Written Answers.

The following are questions tabled by Members for written response and the ministerial replies as received on the day from the Departments [unrevised].
Questions Nos. 1 to 10, inclusive, answered orally.

Home Loan Scheme.

Willie Penrose

Ceist:

11 Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if applicants are still required to have been refused a mortgage by two banks before being adjudged credit worthy for the purposes of the home choice loan scheme in view of the fact that the scheme is currently targeted at credit worthy first-time buyers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2466/10]

The Home Choice Loan is intended not to provide an incentive for households to enter the housing market, but to provide access to mortgage finance to facilitate certain first-time buyers who have themselves decided to purchase a home at this time. The scheme is therefore designed to respond, in a very targeted way, to a specific set of circumstances in the housing market whereby prospective middle income first-time buyers, who would previously have been in a position to access mortgage finance from one of the financial institutions, are not currently in a position to do so, due to the impacts of the credit crunch and the general global curtailment of lending to households and businesses arising from it.

It is important to clarify that applicants under the Home Choice Loan Scheme are not deemed to be credit worthy by having been refused loan finance elsewhere. All applications are rigorously assessed having regard to an applicant's ability to pay, credit history and rating and all other aspects of a strict formal lending policy. An applicant's ability to pay is also stress-tested to assess their capacity to meet their repayments in the event of significant interest rate rises. It is only after all of these requirements have been met that an applicant can be deemed to be credit worthy for the purposes of the scheme.

The requirement for applicants to provide evidence of two refusals or inadequate loan offers from private financial institutions is in place to ensure that those credit worthy households who are in a position to have their loan finance requirements met by a private financial institution, do so.

Local Government Reform.

Joe Carey

Ceist:

12 Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government when the local government efficiency review group will report; if local government reform is postponed until after that group reports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2495/10]

I have asked that the Local Government Efficiency Review Group complete its work and report to me by mid-2010. The Group's findings and recommendations will then be brought to Government to consider in the appropriate policy and financial contexts.

Significant changes to local government will continue in parallel with the work of the Local Government Efficiency Review Group. The Government's commitment to hold direct elections for the Mayor of Dublin this year is unchanged, and I will be bringing a draft scheme of a Bill to provide for the Dublin Mayor to Government shortly.

The Government decision to introduce a directly elected Mayor for Dublin in 2010, and the legislation to provide for it, marks a first step in implementing broader local government structural change, in line with the renewed Programme for Government. This will be more fully addressed in the Local Government White Paper, now at an advanced stage of preparation.

Social and Affordable Housing.

Olwyn Enright

Ceist:

13 Deputy Olwyn Enright asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of properties that are leased for the long-term housing needs of persons seeking social housing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2525/10]

To the end of last year, some 1,933 units were sourced and approved for leasing in order to meet the housing needs of persons requiring social housing support. Of these, 437 units are deemed to be operational on the basis of signed lease agreements in place. Given that I only introduced the Social Housing Leasing Initiative in February 2009, this represents significant progress and shows that the initiative, even at this early stage, is already starting to deliver.

The progress made in 2009 will be built on and developed further in the year ahead. It is anticipated that the leasing initiative and the RAS programme will together deliver some 4,000/4,500 units in 2010, accounting for 50% of the total social housing output expected this year.

These delivery mechanisms will continue to grow in importance in terms of our housing supply programme in the years ahead. Given increased housing needs at a time of limited Exchequer resources, leasing and RAS offer a pragmatic way of continuing to meet general housing needs, while allowing us to prioritise the available capital funding for programmes targeted at the most vulnerable and disadvantaged households.

Leasing and RAS are of course more than just a pragmatic response to market conditions. They constitute an important component of a graduated and flexible system of housing supports, within a lifecycle approach to meeting housing needs, which was clearly articulated in the Government's 2007 housing policy statement, Delivering Homes, Sustaining Communities .

Water Services.

Joe McHugh

Ceist:

14 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government when he expects the roll out of water meters for domestic homes will begin; if the cost of new meters will be met by local authorities or by central Government; if he plans to introduce domestic water charges for all domestic users at the same time or on a gradual basis as meters are installed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2554/10]

The renewed Programme for Government contains a commitment to introduce charges for water in a way that is fair, significantly reduces waste and is easily applied.

I will shortly be bringing detailed proposals to Government on the approach to the metering of households on public supplies, including details on the financing and delivery of the metering programme. Legislation will also be drafted to provide local authorities with the powers to charge for domestic water use.

Following the phased installation of water meters, households will be charged for water services based on usage in line with the government commitment. It is envisaged that the installation of water meters will commence during 2011.

Proposed Legislation.

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

15 Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government when he will bring forward legislation for a directly elected mayor for Dublin; the powers this position will have; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2516/10]

On 12 May 2009 I announced that the Government had decided to introduce a directly elected Mayor for the Dublin Region in 2010. This decision arises from the commitment in the Programme for Government to introduce a directly elected Mayor of Dublin, and from the considerations in the Green Paper on local government which I published in April 2008.

The Government's decision to introduce a directly elected Mayor of Dublin will deliver significantly strengthened leadership for the city and region, with enhanced accountability and a direct connection with the citizen.

The Mayor will primarily act as a strategic policy maker who will also work to integrate the activities of local government and the wider public service in and across Dublin. The Mayor will be equipped with a suite of substantial powers across the functions of local government, and will have the authority and powers to deliver real leadership. He or she will establish policy frameworks for the Dublin Region including in the areas of land-use planning, waste management, and water services and will also chair the Dublin Transport Authority. The specifics of the Mayor's responsibilities will be set out in legislation.

The Government's commitment to hold mayoral elections this year is unchanged. Given this intention, it will be necessary to have the relevant legislation in place in advance. I will be bringing a draft scheme of a Bill to provide for the Dublin Mayor to Government shortly.

The Government decision to introduce a directly elected Mayor for Dublin in 2010, and the legislation to provide for it, marks a first step in implementing broader government change.

Emergency Planning.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

16 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if, unilaterally or in conjunction and consultation with other relevant Departments he intends or expects to initiate, participate or co-operate in a structured national plan to address the issue of flooding at various locations throughout the country that have previously been the subject matter of correspondence with his Department and with other Departments from local communities; if his attention has been drawn to the existence of European Union support funds for simple remedial works that can have the effect of preventing and alleviating flooding now and in the future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2617/10]

The need to deal in a proactive manner with the issue of flood risk was recognised by the Review of Flood Policy agreed by Government in 2004. Following the Review, the Office of Public Works was assigned Lead Agency responsibility for the management of flood risk. In this regard, I understand that the OPW is commencing Flood Risk Studies with a view to the preparation of Catchment Flood Assessment and Management Plans. The role of my Department, where there is serious flooding, is to ensure that the local authorities are prepared to respond promptly to ameliorate the worst effects in relation to those aspects for which they have direct responsibility.

In this regard local authorities act in co-operation with other Principal Response Agencies — an Garda Síochána and the Health Service Executive — and the voluntary agencies and the Defence Forces to limit the effects on individuals whose lives may be put at risk or who may be exposed to serious hardship. The main concern is that effective emergency plans are in place based on the Framework for Major Emergency Management approved by Government in 2006.

The management of the emergency response then falls to the local authorities and the other response agencies. In relation to assistance from the European Union Solidarity Fund towards the cost of damage arising from the flooding, this is a matter for consideration by the Department of Finance.

Planning Issues.

Shane McEntee

Ceist:

17 Deputy Shane McEntee asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on the current retail planning guidelines; if further amendments are being considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2550/10]

Phil Hogan

Ceist:

284 Deputy Phil Hogan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the proposals or planned timeframe for a review of the retail planning guidelines 2005; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2819/10]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 17 and 284 together.

Since the Department's Retail Planning Guidelines came into force in 2001, Ireland has undergone considerable change in terms of economic and social development, particularly in relation to population expansion and settlement patterns. In this period, there has been a considerable expansion of retail infrastructure and services which has been positive in facilitating greater competition in the retail sector. In addition, retail strategies have been prepared by all planning authorities as part of their development plan functions.

Given changed economic circumstances, it is important that the forward planning context for future retail development remains robust and realistic. My Department is currently drafting a consultation paper to inform the scope of a focused review of the Retail Planning Guidelines. This will allow stakeholders and interested parties to assist in identifying key issues for inclusion in draft revised guidelines, which will issue for public consultation before their finalisation at the end of this year.

Water and Sewerage Schemes.

Kieran O'Donnell

Ceist:

18 Deputy Kieran O’Donnell asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his plans for septic tank upgrade works and regulation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2521/10]

The renewed Programme for Government includes a commitment to introduce a scheme for the licensing and inspection of septic tanks and other on-site waste water treatment systems. In October 2009, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) found that Ireland failed to make adequate legislation for dealing with domestic waste-water from septic tanks and other on-site wastewater treatment systems.

My Department is chairing a task force to consider how the inspection of septic tanks should be carried out and I intend undertaking consultations with stakeholders on the matter. In order to comply with the ECJ ruling, legislation will be required to give effect to the new inspection system. At this stage, while this matter is receiving priority attention, it is too early to estimate when the new arrangements will be operational.

The results of the last Census of Population indicated that about 418,000 houses, or 32% of the total stock of just over 1.3 million houses, were served by septic tanks in 2006. It is not possible to estimate how many of these septic tanks would be considered to be defective. It is important to note that primary responsibility for ensuring the treatment system is functioning properly rests with the occupier of premises or, if unoccupied, the owner.

Proposed Legislation.

Terence Flanagan

Ceist:

19 Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the changes he has planned to taking in charge legislation for estates following problems that exist with burst water pipes in estates not yet in control of local authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2532/10]

My Department's policy guidance in relation to Taking in Charge of Residential Estates states that planning authorities must adopt construction standards for residential developments that are acceptable to the planning authority for taking in charge and long-term maintenance and that it should be a condition of planning permission that such standards be adhered to.

The guidance also states that the construction standards adopted by planning authorities should at a minimum comply with those set out in my Department's Recommendations for Site Development Works for Housing Areas, which recommend standards for the diameter of pipes and the amount of cover, and make other relevant recommendations including a recommendation that watermain pipe size and layout should be designed in consultation with the local authority.

Technical Guidance Document G of the Building Regulations (Hygiene) provides that, in regard to bathrooms and kitchens in dwellings, the cisterns, service pipe and fittings and any associated cold water pipes should be adequately protected against damage by frost.

My Department's Taking in Charge Guidance also states that it is necessary for the planning authority to satisfy itself, when the developer of a residential estate has ceased construction or notified the planning authority that construction is complete, or after the planning permission has expired, that the development is properly completed in line with the planning permission and, where it is not properly completed, to take early and effective enforcement action.

Where an estate has yet to be taken in charge, the repair of a burst water main is a matter for the developer. The decision as whether any particular estates should be taken in charge is ultimately one for the elected members of the planning authority. There are no proposals to change the taking in charge policy or the underpinning legislation at this stage.

Homeless Persons.

Frank Feighan

Ceist:

20 Deputy Frank Feighan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on recent changes to homeless housing services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2528/10]

Implementation of the Government's Homeless Strategy will result in significant improvements in homeless services, involving action by a number of statutory and non-statutory agencies. At national level, a range of actions has been taken to ensure that implementation of the Homeless Strategy is firmly underpinned by a robust framework of policy, legislation, co-ordination and funding. Practical achievement of the objectives of the Strategy will ultimately be determined primarily by the performance and effectiveness of action by relevant agencies at local level which, in future, will operate within the new statutory framework of structures and action plans provided for in the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009.

A core objective of the Homeless Strategy is to eliminate long term occupation of emergency or transitional homeless facilities and enable households to progress to independent living in mainstream housing. This is being pursued through a range of actions including provision of adequate social housing lettings to homeless households, reconfiguration of emergency or transitional facilities as self contained units of long-term accommodation and provision of additional sources of mainstream accommodation. Intensive work on all of these areas is progressing.

The Support to Live Independently Scheme (SLÍ), details of which issued to local authorities in July 2009, forms an important element of action to end long-term homelessness by providing suitable long term accommodation in mainstream housing with appropriate supports to help people make a successful transition from homelessness to independent living. It includes the use of accommodation procured through the Social Housing Leasing Scheme or available to local authorities in the form of affordable housing that is unsold or considered unlikely to sell in the current market, along with availability of low to moderate level visiting supports, on a reducing basis for a period, to help homeless households address the challenges likely to arise in making the progression to independent living.

