the period of the White Paper is to replace and upgrade, as required, existing capabilities in order to retain a flexible response for a wide range of operational requirements both at home and overseas.

The Equipment Development Plan (EDP) published in June 2020 provides a comprehensive list of planned equipment projects which will be progressed over five years. This plan builds on the intentions set out in the White Paper in relation to equipment acquisition, modernisation and upgrade and has been developed to ensure that our Defence Forces have the major equipment platforms, ancillary equipment and force protection equipment to carry out their important roles both at home and overseas.

The mid-life upgrade of the Army’s fleet of 80 General Dynamics European Land Systems (GDELS) Mowag Piranha III armoured personnel carrier vehicles is well underway in Switzerland. This programme is on-going and continues to command significant resources and commitment of effort. The vehicle, which is the backbone of Defence Forces armoured capability, has been well proven in all its roles since the first vehicles were introduced in 2001. By end-2020, it is anticipated some 52 vehicles will have been upgraded including modernisation of protection systems and weapons. The overall programme is due to be completed by 2022. In addition, an order for 28 Armoured Utility Vehicles AUVs was recently placed with Centigon, a French company, and these will provide a level of protected mobility between the levels of soft-skinned light transport and heavier armoured vehicles.

There is also continuous investment in the non-armoured vehicle fleet. In 2019, a contract was signed with Toyota Ireland for the replacement of the Army's fleet of 3/4 tonne 4x4 vehicles, the first of which entered service in early 2020. In March of this year, a tender process was completed for the supply of one hundred and twenty (120) new 4x4 Troop Carrying Vehicles, with the award of a contract to Westward Scania, based in Strokestown, Co. Roscommon. The first vehicles are scheduled for delivery in 2020 with delivery of all 120 vehicles concluding by 2023. Funding is provided on an on-going basis for the required maintenance of vehicles in the military transport fleet, both at home and overseas.

A step change in military air-based capability is being achieved through the acquisition of Pilatus PC-12 aircraft from Switzerland. While nominally a replacement for the Cessna, the new aircraft move capabilities considerably ahead of the present level. The original order of three aircraft which were delivered in September 2020 was augmented on an urgent basis by an additional aircraft delivered in April 2020 to enhance fixed wing capacity to meet demands arising from Covid-19. The PC-12 has proven itself an effective and versatile asset.

The White Paper also provides for the replacement of the CASA 235s with consideration to be given to their replacement with larger more capable aircraft which would enhance maritime surveillance and provide a greater degree of utility for transport and cargo carrying tasks. A contract for the supply of two C295 Maritime Patrol Aircraft was entered into with Airbus Defence and Space, in December 2019, and these are being manufactured in Spain, with delivery of the aircraft expected in 2023.

The White Paper on Defence also sets out an ambitious programme of capital investment in the Naval Service including the mid-life refit and upgrade of the P50 class vessels, LÉ Róisín and LÉ Niamh, as well as, in due course, the replacement of LÉ Eithne. The P50 mid-life upgrade programme is well underway and is being carried out by Doyle Shipping Group, in Cobh, County Cork. The replacement of the flagship LÉ Eithne with a multi role vessel (MRV) is the next scheduled component of the White Paper fleet investment programme. Projects for other vessel replacement will be considered over the life-time of the White Paper in the context of overall capability development and funding and the Equipment Development Plan (EDP) process. The EDP outlines that the MRV project is in the planning ongoing stage with an indicative timeframe for progression from the current year through to 2024.

With regard to Defence Forces communications systems, there is continued investment in the development of suitable network enabled communications in order to meet the challenges of an increasingly complex operational environment. In July of this year a tender competition was commenced for the supply of Software Defined Radios to the Defence Forces and the competition is currently underway. The scope of the project consists of two main requirements - Personal Soldier Radios and Multi-Band Handheld, Manpack, Vehicular and Airborne radios. Given the complexity of the requirements, the procurement process is expected to be comprehensive in nature with the first radios not expected to enter service before 2023.

The examples given, whilst not exhaustive, demonstrate my commitment to update and upgrade the Defence Forces equipment and capability, within the financial envelope available. In accordance with the National Development Plan, the capital allocation for Defence was increased to €113 million for 2020, an increase of €7 million. The National Development Plan provides for a total of €541 million for Defence over the period 2018-2022. Budget 2021 provides for a further increased gross allocation to €131m in the defence capital budget in respect of equipment and barracks infrastructure. This level of capital funding will allow the Defence Organisation to undertake a programme of sustained equipment replacement and infrastructural development across the Army, Air Corps and Naval Service.

