Written Answers. - Cross-Border Agencies.

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

216 Mr. O'Dowd asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism if he will provide a breakdown of the total amounts allocated to any cross-Border agencies under the aegis of his Department since their inception; the precise details relating to consultancy services that were employed by these agencies since their inception; the manner in which consultants were appointed, including details of tendering systems employed; the manner in which successful consultants were advised of their appointment; the full amounts paid, or payable to date, on consultancy services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19086/03]

Tourism Ireland Limited is the only cross-Border agency under the aegis of my Department. Details of the agency's overall budget for its first two full years in operation, 2002 and 2003, are set out in the agency statement contained in the Revised Estimates Volume 2003 to which I refer the Deputy.

The appointment of consultants by Tourism Ireland is a day to day operational matter for which the chief executive officer of the company is directly answerable to the Committee of Public Accounts, North and South. As with any other agency in receipt of public funds, Tourism Ireland is obliged to apply appropriate tendering procedures based on best public sector practice, North and South. Any issues arising in the application of these procedures by publicly funded bodies such as Tourism Ireland are generally addressed in the Comptroller and Auditor General's report based on his audit of the company's annual accounts.

Question No. 217 answered with Question No. 215.