Implementation of the scheme is proceeding, with the main focus initially on the Dublin area. This involves a three-stranded approach — sourcing of accommodation; assessment of households, formulation of their support plan and allocation of tenancies; and procurement and deployment of visiting housing support services for the purposes of the scheme. The various strands are proceeding broadly in parallel. The scheme will expand progressively in 2010 and all possible action will be taken to maximise progress, particularly in terms of securing accommodation.

The provision of appropriate facilities and supports for homeless people with more intensive needs is also a priority. The reconfiguration of existing homeless services will result in extending the availability of long term supported residential accommodation for people who are unable to live independently.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Michael D. Higgins

Ceist:

21 Deputy Michael D. Higgins asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the contribution Ireland proposes to make as a result of the Copenhagen conference; if there is a united European Union proposal regarding carbon offsetting over the coming decades; the details of the proposal and the financial contribution Ireland will be expected to make. [46852/09]

Ireland will make a positive contribution to the successful implementation of the Copenhagen Accord, while maintaining efforts to strengthen it. Our contribution will be reflected, inter alia, in the emission reduction pledge which the European Union will make before the end of this month for the purposes of Appendix I of the Accord, and in the international financial support to assist developing countries in addressing climate change. The Government has already announced a contribution of up to €100 million for fast start financial support in the three-year period 2010 to 2012.

Reducing global greenhouse gas emissions to a safe level is key to the success of the 1992 Climate Change Convention. As a contribution to that objective, the EU has adopted an independent commitment to achieve a 20% reduction in emissions by 2020 compared to 1990. In addition, the EU has signalled its willingness, as part of a global and comprehensive agreement for the period beyond 2012, to move to a 30% reduction target subject to other Parties committing to appropriate action. This policy position will inform the final EU pledge for the purposes of the Copenhagen Accord and Ireland will accept its fair share of that burden.

The EU recognises the importance of the carbon market in achieving global mitigation objectives in a cost-efficient manner. EU priorities for development of the carbon market include reform of existing Kyoto Protocol mechanisms and the creation of new sector-specific mechanisms. The financial cost of engaging in offsetting in the future will be determined by the extent to which Ireland decides to avail of market options.

Social and Affordable Housing.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

22 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of new units of social and affordable housing he envisages being made available in 2010. [2327/10]

Arthur Morgan

Ceist:

28 Deputy Arthur Morgan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he plans to make it a priority to purchase properties that are vacant to increase the number of housing units available for social and affordable housing. [2329/10]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 22 and 28 together.

The Government's key priorities in shaping the overall housing provision for this year have been to focus the impact of necessary adjustments on the areas in which there is scope to maintain output through more flexible approaches and where the policy context supports such approaches, and to continue to direct available capital resources substantially towards the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. In keeping with this strategy, the reform programme, now well underway in my Department, involves a shift away from construction/acquisition and a one size fits all approach to meeting social housing needs towards a more graduated system of supports. This refocusing, in policy and financial terms, is rooted in the clearly articulated rationale set out in the Government's housing policy statement, Delivering Homes, Sustaining Communities.

While the allocations for 2010, when finalised, will show a reduction in the provision for the main traditional local authority programme, I anticipate that, through more flexible market based delivery mechanisms such as the Rental Accommodation Scheme and long term leasing, as well as the significant increase in funding available under the Capital Assistance Scheme in 2010, delivery across the range of social housing measures this year will be of the order of 8,000/9,000 units.

In relation to affordable housing, rather than setting targets for delivery, the emphasis this year, having regard to developments in the housing market, will be on continuing to progress measures to ensure the most effective deployment of already delivered but unsold affordable homes, including their use for social housing purposes.

Departmental Funding.

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

23 Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the position regarding the funding over and above the funding allocated for 2010 as part of the budget to be provided to local authorities to cover their costs for responding to the recent flooding, snow and freezing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2445/10]

Liz McManus

Ceist:

29 Deputy Liz McManus asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of local authorities that sought additional funding as a result of the recent flooding and adverse weather conditions; the amount sought by individual local authorities; the amount granted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2460/10]

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

64 Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the position regarding the moneys that have been sought by local authorities over and above funding already allocated as part of the budget and Estimates to cover their costs for responding to the recent flooding, snow and freezing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2446/10]

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

294 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the need to allocate extra funding to local authorities in view of the expenditure incurred by them arising from inclement weather conditions in the past number of months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2913/10]

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

295 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he has received requests for extra funding from local authorities in the wake of the recent severe weather conditions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2914/10]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 23, 29, 64, 294 and 295 together.

General-Purpose Grants from the Local Government Fund are the contribution that my Department makes to local authorities to meet the gap between the cost to them of providing a reasonable level of day-to-day services and the income they obtain from other sources. A total of €870m in General-Purpose Grants will be provided to local authorities from the Local Government Fund in 2010.

The Local Government Fund is also providing significant funding to local authorities for the improvement and maintenance of local and regional roads. The allocation of local and regional road grants to individual local authorities is a matter for the Minister for Transport.

Local authorities now have access to an additional revenue stream, the €200 non-principal private residence (NPPR) charge. As of 15 January, €58,164,420 has been collected in respect of 2009, all of which, less transaction and administrative costs, accrues to local authorities.

It is a matter for each local authority to prioritise its spending, within the resources available to it, across the range of services it provides. Equally, local authorities must ensure full value for money for the resources invested, and seek the maximum efficiency across their operations. I am satisfied that the general purpose grant allocations I have provided for 2010, together with the income available from other sources, will enable Local Authorities to deal with the adverse winter weather conditions and continue to provide an acceptable level of service to their customers.

In addition, I provided some €16.5m in supplementary funding at the end of 2009 to assist local authorities in the worst hit areas in meeting the immediate and exceptional costs incurred in dealing with the recent flooding crisis. The following table details the amount sought by and granted to individual authorities. Payments were made to the local authorities in the week before Christmas.

Supplementary funding for flood affected areas

Local Authority

Application

Allocation

Athy Town Council

5,000

5,000

Ballinasloe Town Council

252,123

252,123

Carlow County Council

123,060

123,060

Cavan County Council

130,000

130,000

Clare County Council

1,145,000

1,145,000

Cork City Council

3,110,206

3,110,206

Cork County Council

15,509,028

5,768,519

Fermoy Town Council

5,200

1,700

Galway County Council

3,000,000

3,000,000

Kildare County Council

221,000

221,000

Leitrim County Council

525,000

525,000

Limerick City Council

81,082

81,082

Limerick County Council

1,380,300

180,300

Longford County Council

388,506

137,506

North Tipperary County Council

338,240

187,940

Offaly County Council

50,003

50,003

Roscommon County Council

1,015,000

1,015,000

South Tipperary County Council

201,008

201,008

Westmeath County Council

541,310

353,810

Total

28,021,066

16,488,257

Social and Affordable Housing.

Sean Sherlock

Ceist:

24 Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if communication has commenced between him and the Department of Finance regarding the potential for usage of unsold housing acquired by the National Asset Management Agency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2472/10]

From a social housing perspective, I see clear potential for real and meaningful synergies between the work of the National Asset Management Agency in ensuring the stability of the financial system and the role of my Department in responding to social housing need.

For some time now the social housing investment programme has been undergoing a significant restructuring to shift the focus increasingly towards more flexible delivery mechanisms, through the Rental Accommodation Scheme and, more recently, the introduction of long term leasing arrangements, with a lesser reliance on construction and acquisition, in line with the reform agenda clearly set out under the Government's housing policy statement, Delivering Homes, Sustaining Communities. This approach is enabling the Government to deal proactively with the new circumstances in the residential property market, seeking to make economic necessity and social need work in tandem.

I and my Department have met with representatives of NAMA to discuss how we might seek to ensure that a social dividend is secured through the long-term leasing of suitable residential units for social housing purposes, while providing a return in line with NAMA's mandate. With NAMA now operational, I anticipate that this engagement will continue and intensify in the period ahead.

Jan O'Sullivan

Ceist:

25 Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the adjustment that will be made to the provisions of the Housing (Incremental Purchase) Regulations 2009 in view of the radically changed market conditions; if the scheme will apply to tenants of council flats; if it is intended that unsold affordable housing units will be sold to qualifying tenants under the incremental purchase scheme; the anticipated cost of the scheme; the number of sales targeted under the scheme in 2010; the method of assessment that will be used to deem applicants suitable for this scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2464/10]

Part 3 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009, which provides the legal framework for the introduction of the Incremental Purchase Scheme (IPS), has been commenced and came into effect on 1 January 2010. The Part was commenced to allow incremental purchase arrangements to be applied to new housing units being supplied by housing authorities. The Housing (Incremental Purchase) Regulations 2009 set out the classes of dwellings to which incremental purchase arrangements apply and I have no proposals to amend those Regulations. Further Regulations will be required to give full effect to the detailed terms of the scheme; these are currently being drafted by my Department with the intention that the scheme be fully rolled out to housing authorities by mid-2010.

On foot of the Regulations already made, housing authorities have been instructed to begin the process of designating suitable new-build housing for incremental purchase by way of a Manager's Order. The sale of incremental purchase units, including the number to be sold and the extent to which the IPS may be used in dealing with unsold affordable housing stock, will be a matter for individual housing authorities to decide once the scheme is fully operational. Households that will be eligible for this scheme are those assessed as eligible for social housing support and existing tenants who wish to transfer to homes made available under the scheme, subject to satisfying certain criteria, including demonstrating a capacity to service the required mortgage.

A separate scheme for the sale of apartments, based on the principles of the incremental purchase model, is provided for in Part 4 of the 2009 Act. Part 4 has not yet been commenced as detailed Regulations are required to give full effect to the scheme. My Department will be working to finalise these Regulations as soon as possible after the incremental purchase arrangements under Part 3 of the Act are rendered fully operational.

EU Directives.

Ciaran Lynch

Ceist:

26 Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the cases being taken by the European Union against Ireland in relation to his failure to transpose or implement European Union directives in environmental law in tabular form; the stages of these cases; if fines are pending in relation to judgments against Ireland for breaches of environmental law; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2455/10]

In areas for which my Department has responsibility, the European Commission is currently in correspondence in respect of 31 cases relating to transposition and implementation of EU environmental legislation. The table lists the directives involved and indicates the various stages of proceedings in respect of these cases.

The Commission made a decision on 29 October 2009 to refer Ireland to the European Court of Justice for an imposition of fines in relation to the Directive on the quality required of shellfish waters, while deferring such referral for three months. Ireland has never been fined by the EU for an environmental infringement and I am confident that all outstanding aspects of this case will be completed to the satisfaction of the Commission within the timescale allowed for addressing the outstanding issues.

EU Instrument Number and General Reference

Article 226 Letter of Formal Notice

Article 226 Reasoned Opinion

Being Referred to the European Court of Justice

Before the European Court of Justice for a hearing or awaiting judgement

European Court of Justice Decision to be Implemented

Article 228 Letter of Formal Notice

Article 228 Reasoned Opinion

Total

75/442/EEC the waste directive

2

0

0

0

1

1

0

4

76/464/EEC on dangerous substances in water

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

79/409/EEC on wild birds

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

2

79/923/EEC on the quality required of shellfish waters

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

80/68/EEC on groundwater

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

1

80/778/EEC on the quality of drinking water for human consumption

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

85/337/EEC on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment

1

0

0

1

0

2

0

4

91/271/EEC on urban waste water treatment

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

2

92/43/EEC on habitats

0

0

1

0

0

1

1

3

96/61/EC concerning integrated pollution prevention and control

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

98/81/EC on the contained use of genetically modified micro-organisms

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

99/31/EC on landfill

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

2000/53/EC on end of life vehicles

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

2000/60/EC the water framework directive

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

2002/96/EC on waste electrical and electronic equipment

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

2001/42/EC on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

EU Instrument Number and General Reference

Article 226 Letter of Formal Notice

Article 226 Reasoned Opinion

Being Referred to the European Court of Justice

Before the European Court of Justice for a hearing or awaiting judgement

European Court of Justice Decision to be Implemented

Article 228 Letter of Formal Notice

Article 228 Reasoned Opinion

Total

2003/35/EC on public participation in certain plans and programmes relating to the environment

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

2006/21/EC on the management of waste from extractive industries and amending Directive 2004/35/EC

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

2006/118/EC on the protection of groundwater against pollution and deterioration

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

2007/2/EC establishing an infrastructure for spatial information in the EU –INSPIRE

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

1

Decision 2005/166/EC & Decision 280/2004/EC: Rules concerning a mechanism for monitoring Community greenhouse gas emissions and for implementing the Kyoto Protocol

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Total Number at each Stage

10

5

1

2

3

5

5

31

Note: the articles outlined above, under which the Commission is in correspondence, were those in place prior to the Lisbon Treaty coming into force.