Air Corps

Questions (464)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

464. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Defence his plans to carry out a full health audit of serving members of the Air Corps. [38582/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

A comprehensive range of primary and secondary medical services are provided to all members of the Permanent Defence Force. This is to ensure that personnel are medically fit to undertake the duties assigned to them, and to treat any medical conditions arising which would inhibit their capacity to undertake such duties. This includes an annual medical examination which comprises a review of the individual’s medical history and a full physical examination.

Defence Forces Data

Questions (465)

Sorca Clarke

Question:

465. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Defence to set out the average number of hours worked by members of the Defence Forces by rank and barracks in tabular form. [38614/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

The information requested by the Deputy is not readily available. The Personnel Management System (PMS) operated by the Defence Forces, contains information on the range, type and quantity of duties performed by PDF personnel. This informs the calculation of remuneration for individual members.

The current configuration of the PMS does not lend itself to providing the statistics requested by the Deputy.

Defence Forces Data

Questions (466)

Sorca Clarke

Question:

466. Deputy Sorca Clarke asked the Minister for Defence the documented overtime worked by members of the Defence Forces by rank and barracks in tabular form. [38615/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

Remuneration for individual members of the Permanent Defence Force is dependent on a range of factors relating to the role and duties they perform. The minimum for trained personnel comprises Basic Pay and Military Service Allowance. Personnel may also received Technical pay and receive additional remuneration for duties undertaken.

Unlike other areas of the public service and due to the nature of the duties performed, overtime or shift allowance payments are not available to members of the Defence Forces.

Defence Forces Deployment

Questions (467)

Paul Murphy

Question:

467. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Defence if members of the Permanent Defence Forces including the Army Ranger Wing are still deployed in Mali; if so, the nature of their mission; and if there is a timeline for their withdrawal. [38726/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

Government and Dáil approval was received in June 2019 for the deployment of a contingent of the Permanent Defence Forces to participate in MINUSMA, the United Nations authorised operation in Mali.

MINUSMA was established on 25 April 2013 by UN Security Council Resolution 2100 to stabilise the country after the Tuareg rebellion (2012). The role of the mission is to ensure security, stabilization and protection of civilians; supporting national political dialogue and reconciliation; and assisting the reestablishment of State authority, the rebuilding of the security sector, and the promotion and protection of human rights in Mali.

Currently, there are 2 officers deployed in MINUSMA Force Headquarters in Bamako and an additional 12 personnel, including members of the Army Ranger Wing, deployed with the German Armed Forces at Camp Castor in GAO, Mali. All deployed personnel are currently embedded with the larger German company and are carrying out assigned tasks in accordance with the mission mandate.

With regard to the continued involvement of Defence Forces personnel in MINUSMA, I can advise that Government has approved the participation of up to 14 Defence Forces personnel, drawn primarily from the Army Ranger Wing, in the MINUSMA mission up to September 2021. The matter will be reviewed next year by my Department in consultation with the Defence Forces and a decision will be made with regard to the continued deployment of Defence Forces personnel to this mission, in line with Government approval.

In addition to the UN mission., there are 20 members of the DF currently serving the EU training mission in Mali, (EUTM Mali). The Defence Forces first deployed to this mission in 2014, and their continued participation is kept under regular review.

The Department of Defencereviews the deployment of Defence Forces Personnel overseas on an ongoing basis. Ireland receives requests, from time to time, in relation to participation in various missions and these are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Defence Forces Remuneration

Questions (468)

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Question:

468. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Defence if the disparity in remuneration packages between currently serving Defence Forces school of music officers and their newly inducted counterparts will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38806/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

In response to the economic crisis and the collapse in the state finances, the then Government approved the reduction by 10% of the salary scale for new entrants to the public service with effect from 1 January 2011. This includes members of the Defence Forces.

Under the Public Service Stability Agreement 2013-2016, (the Haddington Road Agreement) the Government and trade unions agreed in 2013 to address the issue of separate new entrant scales by merging the new scales and existing scales. Instead of experiencing a continuing 10% reduction on each point of scale, a new entrant now joins the same scale as pre-existing staff, which has been lengthened by the addition of two lower points at the bottom of the salary scale.

Since 2019 new entrants to the public service post 1 January 2011, including members of the Defence Forces, may benefit from measures which see interventions at points 4 and 8 of their pay scales.

Defence Forces Recruitment

Questions (469)

Pádraig O'Sullivan

Question:

469. Deputy Pádraig O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Defence the status of issues with the campaign on rejoining of the Defence Forces (details supplied). [38807/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

The terms and conditions of a scheme for re-commissioning former Officers of the Permanent Defence Forces (PDF) were agreed in 2018. This scheme facilitates the re-entry of former officers, where vacancies exist, and where there are particular skillsets that are not available in the PDF at the time of the application to be re-commissioned.

The Military Authorities have advised that before recommending the re-commissioning of any individual, there is a requirement to assess the level of deficiency in personnel, military capability or expertise in the PDF that cannot be resolved in a sustainable or timely manner from within existing personnel resources within the relevant Service.

