Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 211, 217)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

206. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the criteria used to select a body to manage the music industry support package. [8013/21]

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Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

207. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the amount paid to an organisation (details supplied) for administration costs relating to the management of the music industry support scheme; and the breakdown of the money spent. [8014/21]

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Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

208. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media further to Parliamentary Question No. 248 of 15 December 2020, the process by which an organisation (details supplied) was selected. [8015/21]

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Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

209. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media if an organisation (details supplied) is wholly owned and funded by the State; and the position regarding and status of its legal relationship with the Arts Council, Culture Ireland and her Department. [8016/21]

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Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

210. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the reason a body with experience in the international showcasing of Irish musicians was given the responsibility of managing an entirely domestic €1.7 million package instead of a body with experience distributing grants domestically or with a statutory role to do so, such as the Arts Council. [8017/21]

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Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

211. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media further to Parliamentary Question No. 248 of 15 December 2020, if other bodies were considered for the management of the €1.7 million music industry support package before an organisation (details supplied) was selected. [8018/21]

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Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

217. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media further to Parliamentary Question No. 248 of 15 December 2020, the definition of administration costs referred to. [8024/21]

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Written answers (Question to Tourism)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 206 to 211, inclusive, and 217 together.

I introduced the Music Industry Support Package in 2020 to help meet the needs of the whole of the music sector in these unprecedented times. This was the first time this type of support was offered to the music industry and it was designed in a time of crisis and at short notice to cover all music genres.

First Music Contact (FMC) is an independent private company limited by guarantee and is the lead national music organisation for resourcing musicians and the independent music sector in Ireland. My Department has a well established working relationship with FMC. It is an organisation funded by the Arts Council on the basis of its proposal for programming activities each year as by my Department through Culture Ireland for international promotion of musicians under the terms of a Performance Delivery Agreement. Fifty percent of FMC’s funding is raised through self-generated income, private funding and sponsorship.

FMC has operated in the domestic music sector in Ireland for 25 years. FMC has had weekly advisory meetings for Irish artists and their teams for the past 20 years, delivered Ireland Music Week for 19 years, the Breaking Tunes music portal and community for domestic artists is 10 years old this year. This is additional to international facing export work, presented under the title Music from Ireland, which is now in its 16th year of operation. For all of these reasons FMC was considered to offer a cost effective way of administering the MISP last year when there was no capacity in my Department or the Arts Council to manage such schemes in the given timeframe.

FMC therefore fulfilled the criteria of having in depth knowledge of the music industry, a history of managing applications from musicians and their agents, many years of mentoring artists and an understanding of national and international factors in music support and promotion.

As there was no financial gain to management of these schemes and the only costs being covered were limited and receipted administrative costs there was no requirement for an open process. No other body was considered to be able to match FMC's experience, and capacity to deliver in the tight timeframe with cost efficiencies.

Under the terms of the Performance Delivery Agreement between my Department and FMC for the management and delivery of the Music Industry Stimulus Package, a maximum of €83,000 was provided for administration purposes from the €1.7m allocated to the Package.

A breakdown of total administration costs relating to the fund are as per the table below.

MISP Administration Cost Breakdown

Panel Assessors Fees

€26,440.00

Legal , banking and Auditing

€7,452.00

MISP Manager and Accounts Staff costs

€48,425.00

Digital Support

€490.68