Waste Management.

Seymour Crawford

Ceist:

27 Deputy Seymour Crawford asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the reason he did not review or change waste policy in his first years in office that might have prevented the Poolbeg incinerator, Dublin 4, being developed to the capacity currently planned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2507/10]

The Programme for Government agreed in 2007 signalled a fundamental change of policy in relation to waste management. Reflecting the ambition of the Programme commitment, I have repeatedly made clear that incineration can no longer be the cornerstone of Irish waste policy, and that it is the Government's intention not to support the provision of excessive incineration capacity but to maximise the diversion of waste for reuse, recycling, composting or anaerobic digestion. I have made my policy position clear to Dublin City Council on a number of occasions and have drawn their attention to the risks involved in proceeding with an incinerator with a very high level of capacity.

The Programme's objectives to implement this policy change included a commitment to carry out an international review of waste management plans, practices and procedures and to act on the conclusions. The report, by a group of Irish and international consultants engaged to carry out a major study to underpin the conclusion of the review, was published in November 2009.

This Report marks a new departure in our approach to waste management. I will be bringing proposals for the implementation of the recommendations in the report to Government as soon as possible in 2010. The Report of the International review provides the framework for waste policy in the coming years and certainty for those in the waste management sector, in particular in respect of investment decisions in relation to the provision of infrastructure and services.

Question No. 28 answered with Question No. 22.
Question No. 29 answered with Question No. 23.

Election Management System.

Ruairí Quinn

Ceist:

30 Deputy Ruairí Quinn asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government when it is anticipated the inter-departmental task force into the disposal of the redundant electronic voting equipment will report; the costs that have been incurred, including storage costs, since the establishment of the task force; the timeframe for the ending of outstanding leases and the disposal of the equipment; if penalties have been identified regarding the termination of leases; the scale of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2467/10]

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

299 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the progress made to date in efforts to dispose of the e-voting technology; if offers have been received; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2918/10]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 30 and 299 together.

On 23 April 2009, I announced that the Government had decided not to proceed with implementation of electronic voting in Ireland. Since then, a process has been put in place to address the issues that arise from the decision. An Interdepartmental Task Force, chaired by my Department, has been established to bring the project to an orderly conclusion and to oversee disposal of the equipment and termination of storage arrangements. To date, the Task Force has met three times, and it aims to complete its work as soon as possible.

In considering options for disposal of the equipment, the priority is to pursue the most economically advantageous approach, with a view to achieving the maximum recovery of cost possible in the circumstances, consistent with environmental and other obligations. Detailed consideration of all relevant factors is underway to inform the manner in which disposal of the machines will be effected. This includes contact with the original suppliers of the machines.

Details in respect of costs incurred for the storage of electronic voting equipment are gathered annually by my Department from Returning Officers, in January each year. Figures for storage costs in 2009 are currently being gathered and are therefore not yet available. Based on figures received in my Department from Returning Officers, the total annual costs for storage of the electronic voting equipment (including the cost of insurance, service charges, rates and heating) for 2008 were some €204,000.

In 2007, over 60% of the machines (4,762 in total) were moved from 12 local storage locations to a central facility at Gormanston Army Camp. The remaining machines are stored at 13 local premises that were originally identified by Returning Officers for this purpose. It is intended that all machines will be removed from their present locations when arrangements for disposal are implemented. Work on termination of local lease arrangements is proceeding in this context.

My Department engaged consultants with valuation expertise in May 2007, following competitive tendering, to examine individual leases and make recommendations on termination of leases where appropriate. In May 2008, I accepted the consultants' recommendations and these are currently being implemented. The consultants recommended termination of leases in 7 cases and this has since occurred in 3 locations. No additional payments were made in respect of these terminations.

Work is ongoing on concluding the other 4 leases. It is expected that, in certain instances, termination of lease arrangements will give rise to buy-out costs and these will be dependent on the outcome of negotiations.

Urban Renewal Schemes.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

31 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of urban renewal schemes cancelled in 2009 due to budget cuts and withdrawal of private developers from projects. [2328/10]

The 2007-2013 Urban and Village Regeneration Programme administered by my Department has been deferred due to budgetary constraints. No calls for proposals under this programme were issued by my Department to the Local Authorities.

Under the Urban and Village Renewal Programme 2000-2006, grant assistance was provided by my Department to local authorities for a range of interventions to upgrade the fabric of the built environment in cities, towns and villages. Final funding allocations under this Programme, which ended in early 2008, involved total EU and Exchequer co-financed expenditure of over €158m.

Natural Heritage Areas.

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

32 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his plans to manage turf cutting on designated bogs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2335/10]

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

42 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his plans regarding the management of turf cutting on designated bogs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2336/10]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 32 and 42 together.

The ten year derogation that allowed the continuation of turf-cutting on 32 Raised Bog Special Areas of Conservation notified for designation in 1999 has now expired. In the coming weeks I expect to receive a report from the Working Group on the Cessation of Turf Cutting in Designated Areas including recommendations for managing the cessation. I will conclude my consideration of these recommendations as rapidly as possible.

Water Service.

Noel Coonan

Ceist:

33 Deputy Noel J. Coonan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his views on whether the manner in which water investment and services are delivered is efficient; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2503/10]

Good progress has been made in recent years by local authorities in the provision and management of water services in their areas. This progress has been possible through high levels of investment coupled with new legislation on the supervision and enforcement of drinking water standards in public water supplies and the licensing of wastewater treatment plants.

There is an ongoing need to expand and improve our water and wastewater treatment capacity to ensure compliance with environmental standards and ECJ judgments, to anticipate future economic and social development needs and to ensure investment decisions reflect other national priorities such as the National Spatial Strategy. These issues have been central to the assessment of needs for water services infrastructure in their areas that I asked local authorities to undertake in recent months. These assessments will inform the Water Services Investment Programme 2010-2012, which I will publish early this year.

In addition, my Department is currently undertaking a Value for Money Study in relation to the efficiency and effectiveness of delivery of the Water Services Investment Programme as part of the Government's Value for Money Reviews for 2009-2011. The outcome of this study will also influence the implementation of future water services investment programmes.

EU Directives.

Joan Burton

Ceist:

34 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the steps he has taken to ensure that he will ratify the Aarhus Convention; if there are outstanding issues on legislation that he must attend to before he can ratify this convention; when he will be in a position to ratify this convention; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2448/10]

Joe Costello

Ceist:

66 Deputy Joe Costello asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the issues he must address in order to implement the European Union directive on public participation; the stage these steps to address any outstanding issues are at; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2449/10]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 34 and 66 together.

Ireland signed the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters on 25 June 1998. Progress towards ratification of the Convention is closely aligned with work at EU level and, in that context, the European Union has adopted two Directives as part of the ratification process for the Convention. These deal with public access to environmental information (2003/4/EC) and public participation in certain environmental decision-making procedures (2003/35/EC).

The European Communities (Access to Information on the Environment) Regulations 2007 came into effect on 1 May 2007. These Regulations transpose EU Directive 2003/4/EC on public access to environmental information.

The process to transpose the Public Participation Directive is well advanced. The recent European Court of Justice judgment in case C427/07 concerning the Public Participation Directive requires certain legislative amendments which my Department is prioritising in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General. When this work has been completed I, along with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, will ensure that the instrument of ratification of the Aarhus Convention is submitted to Government and laid before the Dáil as a matter of urgency.

Dublin Docklands Development Authority.

Paul Connaughton

Ceist:

35 Deputy Paul Connaughton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if there is exposure to the taxpayer via the Dublin Docklands Development Authority following the inability of the authority’s partner in the Irish Glass Bottle site to pay court ordered debts; the significance this will have for the DDDA and the Irish Glass Bottle site; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2499/10]

Joan Burton

Ceist:

46 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the expected cost to the Exchequer in 2009 and in 2010 of losses recorded by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority; the extent the DDDA has taken on or is expected to take on borrowing commitments on foot of its losses; if he will take the necessary steps to give authority to the Comptroller and Auditor General to scrutinise the accounts of the DDDA; the steps he will take to make the DDDA subject to the Freedom of Information Acts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [44894/09]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 35 and 46 together.

I understand that the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) is vigorously contesting the action taken by Donatex Ltd. in the Commercial Court over the terms of a property deal to purchase the former Irish Glass Bottle Company site in Ringsend, as part of the Joint Venture with the Authority and Memphal Ltd. It would be inappropriate for me to comment on matters which are before the Courts, including the potential impact of other related court cases on the Donatex/DDDA case.

Regarding the Authority's financial outlook, the Chair of the Authority, during her appearance at the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Environment, Heritage and Local Government on 1 December 2009, indicated that she expected the Authority to report a significantly reduced operating deficit for last year by comparison to the 2008 deficit of €27 million. The final position for last year, including in relation to borrowings, will be set out in the Authority's 2009 accounts in due course. No funding was provided to the DDDA from the Exchequer in 2009.

The Chair has also indicated that the Board has set an objective to return the Authority to a break-even situation as soon as possible. The Authority is in ongoing dialogue with my Department and the Department of Finance in relation to its financial position.

The Authority's accounts are audited by independent external auditors. Under existing legislation, the Authority, along with many other State and semi-State commercial bodies, is outside the remit of the Comptroller and Auditor General. Last Autumn, I asked the Authority's Chair, who is an acknowledged expert in corporate governance matters, to prepare a report on corporate governance within the Authority. I will consider the most appropriate response to the findings of this report once it has been formally submitted to me in the coming weeks. In that context, I will keep the issue of any future involvement on the part of the Comptroller and Auditor General under review.

It is important to note that under existing arrangements, it is open to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Environment, Heritage and Local Government to request the Authority to appear before it, thus affording Oireachtas Members an opportunity to question the Authority on its activities and outlook. As indicated above, the last such appearance by the Authority's Chair and Acting CEO took place on 1 December 2009.

The DDDA is already subject to the requirements of the Freedom of Information Acts, under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 1997 (Prescribed Bodies) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 297 of 31 May 2006).

Waste Management.

Lucinda Creighton

Ceist:

36 Deputy Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if his policy on incineration in waste management has been changed in view of the High Court’s ruling on the 21 December 2009 that Dublin City Council’s decision to change the capital’s waste collection system is invalid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2475/10]

The Programme for Government agreed in 2007 signalled a fundamental change of policy in relation to waste management. Reflecting the ambition of the Programme commitment, I have repeatedly made clear that incineration can no longer be the cornerstone of Irish waste policy, and that it is the Government's intention not to support the provision of excessive incineration capacity but to maximise the diversion of waste for reuse, recycling, composting or anaerobic digestion. I have made my policy position clear to Dublin City Council on a number of occasions and have drawn their attention to the risks involved in proceeding with an incinerator with a very high level of capacity.

The Programme's objectives to implement this policy change included a commitment to carry out an international review of waste management plans, practices and procedures and to act on the conclusions. The report, by a group of Irish and international consultants engaged to carry out a major study to underpin the conclusion of the review, was published in November 2009.

This Report marks a new departure in our approach to waste management. I will be bringing proposals for the implementation of the recommendations in the report to Government as soon as possible in 2010. The Report of the International review provides the framework for waste policy in the coming years and certainty for those in the waste management sector, in particular in respect of investment decisions in relation to the provision of infrastructure and services.

The ruling of the High Court does not change my policy on incineration. It substantiates and augments the concerns which I have expressed, including to Dublin City Council, about the potential liabilities which could accrue to ratepayers and ultimately taxpayers as a result of the scale of the proposed incinerator which they propose to build.

Planning Issues.

Jim O'Keeffe

Ceist:

37 Deputy Jim O’Keeffe asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will introduce legislation to amend the Planning Acts to provide for a three year extension on the five year time limit applicable to all current planning permissions to take into account the major economic, financial, banking and other factors which have resulted in the collapse of building activity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2298/10]

Section 42 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 provides that, on application, the duration of a planning permission (normally five years) shall be extended, subject to certain requirements being complied with, including that substantial works have been carried out before the expiration of the original permission.