In this regard, applications to areas where the strength of that rank is at capacity or where there is a surplus of a particular skillset at the time of application, cannot therefore be advanced.

While I cannot comment on any individual case, I appreciate all interest expressed by former officers in this scheme.

Defence Forces

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 51

Questions (470)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

470. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Defence the number of data access requests the Defence Forces and the Directorate of Military Intelligence have made to telecom companies and social media companies here in the past three years to date in 2020 under the Communications (Retention of Data) Act 2011; the number of access requests that were approved and declined by the companies that the data was requested from; and the reason the data was sought. [38851/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Defence)

It has not been possible in the time available to prepare a substantive response to the question from the Deputy.

A response to the question will be prepared and forwarded to the Deputy as soon as possible.

The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 51
The information was not available in advance of the deadline for Parliamentary Questions response. However, I can now confirm that military authorities have informed me that the Defence Forces made applications for data requests as follows:

Year

Number of Defence Forces applications

2019

245

2018

288

2017

427

The figure for 2020 will be prepared at year end and are therefore not yet available.
The Communications (Retention of Data) Act 2011 governs the retention of certain communications data and access to such data by the Defence Forces and certain other statutory bodies. Under the provision of Section 6(2) of the Communications (Retention of Data) Act 2011 an officer of the Permanent Defence Force not below the rank of Colonel may make a disclosure request to a service provider where the data is required for the purpose of safeguarding the security of the State.
The military authorities have advised that all applications were granted and that all applications were made in respect to the relevant provisions of the Communications (Retention of Data) Act 2011. In addition the military authorities have confirmed that all applications submitted pertained to matters relating to the security of the State.

School Staff

Questions (471)

Cathal Crowe

Question:

471. Deputy Cathal Crowe asked the Minister for Education if it will be ensured that the agency filled caretaker role at Limerick College of Further Education will be made a permanent role on LCETB payroll. [38225/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

My Department provides each Educational Training Board (ETB) with an administration and maintenance staffing allocation and pay budget to support its individual ETB schools, colleges, head office and other centres of education.

It is the responsibility of each ETB to recruit staff and manage staffing levels from within this allocation and budget, which extends to decisions around whether posts are to be filled on a temporary or permanent basis.

Schools Building Projects

Questions (472)

Patricia Ryan

Question:

472. Deputy Patricia Ryan asked the Minister for Education her plans for the promised redevelopment of a primary school (details supplied) in County Kildare; the investment committed for same to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37779/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The major building project for the school referred to by the Deputy is included in my Department’s Construction Programme which is being delivered under the National Development Plan. The project is currently at an advanced stage of architectural planning - Stage 2(b) Detailed Design, which includes the application for statutory approvals and the preparation of tender documents. All statutory approvals have been secured.

The Stage 2(b) Report has been submitted and is currently under review within my Department.

In order to expedite the progression of this project, my Department recently authorised the Design Team to commence the pre-qualification process to select a short-list of contractors while the Department is reviewing the submitted report.

Upon review and approval of the Stage 2(b) report and completion of the pre-qualification process, my Department will revert to the school and its Design Team regarding the further progression of this major building project.

Public Procurement Contracts

Questions (473)

Carol Nolan

Question:

473. Deputy Carol Nolan asked the Minister for Education the details of contracts of €25,000 or more than have been awarded by her Department or bodies under the aegis of her Department that were found to be non-compliant with procurement guidelines from 1 January 2019 to date; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [37794/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Education)

The Appropriation Account for my Department for 2019 contains details of the contracts deemed to be non-compliant with procurement guidelines for the year 2019. Details from the 2109 Appropriation Account are attached for the Deputy’s information. A complete record is not available in respect of 2020 as the appropriation account is compiled after the end of the accounting period.

The information requested by the Deputy in regard to the agencies under the aegis of my Department is not routinely compiled by my Department. My officials are in contact with the aegis bodies and I will arrange to have the material forwarded to the Deputy when it becomes available.

Department of Education

Award of contracts, deemed non-compliant with procurement guidelines and regulation - 2019

Subject of Contract/Purchase

Contract Value €

Basis for non-compliance

Multi-supplier framework agreement for the Provision of Irish Language Translation Services.

181,544

The framework, with fifteen members, was extended for business continuity reasons and the service has been re-tendered.

Onsite scanning services for pensions and payroll sections

156,908

The original contract was extended to complete scanning of further pensioner records.

Translation Service

68,592

The contract has been extended for business continuity reasons pending the provision of a centralised arrangement by OGP.

Stationery supplies

40,824

The centralised stationery contract was terminated with short notice in May 2019 and multiple orders have been placed with a supplier pending the delivery of a replacement OGP arrangement