Written Answers. - Company Services.

Eamon Gilmore

Ceist:

255 Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for Finance if his Department has retained the services of a person or company (details supplied) since June 1997; if so, the nature of those services; the duration and the fees involved; if this person or company is retained on transactions related to his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27566/01]

The Department of Finance did not retain the services of the auctioneering firm associated with the person concerned during the period in question. Moreover, as far as can be ascertained, given the broad scope of the question, the Department of Finance did not retain the services of any other firms associated with the person concerned during the period in question. Although the scope of the question does not extend beyond my Department, given the occupation as an auctioneer of the person concerned, it has been referred to the Office of Public Works for possible input. The following information is provided by the Office of Public Works. The auctioneering firm associated with the person concerned:

1. Was appointed in December 1998 to prepare the State's case for the arbitration to determine the licence fee payable by Esat Digifone Limited in respect of telecommunications equipment on certain Garda premises. The fee agreed was £50,000, plus VAT, plus reasonable expenses. The arbitration process is still ongoing and the oral hearing is set for 4 and 5 December 2001. Two specialists from the firm are preparing the State's case. The firm was selected in order to acquire specialist valuation expertise held by one of these specialists.

2. Settled a rent review for the Office of Public Works in 1998 in respect of the second floor of the Setanta Centre. Fees of £5,462.50 were paid.

3. Carried out a joint measurement in 2000 on a building leased by the Office of Public Works. Fees of £363 were paid.