Section 23 of the Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2009, which was passed by Seanad Éireann on 1 December 2009 and is currently on Second Stage in Dáil Éireann, proposes to amend this provision by providing for the extension of planning permission where substantial works have not been carried out, but where there were commercial, economic or technical considerations, beyond the control of the applicant, which substantially mitigated against either the commencement of development or the carrying out of substantial works.

The National Asset Management Agency Act 2009 contains a provision similar to section 23 above in respect of applications from the National Asset Management Agency for extension of the duration of planning permission.

Social and Affordable Housing.

Jan O'Sullivan

Ceist:

38 Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the provision that has been made to re-house persons occupying unsold affordable housing units at the end of the five year leasing period; if it is intended that tenants would move to another property and re-enter the housing list; if so, the stage at which same would be carried out; if the unsold affordable housing unit would be automatically or potentially leased for another five years; if, in the event that they are re-leased, these properties will be designated as social housing for rental purposes on a permanent basis; the rationale of leasing unsold affordable housing units for five years and subsequently for another five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2463/10]

The social housing leasing initiative encompasses a number of different strands, one of which provides local authorities with the option to lease vacant and unsold affordable units to approved housing bodies, for a fixed period of five years, with the units concerned being made available to households eligible for social housing support.

At the end of the five year lease period, there will be a range of options available that will protect the interest of the tenants, while at the same time opening up new opportunities to pursue purchase options. In summary, the housing authority may—

(a) sell the units to the existing tenants under the new incremental purchase arrangements;

(b) sell the home as an affordable unit;

(c) extend the leasing arrangement for a further period of up to five years, or

(d) take the unit into its housing stock and continue to rent it to the household concerned, subject to having sufficient funding within its capital allocation and obtaining my Department's prior approval.

At the end of the lease period, if the unit is not sold to the tenant or taken into the social housing stock, it will be the responsibility of the housing authority to meet the ongoing social housing need of the household concerned.

The rationale for using unsold affordable units to accommodate social housing tenants in the short to medium term is to match existing vacant housing stock available to housing authorities with the housing needs of those in need of social housing support. In the wider context, it supports the objective of providing a flexible system of graduated housing supports using a ‘lifecycle' approach to meeting housing need, in line with changes in this regard underpinned by the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009. These changes will provide for a more objective approach to determining housing need, with more regular assessments to help shape the social housing investment programme, to determine eligibility for social housing support, to identify special needs and to assess the relative priority of households to receive support.

Water Services.

Joe Costello

Ceist:

39 Deputy Joe Costello asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the position regarding the amount allocated for capital investment in water services in the budgets of 2008 and 2009; the amount actually spent; the amount returned, if any, to his Department unspent; the amount that has been spent on works carried out using the allocation for capital investment in water services in 2008 and 2009; the progress that has been made in upgrading the water services infrastructure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2450/10]

The allocations and expenditure outturns for 2008 and 2009 in respect of Exchequer funded investment in water services infrastructure, together with the estimated additional expenditure incurred directly by local authorities to meet the marginal capital costs associated with the provision of services to the non-domestic sector are set out in the following table.

There was continued good progress on the provision of water services infrastructure in 2008 and 2009, with over 80 schemes/contracts coming to completion during that time. Data for 2008 show an increase in treatment capacity equivalent to a population of 367,195 in the case of wastewater and 77,308 in the case of water supply. Similar data in relation to 2009 are not yet available.

Year

Exchequer Allocation

Exchequer Outturn

Est. Non-Exchequer Expenditure

€m

€m

€m

2008

471.374

496.374

115.000

2009

500.000

512.000

130.000

Local Authority Staffing.

Ciaran Lynch

Ceist:

40 Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of permanent staff and temporary staff employed by each local authority in 2007, 2008, 2009 and to date in 2010; the number of staff cuts in each local authority area since the general election of 2007; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2456/10]

The following table lists the number of permanent staff and temporary staff employed in each local authority as returned to my Department for the end of September 2009, the most recent date for which figures are available. The corresponding figures for September 2007 and September 2008 are included for comparative purposes and the table accordingly shows the change in staffing levels in each local authority over the period in question.

Local Authority

Permanent End of September 2007

Temporary End of September 2007

Permanent End of September 2008

Temporary End of September 2008

Permanent End of September 2009

Temporary End of September 2009

County

Carlow

316

48

320

41

301

25

Cavan

454

31

467

22

441

20

Clare

833

118

773

146

749

97

Cork

2,367

278

2,418

428

2,335

89

Donegal

972

316

987

299

980

83

Dun Laoghaire

1,248

138

1,200

87

1,145

70

Fingal

1,503

110

1,528

100

1,464

47

Galway

885

178

875

206

850

107

Kerry

1,142

228

1,163

227

1,167

90

Kildare

889

190

908

200

917

56

Kilkenny

560

64

559

99

550

34

Laois

373

43

385

65

386

24

Leitrim

304

56

313

47

299

12

Limerick

743

103

760

57

722

30

Longford

336

42

351

51

311

26

Louth

669

85

711

35

691

15

Mayo

1,087

139

1,096

136

1,131

145

Meath

633

157

634

168

652

77

Monaghan

424

48

436

33

428

14

Offaly

434

67

457

46

459

27

Roscommon

517

60

529

60

520

36

Sligo

518

88

528

71

511

32

South Dublin

1,316

140

1,288

192

1,246

169

North Tipperary

453

131

426

123

481

42

South Tipperary

675

38

676

43

664

9

Waterford

525

58

529

75

530

40

Westmeath

481

93

482

85

472

35

Wexford

784

105

791

102

775

53

Wicklow

764

162

755

186

750

144

City

Cork

1,421

140

1,422

106

1,408

41

Dublin

6,485

487

6,759

212

6,538

131

Galway

429

86

415

136

418

69

Limerick

513

42

518

49

516

19

Waterford

383

83

386

91

375

56

Totals

31,436

4,152

31,845

4,024

31,182

1,964

Total

35,588

35,869

33,146

Fire Services.

Sean Sherlock

Ceist:

41 Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of full-time firefighters in 2008 and 2009; if there is an embargo on recruitment to the fire service; the number of requests for recruitment applications that have been accepted; the number that were refused in 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2471/10]

In accordance with Government policy and implementing instructions from the Department of Finance relating to the general moratorium on the filling of public sector posts, local authorities were given sanction to recruit full-time fire fighters without recourse to my Department. This sanction applied from 13 May until 20 August 2009, when the Department of Finance delegated sanction for the implementation of the moratorium to my Department on condition that the overall staffing levels in the local authority sector were to be reduced significantly by the end of 2010 in adherence to Government policy on staffing and numbers in the public sector.

Subsequent to 20 August 2009, local authorities require sanction from my Department for the filling of any vacancies which arise. One application for recruitment of a full-time fire fighter has since been received, and has been approved.

The recruitment of fire-fighters is reflected in the quarterly returns which local authorities provide to my Department. The number of full-time fire fighters employed by local authorities as returned to my Department for the end of December 2008 was 1,303 and for the end of September 2009 — the date of the most recent figures available — was 1,271.

Question No. 42 answered with Question No. 32.

Local Authority Housing.

Pat Rabbitte

Ceist:

43 Deputy Pat Rabbitte asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of regeneration projects, both by local authorities and under the public private partnership initiative, scheduled to commence in the years 2008, 2009 and 2010; the position regarding these projects; if new projects are due to commence in 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2469/10]

The current ambitious multi-annual regeneration programme includes a broad range of projects from smaller estates in regional towns, to inner city flat complexes in Dublin City. In line with international best practice, each project encompasses a range of activities to deliver integrated physical, social and economic regeneration, incorporating masterplanning, social inclusion interventions, and a planned mix of public and private investment in housing stock, infrastructure and facilities. Generally, the programme is reviewed on an annual basis in the context of finalising funding allocations, with new projects added and additional elements of existing projects advanced, as resources permit. The timing and duration of the individual elements vary over the lifetime of the project. I intend to announce funding allocations for the 2010 programme shortly.

The following table presents an overview of the regeneration programme and the stage of each project. The table also includes details in relation to a number of projects which were previously expected to be progressed through the Dublin PPP Regeneration Programme — it is a matter for Dublin City Council, in the first instance, to consider how to proceed with other projects formerly within that programme. In addition, in the light of changes in the housing market, a number of affordable housing projects, which had been earmarked to proceed by PPP arrangements, are not now to proceed.

Project

Description

Project Status

Ballymun, Dublin City Council

Construction of new housing started in 2000 and since then, the project has delivered 1431 social, 105 voluntary, and 1228 private and affordable units, with almost 400 more units under construction. At the same time a significant demolition programme has led to the creation of a new landscape and streetscape for the town centre and surrounding neighbourhoods. The area has also benefited from significant social investment e.g. new community facilities, parks, and the Axis theatre, as well as facilitating new economic opportunities.

The major public investment programme is ongoing, with a number of additional projects being approved to tender stage in 2009. The Ballymun Regeneration Ltd. 2009 Housing Strategy is currently under consideration.

Dublin City Council — Inner City Flats

Over the past decade the Government has invested over €100 million in the Dublin City Council inner city flats regeneration programme to improve the accommodation quality of the complexes as well as to address issues of anti-social behaviour and the serious drugs problem in those areas.

Investment in approved projects at Poplar Row, Lourdes House, and Seán Treacy House is ongoing.

Former Dublin PPP Regeneration Programme

The Department has been liaising closely with Dublin City Council to ensure that the former PPP regeneration projects are considered for inclusion in the national regeneration programme. To that end, the Council has submitted project plans for St. Michael’s Estate, and an outline proposal for the approach to the future redevelopment of O’Devaney Gardens and Dominick Street. Detailed proposals for these latter two projects are expected in 2010/2011.

Dublin City Council approved to go to tender for Phase 1 of the St. Michael’s Estate project in 2009.

Knocknaheeny and the Glen Regeneration Projects, Cork City Council

Cork City Council has for many years now been advancing an ambitious regeneration programme in both Knocknaheeny and the Glen. 2009 saw the substantial completion of the project at Knocknaheeny D as well as the site enabling works for phase 2 of the Glen project.

2009 saw the substantial completion of the project at Knocknaheeny D as well as the site enabling works for phase 2 of the Glen project.

Waterford City Council Regeneration Programme

Waterford City Council continues to advance its regeneration programme focussed on some of the most disadvantaged estates in the City area at Ardmore, Larchville, and Lisduggan. This programme involves the substantial refurbishment of 738 houses, as well as some strategic infill, is being carried out on a phased basis.

The overall project is ongoing with approvals currently in place for projects at Ardmore phases 2 and 3, Lisduggan phases 2 and 3, and Larchville phases 1A and 1B.

Project

Description

Project Status

Limerick City Regeneration

The Department continues to support the regeneration programme in the areas of Moyross, Southill, St. Mary’s Park and Ballinacurra Weston of the City. The Government endorsed the overall vision for a ten year transformation of the Limerick Regeneration areas, as set out in the Limerick Regeneration Programme, in December 2009.

Since the establishment in 2007 of the Limerick Northside and Southside Regeneration Agencies, the City has seen significant investment of some €51m in the development of the overall programme, in the demolition of properties to facilitate construction, and in support for community, enterprise, environmental improvements and social inclusion activities. The relevant Departments and agencies are now working to finalise the Phase One elements of the Programme by the end of the first quarter of 2010, for final consideration by Government at that stage.

Mitchel’s Crescent, Tralee Town Council

Following a broad consultation with the communities, and stakeholders, the masterplan for the Mitchel’s Crescent Regeneration in the town was completed in 2008. This plan sets out a multi-annual programme of physical and social regeneration for the Mitchel’s Crescent area involving demolition, construction, refurbishment, and social/community investment.

Significant progress has been made over the past two years in the delivery of key elements of the regeneration programme e.g. phase 1 Tobar Naofa, demolition of St. Patrick’s Bungalows, and social inclusion activities. Further construction projects, such as the integrated services centre and the redevelopment of Moyderwell Convent are at an advanced stage of planning, as are a new community garden and allotments

Cranmore Estate, Sligo Borough Council

Cranmore Estate is a 41 acre site with over 500 houses accommodating over 2,500 people and is an area with high levels of social, educational and economic disadvantage. The Council have, over the past number of years, been developing a masterplan for the area and implementing the area’s social plan.

The project is still at the masterplanning stage and the Council continues to progress a programme of local preparatory and amenity works, as well as social inclusion activities.

Cox’s Demesne, Dundalk Town Council

The Department continues to work closely with the Town Council to ensure the timely delivery of the regeneration masterplan for the Cox’s Demesne area. This plan will provide for a multi-annual programme of physical and social regeneration for the Cox’s Demesne area involving demolition, construction, refurbishment, and social/community investment as well as promoting greater integration of the estate within the wider area.

The project is still at the masterplanning stage and the Council continues to progress a programme of local preparatory and amenity works, as well as social inclusion activities.

EU Directives.

Jack Wall

Ceist:

44 Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the steps that have been taken to comply with EU directives on waste management that require Ireland to reduce the amount of organic waste going to landfill by 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2454/10]

Meeting the requirements of the landfill directive is a key national priority in respect of waste management and I am committed to implementing the measures necessary to ensure that Ireland meets the 2010, and subsequent, EU landfill diversion targets. Data from the National Waste Report 2008, published by the EPA, show that the quantity of biodegradable municipal waste disposed to landfill decreased by 19% in 2008 to approximately 1.2 million tonnes, which leaves Ireland requiring to divert a further 280,000 tonnes in order to meet the first landfill directive target due in July 2010.

In December 2009 I signed the Waste Management (Food Waste) Regulations 2009, which are designed to promote the segregation and beneficial use of food waste arising in the commercial sector.

Also in December, I increased the landfill levy by the currently permitted annual maximum of €5 per tonne to €25 per tonne and I intend to increase it to €30 from 1 February 2010. This will begin to address the race to the bottom in landfill gate fees, which we are now witnessing and which acts as a barrier to achieving the diversion targets.

I intend to publish a Bill on levies generally and this will provide for further substantial increases in the landfill levy. The Bill will also address the extension of levies to other waste facilities.

In 2008, my Department issued a circular letter to all local authorities to drive forward the roll out of brown bins and promote the use of home composting. I will be issuing a further circular letter to local authorities to accelerate progress in the roll out of brown bins and further promote the benefits of home composting.

I am confident that all of the above measures will contribute significantly to the achievement of the targets for the diversion of waste from landfill and a reduction in our overall use of such facilities.

Waste Management.

Eamon Gilmore

Ceist:

45 Deputy Eamon Gilmore asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of local authorities that have a brown bin collection in place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2451/10]

The National Waste Report 2008, published by the EPA, provides the latest data in this regard. The separate kerbside collection of household food and garden waste in brown bins increased substantially from 18,705 tonnes in 2007 to 37,920 tonnes in 2008 and I would expect to see further increases in 2009 and into the future.

The number of local authority areas where household brown bin waste was collected at kerbside increased from 13 in 2007 to 16 in 2008 mainly due to private operators offering the service.

A comprehensive circular letter (WPPR 17/08) issued to each local authority in July 2008 requesting that appropriate steps be taken to support an accelerated roll out of segregated collections for organic waste ('brown bins') both to domestic households and to commercial organisations. Such bins could be provided directly by local authorities where the local authorities remain in the business of waste collection or, alternatively, utilising the existing waste collection permitting system where the service is provided by the private sector. My Department intends to issue a further circular letter to local authorities to accelerate progress in the roll out of brown bins and further promote the benefits of home composting.

Question No. 46 answered with Question No. 35.

Emergency Planning.

James Bannon

Ceist:

47 Deputy James Bannon asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the actions he will now take to ensure Ireland is properly prepared for a severe weather emergency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2479/10]

I refer to the reply to Questions Nos. 275 and 286 of 20 January 2010.

Water Services

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

48 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the steps he will take to ensure the provision and availability of adequate domestic drinking water storage facilities with particular reference for the need to meet a specific minimum requirement at all times regardless of weather or other conditions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2616/10]

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

292 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government when it will be possible to increase domestic water storage capacity to a minimum level whereby water shortages associated with freezing conditions might be alleviated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2911/10]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 48 and 292 together.

It is the responsibility of the relevant water services authority to deliver quality public water supplies to meet current and future needs. My Department co-ordinates and finances a major programme of investment in improved drinking water supply infrastructure, on which some €1.8 billion has been invested by the Government in the period 2000-2009. Substantial funding of €508 million is being provided this year from the Exchequer for the provision of water services infrastructure.

This level of investment continues to reflect the priority assigned by Government to meeting EU standards for drinking water and providing critical water supply infrastructure, which has seen additional drinking water treatment capacity and additional drinking water storage capacity equivalent to the needs of a population of 855,000 and 1.5 million, respectively, provided in the period 2000 — 2008.

The recent weather has pointed up the need to sustain our efforts in the provision of water services infrastructure and, in particular, the replacement and rehabilitation of older mains which were damaged during the cold spell. A greater focus on such works will be a key priority of the Water Services Investment Programme 2010-2012, which I expect to publish early this year.

Local Authority Funding.

Lucinda Creighton

Ceist:

49 Deputy Lucinda Creighton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the co-ordination, support or extra funding that will be provided by his Department to local authorities suffering from water shortages; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2476/10]

General-purpose grants from the Local Government Fund are the contribution that my Department makes to local authorities to meet the gap between the cost to them of providing a reasonable level of day-to-day services and the income they obtain from other sources. A total of €870 million in General-Purpose Grants will be provided to local authorities from the Local Government Fund in 2010.

It is a matter for each local authority to prioritise its spending, within the resources available to it, across the range of services it provides. Equally, local authorities must ensure full value for money for the resources invested, and seek the maximum efficiency across their operations. I am satisfied that the general purpose grant allocations I have provided for 2010, together with the income available from other sources, will enable local authorities to deal with the adverse winter weather conditions and continue to provide an acceptable level of service to their customers.

In the last ten years a total of €1.8 billion has been invested by the Exchequer in providing new supply water infrastructure under the water services investment programme.

Recent water services investment programmes have also included a specific sub-programme on water conservation. Funding was provided to local authorities to put water management systems in place to monitor water use and losses throughout the supply networks, fix leaks and replace defective pipes where repair is no longer an economic option. Exchequer spending on water conservation since 2003 amounted to €130 million.

This investment provides the platform for intensive investment in mains rehabilitation which will be a key priority under the next water services investment programme for 2010 to 2012 which is currently being finalised in my Department. In inviting local authorities to prepare needs assessments as an input to developing the new programme, the authorities were asked to prioritise key contracts and schemes in this area; and they will also be required to prioritise water conservation works as an alternative to new infrastructure provision. A greater proportion of the funds available annually under the programme will be assigned specifically to water conservation works.

Water Services.

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

50 Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the percentage of water as supplied by each local authority lost due to wastage and leakage; the annual cost per local authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2473/10]

The Services Indicators in Local Authorities 2008 report, a copy of which is available from the Oireachtas Library, includes information on ‘Unaccounted for Water'' (UFW) in each local authority. UFW includes leakage in addition to other factors including unauthorised connections, unmetered connections and metering errors.

My Department does not have figures for the "cost" of UFW. This figure will vary from scheme to scheme depending on production cost, extent of UFW and any infrastructural cost incurred to compensate for the UFW.

Water conservation, which includes the management of water supply systems, active leakage control and mains rehabilitation, has been the focus of a specific sub-programme under my Department's Water Services Investment Programme. It has led to reductions in the levels of water unaccounted for, improved knowledge of the condition of water distribution networks and consumption patterns, and an improvement in the level and quality of supply to consumers. Since 2003, local authorities have spent over €130 million on these services with significant Exchequer support. Water conservation works will be a key priority under the next investment programme, which will cover the period 2010-2012. The metering of domestic connections will contribute to greater water conservation by facilitating enhanced network management by local authorities and a more sustainable approach to water use by domestic consumers.

Social and Affordable Housing.

Brian O'Shea

Ceist:

51 Deputy Brian O’Shea asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of local authorities that have engaged with the leasing initiative; if participating local authorities have been unable to identify properties suitable for leasing; if local authorities have indicated that they will not participate in the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2461/10]

I refer to the reply to Question No. 2 on today's Order Paper.

To date, some 27 housing authorities and four approved housing bodies have had projects approved under the social housing leasing initiative. These projects comprise over 1,900 units. No housing authorities have indicated that they will not participate in the initiative.

In the first instance, many authorities rightly focused on bringing into the leasing initiative unsold affordable housing which they already had on hands themselves. In terms of rolling out the leasing initiative more widely, I am confident that there is a considerable quantum of suitable available vacant accommodation around the country which could be made available for leasing. Given the work which my Department has undertaken to support the leasing initiative, including the preparation of standard legal documentation and its extension to include the voluntary and co-operative housing sector, and given the impact of the establishment of the National Assets Management Agency in terms of addressing uncertainty in the banking and property sectors, I am satisfied that a solid basis is being put in place to support increased delivery under the initiative this year.

House Prices.

Willie Penrose

Ceist:

52 Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government when the new house price database will be available; if it is intended that the necessary legislative changes will have been made to enable the publication of house selling prices when the house price database is available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2465/10]

I refer to the reply to Question No. 308 of 15 December 2009. The relevant Government Departments and agencies will be working in the coming months with a view to the development, as soon as possible, of the new house price database.

Climate Change.

Michael D. Higgins

Ceist:

53 Deputy Michael D. Higgins asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government when the national strategy for adaptation to climate change will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2453/10]

On foot of a commitment contained in the National Climate Change Strategy, my Department is currently in the process of developing a national climate change adaptation framework. This work will run in parallel with the development of a Climate Change Bill which will enshrine in legislation policies and principles in relation to climate change, and will include specific provisions on climate change adaptation.

The planned adaptation framework and proposed legislation will provide a basis for integrating adaptation considerations into decision-making at both national and local level. I propose to introduce statutory requirements for public bodies to assess the risks arising from current and predicted impacts of climate change and to develop appropriate responses to these risks.

I intend publishing the adaptation framework in the first half of this year.

Local Authority Housing.

Martin Ferris

Ceist:

54 Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of new housing units and halting sites made available to members of the travelling community in 2009. [2334/10]

The information requested in respect of 2008 and previous years is published in my Department's Annual Housing Statics Bulletin, copies of which are available in the Oireachtas Library and on my Department's website at www.environ.ie. Information in respect of 2009 is not yet available.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions.

Eamon Gilmore

Ceist:

55 Deputy Eamon Gilmore asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the position regarding the amount of money that is to be paid under the Kyoto Protocol, if any, for exceeding our carbon emissions targets for 2008 and 2009; if he will be required to purchase carbon credits for 2008 and 2009; when these carbon credits will have to be purchased; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2452/10]

In the period 2008-2012, Ireland will meet its target for the purposes of the Kyoto Protocol through a series of national measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, supplemented as necessary by the purchase of carbon units on the international market. Government policy in this regard is set out in the National Climate Chance Strategy 2007-2013 and, for the purpose of purchasing carbon units as required, the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA) has been designated as purchasing agent for the State.

The total cost of purchasing carbon units for Kyoto compliance purposes in the commitment period 2008-2012 is estimated at €99.6 million. This is made up of €73.7 million for credits already purchased by the NTMA and €25.9 million for credits to be delivered prior to 2012 from investments made in the Carbon Funds operated by the World Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

In 2008 the NTMA purchased 3.455m carbon credits at a cost of some €52.1 million. In 2009, they purchased 1.8m units at a cost of some €21.6 million.

The economic downturn has implications for the carbon credit purchasing programme. Recent EPA projections suggest that, with full implementation of all announced emission reduction measures, sufficient carbon units may already have been purchased or contracted for, to meet our Kyoto commitments. In these circumstances, the NTMA has been asked to put its purchasing programme on hold for the foreseeable future. Purchasing requirements are being kept under review and will be revised as necessary in the light of future projections.

Local Authority Staff.

Mary Upton

Ceist:

56 Deputy Mary Upton asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of local authority employees who have applied for the incentivised early retirement, the incentive career break scheme and the shorter working year scheme; the number approved for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2447/10]

The Government's policy on staffing and numbers in the public sector, including local government, is to ensure that overall staffing levels are significantly reduced. Together with the existing recruitment moratorium, three further schemes to support this objective were announced by the Minister for Finance in his Budget Statement of 7 April 2009 — the incentivised scheme of early retirement, the special incentive career break scheme and the shorter working year scheme.

The purpose of the incentivised scheme of early retirement scheme was to facilitate the permanent, structural reduction in the numbers of staff serving in the local authorities. Figures supplied by the local authorities, indicate that 300 local authority employees applied for the scheme, of whom 272 have been approved and have completed the necessary documentation. The majority of these 272 employees have already retired from employment, with the remainder scheduled to leave in 2010.

The special incentive career break scheme for local authority employees was introduced as part of the Government's efforts to achieve a reduction in spending on the paybill. Figures supplied by local authorities, indicate that 294 staff have availed of the scheme from a total of 321 applications received.

The purpose of the shorter working year scheme is to permit local authority employees to balance their working arrangements with outside commitments. Special leave without pay is available for periods of 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, or 13 consecutive weeks. The application period and the scheme itself are currently open ended and applicants are free to apply for the scheme at any time. The information on the numbers availing of the scheme is not available in my Department.

Social and Affordable Housing.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Ceist:

57 Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will make a statement on the progress of his aim to expand the social and affordable housing scheme to meet the needs of 90,000 households as laid down in the programme for Government. [2332/10]

Despite the challenges currently faced in the housing sector, significant levels of activity have been achieved under the range of housing supports funded by my Department in recent years. Through these, the accommodation needs of over 20,200 households were met in 2008, an increase of 10% on corresponding figure of 18,300 in 2007. Final data in respect of 2009 are not yet available.

Meeting housing need remains a high priority for the Government. While ensuring that we can deliver across the full range of needs, the scale and composition of the public housing programme in the years ahead will be dependent on a number of factors, including the level of available funding and the evolution of the housing market generally.

I am determined to ensure that the overall delivery programme is framed in a manner which continues to optimise the way in which needs are met. To achieve this, it is essential that we tailor the available Exchequer supports to prevailing market conditions, and explore alternative solutions to address needs, having full regard to the sustainable communities philosophy outlined in the Government's housing policy statement, Delivering Homes, Sustaining Communities.

To this end, the range of delivery mechanisms continues to be adapted and expanded. For example, last year, I introduced a new social housing leasing initiative, under which in excess of 1,900 units were sourced in 2009 and through which I expect a substantial number of units to be provided in the years ahead to meet housing needs, estimated at just over 56,000 households in the 2008 housing needs assessment. This, together with the rental accommodation scheme, complements the traditional capital funded programmes operated through local authorities and the voluntary and co-operative housing sector.

I will be keeping the leasing initiative and all the other housing programmes under ongoing review to ensure that they are appropriately geared towards meeting the maximum level of housing need.

In relation to affordable housing, rather than setting targets for delivery, the emphasis this year, having regard to developments in the housing market, will be on continuing to progress measures to ensure the most effective deployment of already delivered but unsold affordable homes, including their use for social housing purposes.

Brian O'Shea

Ceist:

58 Deputy Brian O’Shea asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of persons on social housing lists by local authority in each of the past three years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2462/10]

The number of households on a local authority's waiting list continuously fluctuates as households on the list are allocated housing and new households apply for housing support. My Department does not hold information in relation to the numbers currently on waiting lists in local authorities.

A statutory assessment of housing need is carried out every three years by all housing authorities in accordance with the terms of the Housing Act 1988. The last assessment took place in 2008 and indicated that there were 56,249 households in need of social housing support. Further information regarding the assessment, including a breakdown of housing need figures by housing authority, is available on my Department's website at www.environ.ie.

Local Authority Funding.

Jack Wall

Ceist:

59 Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if funding is available for the restoration and upkeep of thatched cottages in our communities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47036/09]

Under my Department's renewal or repair of thatch roofs of a house grant scheme, a grant up to €3,810, or two thirds of the approved cost, whichever is the lesser, may be payable in respect of necessary works to renew or repair the thatched roofs of houses. A higher grant of up to €5,714 may be payable where the house is situated on certain specified islands off the west and south coasts. In the case of medical card holders, a grant of up to €6,350, or up to 80% of the approved cost, may be payable in respect of houses situated on the mainland, rising to €8,252 where the house is situated on a specified off-shore island.

Eligibility under the grant scheme is contingent on the house being occupied as a normal place of residence on completion of the approved works.

Social and Affordable Housing.

Arthur Morgan

Ceist:

60 Deputy Arthur Morgan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will ring-fence money obtained from the sale of social and affordable housing units to put towards obtaining further units to ensure the stock of housing is not depleted. [2330/10]

My Department's housing capital programme has provided significant investment in the construction and acquisition of new social housing stock, as well as supporting major regeneration and remedial works schemes for existing housing stock, thereby ensuring that the overall social housing stock is not depleted. From 1 January 2007, local authorities were given direct control in relation to their internal capital receipts from the sale of local authority dwellings, to be used primarily for extensive improvement works programmes, and on occasion, for additional stock. My Department approves the overall annual programmes and it is the responsibility of individual local authorities to prioritise and advance the range of projects included in their programmes.

Section 13 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 provides that any moneys accruing to a housing authority from the sale of a dwelling owned by the authority "shall be accounted for by the housing authority in a separate account and, subject to the prior approval of the Minister, may be used for the provision of housing or for the refurbishment or maintenance of existing housing, or any other related purposes". I have no plans, at present, to direct local authorities to ring-fence any such monies solely for the construction or acquisition of new units. Sales of local authority dwellings have, in any event, shown a sharp decline over 2009 and the schemes for local authority sales of affordable housing units were designed to cover the costs of delivering the units, rather than to generate additional funds.

Tax Yield.

Pat Rabbitte

Ceist:

61 Deputy Pat Rabbitte asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the amount collected to date by each local authority under the non-principal private residence tax; the way the amount collected by each local authority compares with the amount estimated; the amount of the moneys collected that has been reissued to each local authority and town council respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2470/10]

The amounts collected to date under the non-principal private residence charge and the net amounts pertaining to each local authority as at 15 January 2010 are detailed in the following table. The net figures incorporate a reduction of approximately 1% on average to cover administration and transaction charges. My Department does not have figures relating to amounts received by town councils, as under section 15 of the Local Government (Charges) Act 2009, the distribution of moneys in this regard is a matter for the relevant county council.

The non-principal private residence charge was originally estimated to bring in approximately €40 million in 2009, based on a conservative estimate of 200,000 liable properties in the State. This figure was drawn from the 2006 Census and information supplied by the Private Residential Tenancies Board (PRTB). I do not have a detailed breakdown of these estimates by local authority area.

NPPR Totals — to 15 January 2010

Total received

Net amount to local authority

Dublin City Council

10,636,080

10,541,338

Cork County Council

4,778,840

4,727,778

Fingal County Council

2,864,060

2,832,864

Kerry County Council

2,749,420

2,727,583

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council

2,628,520

2,600,155

Donegal County Council

2,420,920

2,390,497

Wexford County Council

2,349,600

2,327,046

Cork City Council

2,220,460

2,200,709

South Dublin County Council

2,116,460

2,092,520

Galway City Council

1,972,240

1,952,720

Galway County Council

1,883,120

1,867,284

Clare County Council

1,788,500

1,773,944

Kildare County Council

1,775,980

1,756,650

Mayo County Council

1,774,940

1,752,606

Wicklow County Council

1,342,340

1,330,382

Limerick County Council

1,286,580

1,272,693

Meath County Council

1,221,580

1,206,603

Limerick City Council

1,183,420

1,173,320

Louth County Council

1,040,460

1,027,901

Sligo County Council

1,000,880

987,845

Westmeath County Council

912,480

901,166

Waterford City Council

853,040

842,395

South Tipperary County Council

816,540

806,602

Waterford County Council

736,240

725,798

Roscommon County Council

733,420

723,558

Kilkenny County Council

727,000

716,243

Cavan County Council

677,680

668,478

North Tipperary County Council

604,700

595,373

Laois County Council

579,120

572,794

Carlow County Council

569,120

560,277

Leitrim County Council

529,980

521,462

Offaly County Council

515,680

507,403

Longford County Council

475,660

468,729

Monaghan County Council

399,360

392,570

TOTAL

58,164,420

57,545,286

Water and Sewerage Schemes.

Jim O'Keeffe

Ceist:

62 Deputy Jim O’Keeffe asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if the Bandon sewerage scheme, County Cork, will proceed immediately in view of the fact that it is ready to go to tender and that its completion will have a positive effect on factors that cause flooding in the town. [2299/10]

The Bandon sewerage scheme was included in my Department's Water Services Investment Programme 2007-2009. Contract Documents for this scheme are currently under examination in my Department and a decision will be conveyed to the council as soon as possible in light of the finalisation of the Water Services Investment Programme for 2010 to 2012.

Local authorities were asked in July 2009 to submit an assessment of needs for water and sewerage services to my Department by 23 October 2009. My Department is currently considering these assessments, which form a key input to the development of the 2010 to 2012 Water Services Investment Programme. In conducting their assessments, local authorities were asked to prioritise schemes and contracts for progression over the coming years based on key environmental and economic criteria. I expect to publish the Water Services Investment Programme 2010 to 2012 early this year.

Homeless Persons.

Martin Ferris

Ceist:

63 Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will make a statement on the progress of the national homeless strategy to end long term homelessness and sleeping rough; the steps he will take in 2010 to achieve this goal. [2333/10]

The National Implementation Plan for the Government's Homeless Strategy, The Way Home, provides a robust framework to guide the action required at national level to end long term homelessness and the need to sleep rough by end 2010 through a series of priority actions and supporting measures, and promotes and supports effective implementation locally. At national level, a range of action is being taken to ensure that implementation of the Homeless Strategy is firmly underpinned by research, data and information, by a robust policy framework, adequate funding for homeless accommodation services, effective consultation and co-ordination structures and arrangements, comprehensive legislative provisions, and mechanisms for the provision of suitable accommodation with housing supports, as required. Practical achievement of the objectives of the Strategy will ultimately be determined primarily by the performance and effectiveness of action by relevant agencies at local level which, in future, will operate within the new statutory framework of structures and action plans provided for in the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009. An order to commence the relevant statutory provisions has been made bringing into force the homeless provisions with effect from 1 February 2010.

A new scheme of homes and support — "SLI" (Support to Live Independently) — was developed and details issued in July 2009. This will form an important element of action to end long term homelessness by providing suitable long-term accommodation in mainstream housing with appropriate supports to help people make a successful transition from homelessness to independent living. It involves the use of accommodation procured through the Social Housing Leasing Initiative or available to local authorities in the form of affordable housing that is unsold or considered unlikely to sell in the current market, along with availability of low to moderate level visiting supports, on a reducing basis for a period, to help homeless households address the challenges likely to arise in making the progression to independent living.

The new Social Housing Leasing Initiative which was introduced in February 2009 has widened the supply avenues available to local authorities to meet social housing need, and this combined with the supports available through the SLI scheme should improve the access of homeless households to long term housing.

While particular effort to move people with low to medium needs to mainstream housing is proceeding because this will reduce demands on emergency facilities, the provision of appropriate facilities and supports for people with more intensive needs is also a priority, whether in the form of certain mainstream accommodation, long term supported accommodation or emergency accommodation for people with higher needs. The re-configuration of existing homeless services will result in extending the availability of long-term supported residential accommodation for people who are unable to live independently.

Exchequer funding available for homeless accommodation and related services is being maintained at a record level of €56m in 2010 notwithstanding the more constrained state of the public finances.

Local authorities were advised by my Department to take a proactive approach with regard to homeless people during the severe weather conditions and to ensure, as far as possible, that no person would be left vulnerable due to lack of availability of emergency accommodation, should the need arise. The Department agreed in advance proposals and funding for cold weather arrangements in a number of areas, including Dublin; issued an alert to all local authorities outside of Dublin regarding the need for vigilance, adequate arrangements, etc; and issued a general approval to all local authorities to extend opening hours, where necessary. The Department is now considering how the good work done and information gained in the context of the recent cold weather efforts can be built on in order to accelerate progress towards achievement of the strategic objective of ending the need to sleep rough.

Question No. 64 answered with Question No. 23.

Social and Affordable Housing.

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

65 Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the way local authorities will be directed to designate new housing for the incremental purchase scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2474/10]

Housing authorities have been instructed, by Circular letter, to begin the process of designating suitable new-build housing for incremental purchase by way of a Manager's Order. The Housing (Incremental Purchase) Regulations 2009 set out the classes of dwellings to which incremental purchase arrangements apply.

Further regulations are required to give full effect to the detailed terms of the scheme. These Regulations are currently being drafted by my Department with the intention that the scheme be rolled out to housing authorities by mid-2010.

Question No. 66 answered with Question No. 34.

Departmental Reports.

John O'Mahony

Ceist:

67 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of reports and task forces set up and commissioned in her Department in 2007, 2008 and 2009; the reason for each report; the number of reports completed; and the cost of each in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2625/10]

The details requested by the Deputy are in a tabular statement.

Reports Commissioned by the Department 2007

Title of Report

Report Completed

Reason for Report

Cost of Report

Review of the Operation of the National Employment Rights Authority’s (NERA) Information Services.

Yes

To make recommendations on the structures, processes and systems that should operate in NERA’s Information Unit in order to achieve the highest possible standard of excellence in terms of meeting customer needs

€95,711

Review and Regulation of Petroleum Handling and Storage Facilities

Yes

To provide advice and Recommendations to the Department in support of its review of the Dangerous Substances Acts 1972 and 1979 and related Regulations

€143,098

Value for money Review of Science Foundation Ireland

Yes

The review was undertaken as part of the Government’s Value for Money and Policy Review initiative

€189,038

Value for Money Review of the FÁS Competency Development Programme (CDP)

Due in Spring 2010

To examine the effectiveness and efficiency of the CDP in advancing the strategy of the Department insofar as it relates to training of the employed.

Being produced within Department

Research Report on Acquired Disability and Employment

Yes

To research issues surrounding acquired disability in employment and job retention

€79,896

Review of the Wage Subsidy Scheme

Yes

To review the Wage Subsidy Scheme

€47,190

Delivering a More Inclusive Workplace: Innovations from EQUAL (an EU European Social Fund (ESF) co-funded Community Initiative)

Yes

Reporting requirements under ESF co-funded programme

€23,128 (50% ESF co-funded)

Business Process Review of the Department’s Insolvency Payments Section

Yes

To carry out a Business Process Review of the Department’s Insolvency Payments Section

€20,364

Report on General Scheme of the Companies Consolidation and Reform Bill

Yes

Section 71 of the Company Law Enforcement Act 2001 makes provision for the Company Law Review Group (CLRG) to provide a report to the Minister both on the activities of the Group during the year, and on any matter concerning the functions of the Group or any matter referred to the Group for its advice.The Report is explanatory and accompanies Pillars A and B of the General Scheme of the Companies Consolidation and Reform Bill

€12,571

Report of the Business Regulation Forum (BRF)

Yes

The BRF was set up to advise the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment on regulatory matters impacting on business. The Report sets out the findings of the BRF in this regard

€7,615

Forfás Report on Ireland’s Co-operative Sector

Yes

To provide an economic and social profile of the co-operative sector to assist the Department in reviewing the legislative and organisational framework for co-operatives

Nil (Cost borne by Forfás)

Market Research re Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE)

Yes

Measurement of company law compliance environment and the performance of the ODCE in the discharge of its functions

€44,790

Forensic Accounting Assignment for ODCE

Yes

Assistance in ODCE investigation

€121,053

Communications Strategy

Yes

Advice on dissemination of information to encourage compliance with Company Law

€32,670

Report of the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) Procedures Revision Group

Yes

Report examined EAT’s procedures and looked at ways of improving customer service outcomes

€8,056

2008

Title of Report

Report Completed

Reason for Report

Cost of Report

Website Evaluation Report

Yes

Review of the Department’s website

€41,261

Report and Recommendations from the Consultation Process with Staff in the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment

Yes

To examine feedback from staff with a view to formulating an action plan to improve their working environment and thus help them to contribute more effectively to achieving my Department’s business objectives.

€18,000

Business Process Review and Gap Analysis of Operations and Activities of the National Employment Rights Authority (NERA)

Yes

To inform the formulation of requirements for an ICT Solution to meet the Authority’s case management and information provision requirements.

NIL

First Report on the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation

Yes

To outline progress made in implementing the Governments Strategy for Science, Technology & Innovation since its adoption in 2006

€18,212

Evaluation of Discover Science and Engineering Programme (DSE)

Yes

Review of the efficacy of the DSE Science Awareness programme by a panel of international experts

€105,082 (Shared equally between the Department and Forfás)

Review of Irish membership of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)

Anticipated publication date is early 2010

The review was undertaken as part of initial Government decision in 2004 upon joining EMBL.

€51,182 (Shared equally between the Department and Forfás.

Equality Survey under the European Social Fund (ESF) co-funded EQUAL Community Initiative

Yes

Aim of survey and report was to: Assess public views and knowledge of equality, with a particular emphasis on the labour market, education and training; Ascertain knowledge of actions to promote equality at EU and national level; and Identify public support for further action at EU and national level in relation to equality.

€23,850 (50% co-funded by the ESF)

Audit of “DAWN” project under ESF co-funded EQUAL Community Initiative

Yes

To review audit trail for ESF expenditure

€25,090 (50% co-funded by the ESF)

Review and assessment of EQUAL Community Initiative 2000-2006

Yes

To review and assess the EQUAL Community Initiative 2000-2006

€61,595

Review of the FÁS Science Challenge Initiative

Yes

To review expenditure to date under the Initiative and to make recommendations on its future

NIL (Review and Report were completed within Department)

Review of Labour Market Programmes by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Ongoing

To review efficiency and effectiveness of labour Market programmes

NIL (Analytical support provided by Forfás.)

Data Backup and Storage Review

September 2008

To review the Department’s Data Backup and Storage environment and produce a report with recommendations.

€13,750

Productive Sector Operational Programme (PSOP) Managing Authority “Look Back” Audit (Parts 1 & 2)

Yes

To demonstrate compliance with EU Structural Funds Regulatory requirements

€38,130

Report on a named company

Yes

Assessment of a named company’s restructuring plan

€273,460

Environmental Goods and Services on the Island of Ireland — Enterprise Opportunities and Policy Implications

Yes

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment asked Forfás to examine the opportunities in the Environmental Goods and Service Sector

A study was commissioned as the basis for this report at a cost of €119,866, this cost was met equally by Forfás and InterTradeIreland. Associated printing costs of €3,902 were paid by Forfás.

Measuring Administrative Burdens in Company Law, Employment Law and Health & Safety Law

Yes

To measure the administrative burdens arising in Company Law, Employment Law and Health and Safety Law in order to contribute to the 25% target on reducing administrative burden for business

€58,249

Prioritising Health & Safety Information Obligations (2 reports)

Yes

To identify a list of priority information obligations arising from health and safety legislation for measurement in order to contribute to the 25% target on reducing administrative burden for business

€5,143

Prioritising Information Obligations in Company Law

Yes

To Identify a list of priority information obligations arising from company law for measurement in order to contribute to the 25% target on administrative burden reduction

€2,226

Listing of information obligations in Employment Law

Yes

To list the information obligations arising from employment law in order to contribute to the 25% target on reducing administrative burden for business

€4,650

Listing of information obligations in Company Law

Yes

To list the information obligations arising from company law in order to contribute to the 25% target on reducing administrative burden for business

€5,102

Listing of information obligations in Health & Safety Law

Yes

To list the information obligations arising in health and safety law in order to contribute to the 25% target on reducing administrative burden for business

€4,616

Provision of Statistical Analysis (re Audit Exemption Threshold)

Yes

Estimation of number of companies to benefit from change in Audit Exemption Threshold in order to contribute to the 25% target on reducing administrative burden for business

€182

Three Standard Cost Model measurements for the High Level Group on Business Regulation

Yes

To carry out a measurement of specific administrative burdens identified by the High Level Group on Business Regulation in order to contribute to the 25% target on reducing administrative burden for business

€5,707

Report on the Company Law Review Group (CLRG) Work Programme 2007

Yes

Section 71 of the Company Law Enforcement Act 2001 makes provision for the CLRG to provide a report to the Minister both on the activities of the Group during the year.

€8,935

Grocery Monitor Reports Numbers 1, 2 and & 3: (1) A Description of the Structure & Operation of Grocery Retailing & Wholesaling in Ireland 2001-2008 (2) A Description of the Structure & Operation of Grocery Retailing & Wholesaling in Ireland 2001-2008 (3) A Description of the Structure & Operation of Grocery Retailing & Wholesaling in Ireland 2001-2008

Yes

Following the repeal of the Restrictive Practices (Groceries) Order 1987, the Competition Authority was requested to review and monitor developments in the grocery sector in light of the new regulatory environment.

Cost borne by the Competition Authority.

Report of the Advisory Group on Media Mergers

Yes

An Advisory Group was established in 2008 to carry out a review of the legislative provisions applying to media mergers.

€33,732

Companies Registration Office Business Process Engineering Review

Yes

Examination of processes in the Carlow and Dublin offices after establishment of Carlow office

€71,874

Companies Registration Office XBRL Feasibility Study

Yes

To test the feasibility of implementing the filing of XBRL financial statements

€31,683

Market Research for the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) — continuation of 2007 research

Yes

Measurement of company law compliance environment and the performance of the ODCE in the discharge of its functions

€15,898

Forensic Accounting Assignment for the ODCE

Ongoing

Assistance in ODCE investigation

€137,772

2009

Title of Report

Report Completed

Reason for Report

Cost of Report

Dispute between the TEEU and employers in the electrical contracting industry

Yes

Enquiry commissioned under Section 38(2) of the 1990 Industrial Relations Act

€40,000

Science, Technology and Innovation: Delivering the Smart Economy

Yes

To outline progress made by Ireland in developing the Smart Economy through strategic investment in R&D

€12,648

First report of the Enterprise Feedback Group to Tánaiste (see entry under “Task Forces” also)

To be published shortly

To enable enterprise representatives to provide feedback on the implementation of the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) 2006-2013 thereby informing the formulation of future STI policy

Oracle Software Asset Management

Yes

Analyse software usage and license compliance.

€7,560

Redundancy, Insolvency Recovery (RIR) Feasibility Study (Technical Upgrade & Migration to Redundancy Payments System (RPS) Platform)

Yes

To determine the feasibility, of capitalising on the hardware investment for the Redundancy Payments System through a migration and technical upgrade of the Insolvency Payments System

€10,328

Report of the High Level Action Group on Green Enterprise (see entry under “Task Forces” also)

Yes

The Report was the formal output of the High Level Action Group on Green Enterprise

Cost met by Forfás

Assessment of Policy Options for Credit Insurance

Yes

To assess possible provision of State supported Export Credit Insurance

Work undertaken by Forfás

Forensic Assessment of Ireland’s Credit Insurance Market during 2008 and 2009

Yes

To undertake a forensic assessment of the Credit Insurance market in Ireland

€209,564

Report of the Procurement Innovation Group

Yes

To improve public procurement practices and SME access

Retail-related Import and Distribution Study

Yes

The Competition Authority was asked to carry out a study of the retail import and distribution sector aimed at bringing greater transparency to structure and pricing in the retail sector.

Cost borne by the Competition Authority

Report of the Company Law Review Group (CLRG) Work Programme 2008

Yes

Section 71 of the Company Law Enforcement Act 2001 makes provision for the CLRG to provide a report to the Minister both on the activities of the Group during the year, and on any matter concerning the functions of the Group or any matter referred to the Group for its advice.

Task Forces Commissioned by the Department

No Task Forces were commissioned in 2007. The following is the position for 2008 & 2009:

2008

Name of Task Forces

Work of Task Force Completed

Reason for Task Force

Cost of Task Force

Enterprise Feedback Group (see entry under “Reports” also)

Ongoing

To enable enterprise representatives to provide feedback on the implementation of the Strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) 2006-2013 thereby informing the formulation of future STI policy

Travel and Subsistence allowance is provided to members at standard rates

High Level Action Group on Green Enterprise (see entry under “Reports” also)

Yes

The High Level Action Group on Green Enterprise was established pursuant to a commitment in the Government’s framework for Sustainable Economic Renewal, Building Ireland’s Smart Economy

Miscellaneous costs totalling less than €1,000

Sales Law Review Group

Ongoing

To review the legislation governing the sale of goods and supply of services

€62,128 The 2009 expenditure includes a payment of €14,000 on a research report entitled ‘Evolution of the Sale of Goods Act 1893 in Other Jurisdictions and Lessons for the Reform of Irish Sales Law’ that was commissioned by the Review Group in September 2009.

2009

Name of Task Forces

Work of Task Force Completed

Reason for Task Force

Cost of Task Force

Mid-West Task Force Interim Report

No

The Task Force was established following 1,900 jobs lost in Dell in 2009. The Task Force was to examine economic impacts and make recommendations.

Nil to date

Tribunals of Inquiry.

John McGuinness

Ceist:

68 Deputy John McGuinness asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of tribunals of inquiry conducted by her Department; the title of each; the cost of each to date in 2010; the expected date of conclusion of each; and the projected final costs. [2728/10]

There are no tribunals of inquiry currently being conducted under the auspices of my Department.

Departmental Bodies.

John McGuinness

Ceist:

69 Deputy John McGuinness asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of bodies and agencies operated under the remit of her Department; the cost of each on a yearly basis; the name and number that have been abolished in the past four years; the name and number that have been amalgamated; the name of those to be abolished or amalgamated in 2010; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2742/10]

In the time available since this Question was tabled my Department has not been able to collect information on all the issues raised by the Deputy.

I will forward the information to the Deputy.

Personal Injuries Assessment Board.

Leo Varadkar

Ceist:

70 Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment her views on whether it is appropriate that the injuries board should have on its website an interactive guide (details supplied) showing the way a person may receive compensation for an injury; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2811/10]

The Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) was established in April, 2004 as part of the Government's insurance reform programme, with the aim of allowing certain classes of personal injury claim, where liability is uncontested, to be settled without the need for the costs associated with litigation.

PIAB has changed the personal injury claims process in a wholly positive way, with claimants' waiting time reduced, on average, by more than 27 months, from 3 years under the old system to 7 months, and overheads now reduced by some €50 million per annum. Awards are made at the same levels as the Courts and according to a Book of Quantum published by PIAB in 2004.

While the content and format of the PIAB website is a day-to-day matter for the Board itself, I understand that the estimator is a visual display of the information contained in the Book of Quantum and is representative of the range of values contained therein. It is of particular benefit to claimants who may not have the same access to this information as insurance companies, who would typically be the respondents in personal injury cases.

Leo Varadkar

Ceist:

71 Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she will review the book of quantum to bring awards into line with other OECD countries regarding the injuries board; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2812/10]

Under the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Act 2003, a function of the Board is to prepare and publish a Book of Quantum containing general guidelines as to the amounts that may be awarded or assessed in respect of specified types of injury.

The Book of Quantum was compiled by independent, internationally recognised consultants based on data from Courts, insurers and self-insured sectors and it was published in 2004.

The Book of Quantum shows, for various injuries, the ranges of compensation to which people may be entitled. Through the use of the Book of Quantum the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB) delivers assessments at the same level as those awarded by the Courts in a prompt and transparent manner at considerable savings and significantly quicker than the previous adversarial system. Since its establishment it has been responsible for a significant reduction in the costs of insurance premiums. This has been of significant benefit to consumers and businesses in Ireland. I have no plans at this time for the Book to be reviewed.

Industrial Development.

Leo Varadkar

Ceist:

72 Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the specific programme and initiatives that exist to assist persons, who have recently been made redundant or have been put on notice, to establish their own business; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2813/10]

FÁS Employment Services provides a range of services and supports to all Jobseekers, including Jobseekers who have been made redundant. Clients can register at one of the 71 local FÁS Employment Service offices nationwide, for on-site career guidance and job placement services.

Various initiatives have also been put in place to assist the growing number of redundant workers and the unemployed. In 2009, FÁS more than doubled the number of openings on its training and work experience courses to over 130,000 places. This was achieved by running a range of new short courses opening up free evening courses to the unemployed and providing a range of on-line blended (internet with tutor support) courses. As part of this process start-your-own-business training has been increased to assist redundant workers who may be interested in establishing their own business.

In addition to the FÁS provision the County and City Enterprise Boards (CEBs) can provide support to the micro-enterprise sector in the start-up and expansion phases. The criteria under which financial assistance is available is based primarily on factors such as the sector of the economy in which an enterprise is operating or intends to operate and the size, or proposed size, of the enterprise.

Any individual who wishes to seek advice on setting up their own business can contact their local CEB to discuss what assistance may be available to them.

In addition to the training and advice supports provided by FÁS and the CEBs the Department of Social and Family Affairs' Back to Work Enterprise Allowance (BTWEA) is aimed at encouraging people who are receiving social welfare payments to become self-employed. The Scheme provides a weekly payment for unemployed people who set up their own business. It allows these individuals to keep a portion of their social welfare payment for 2 years and is not subject to tax or Pay Related Social Insurance.

I should also mention that in addition to the aforementioned supports not for profit organizations such as First Step finance provide assistance and funding to microenterprises. Finally, I understand that a European Progress Microfinance Facility was approved by the European Parliament in December 2009 and is due to come into force in early 2010.

FÁS Training Programmes.

Leo Varadkar

Ceist:

73 Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment her views on recommencing the community youth training programme to provide employment and training for unemployed construction workers and apprentices; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2814/10]

The Community Youth Training Programme was introduced in the late 1980s and provided training for unemployed construction workers and time served apprentices to complete industry approved community based training projects.

In 1993 the new Standards Based Apprenticeship Scheme was introduced which required apprentices to be registered with a FÁS approved employer, who has the range of work, range of equipment and skilled craftspersons to train apprentices in the relevant trades.

The Community Youth Training Programme as previously constituted would not provide the necessary range of work and skills development in a commercial environment to ensure that apprentices reach the minimum standard of skills, knowledge and competence required by Industry.

Industrial Development.

Leo Varadkar

Ceist:

74 Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment her views on recommencing the enterprise development programme to assist newly redundant persons to set up their own business; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2815/10]

State assistance to small businesses in Ireland is provided through a number of State Agencies, including the County and City Enterprise Boards (CEBs) and Enterprise Ireland, through whom assistance is delivered directly to businesses.

Subject to certain eligibility criteria new and developing micro-enterprises may qualify for financial support from the CEBs in the form of priming, expansion/development and feasibility/innovation grants. In addition, the CEBs deliver a range of non-financial supports to improve management capability development within micro-enterprises designed to help new and existing enterprises to operate effectively and efficiently so as to last and grow. All of the CEBs operate to the same criteria in relation to the assistance which they can offer i.e. they can support the establishment and/or the development of enterprises provided that the projects have the capacity to achieve commercial viability and which over time may develop into strong exporting entities.

In order to more fully explore the range of options that may be available, individuals are advised to contact their local CEB to discuss their business needs with the relevant staff of the Board. Contact details for individual CEBs can be found by accessing the following website: www.enterpriseboards.ie.

Departmental Agencies.

Leo Varadkar

Ceist:

75 Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if the information technology director of FÁS sought an audit into the Job Ireland website prior to 2005; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2816/10]

In September 2000, an internal group was established within FÁS to review the Jobs Ireland website. A decision was taken in light of this review to close that site. An internal audit investigation into the website was not sought. The brand name Jobs Ireland was later adopted for use in relation to all FÁS recruitment activities including JobBank.

FÁS Training Programmes.

Willie Penrose

Ceist:

76 Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment when the circular, which was promised by the Department of Finance in December 2009, will be furnished regarding the work placement scheme programme; the reason same has been delayed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2846/10]

The Work Placement Programme provides up to 9 months work experience to 2,000 unemployed individuals, including graduates. In principle, the Programme is open to all sectors of the economy, including the private and public sectors, as well as the community and voluntary sectors. The aim of the Programme is to assist unemployed people, including graduates, to establish or maintain links to the labour market. This should better position unemployed people to avail of new job opportunities when they arise.

It is understood that the Department of Finance intends to issue guidance, in the near future, to Central Government Departments and Offices on how their participation in the Programme might best be managed.

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

77 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of public sector bodies which have applied for and been approved for the FÁS work placement scheme in 2009; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2861/10]

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

78 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of private sector employers who have applied for and been approved for the FÁS work placement scheme in 2009; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2862/10]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 77 and 78 together.

The Work Placement Programme provides up to 9 months work experience to 2,000 unemployed individuals, including graduates. The Programme is open to all sectors of the economy, including the private and public sectors, as well as the community and voluntary sectors. The aim of the Programme is to assist unemployed people, including graduates, to establish or maintain links to the labour market. This should better position unemployed people to avail of new job opportunities when they arise.

In 2009 64 Public Sector bodies applied and were approved for the FÁS Work Placement Scheme in 2009.

In 2009 559 Private Sector employers applied and were approved for the FÁS Work Placement Scheme in 2009. There is a need to encourage more enterprises to participate in the programme and FÁS are continuing to promote the programme with employers' representative bodies such as IBEC and ISME.

Departmental Agencies.

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

79 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of permanent staff and temporary staff employed by FÁS at the end of 2007, 2008 and 2009 in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2863/10]

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in a table:

FÁS Staff

2007

2008

2009

2,265.46

2,272.14

2,055.4

Of the numbers indicated above 99.35 persons were employed on fixed-term contracts in 2007; 90.1 persons likewise in 2008 and 10.5 persons in 2009.

Information on temporary staff is currently being compiled and will be communicated to the Deputy when it is available.

FÁS Training Programmes.

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

80 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of applicants who have been placed and commenced work under the FÁS work placement programme; the location of these placements by county; the FÁS areas at which work placements need to be filled in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2864/10]

The Work Placement Programme provides up to 9 months work experience to 2,000 unemployed individuals, including graduates. The Programme is open to all sectors of the economy, including the private and public sectors, as well as the community and voluntary sectors. The aim of the Programme is to assist unemployed people, including graduates, to establish or maintain links to the labour market. This should better position unemployed people to avail of new job opportunities when they arise.

As at 20th January 2010 there have been 257 placements on the Work Placement Programme. There are currently 995 vacancies for places under the programme. I have outlined in tables the location of these placements by county and FÁS region.

The location of placements on the Work Placement Programme by county

FÁS Region

Areas/Counties

Number of Placements Commenced

Dublin Central

Baggot Court, D’Olier House, Parnell Street, Ballyfermot, Cabra

80

Dublin North

Baldoyle, Balbriggan, Swords, Blanchardstown, Coolock, Finglas

22

Dublin South

Rathfarnham, Crumlin, Tallaght, Clondalkin, Tallaght, Dun Laoghaire, Loughlinstown

18

Midlands

Kildare, Laois , Longford, Offaly, Westmeath

10

Mid West

Clare, Limerick, Tipperary

17

North East

Cavan, Louth, Meath, Monaghan

11

North West

Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo

3

South East

Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary South, Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow

27

South West

Cork, Kerry

31

West

Galway, Mayo, Roscommon

38

Total

257

The FÁS areas at which work placements need to be filled

FÁS Region

Areas/Counties

Number of Available Posts

Dublin Central

Baggot Court, D’Olier House, Parnell Street, Ballyfermot, Cabra

152

Dublin North

Baldoyle, Balbriggan, Swords, Blanchardstown, Coolock, Finglas

83

Dublin South

Rathfarnham, Crumlin, Tallaght, Clondalkin, Tallaght, Dun Laoghaire, Loughlinstown

103

Midlands

Kildare, Laois, Longford, Offaly, Westmeath

62

Mid West

Clare, Limerick, Tipperary

89

North East

Cavan, Louth, Meath, Monaghan

88

North West

Donegal, Leitrim, Sligo

68

South East

Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary South, Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow

143

South West

Cork, Kerry

106

West

Galway, Mayo, Roscommon

101

Total

995

Departmental Agencies.

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

81 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of staff employed in each agency that derives from her Department at the end of 2007, 2008, and 2009; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3209/10]

The information requested by the Deputy in respect of those Agencies under the aegis of my Department is set out.

Agency

Employed Dec 07

Employed Dec 08

Employed Dec 09

Enterprise Ireland

831.5

874

841

Industrial Development Authority

273

276

268

FÁS:

2,241

2,241

2,055.4

Apprenticeship Programme

24.5

31

Health & Safety Authority

186

200.3

193.3

SFADCo

130

128.5

118

NSAI

160

157.3

192

Forfás

120

130

117.5

Science Foundation of Ireland

36

50

54

Competition Authority

51

54

43.2

IAASA

10

12

12

County Enterprise Boards

146

147.3

143.2

Intertrade Ireland

42

40

42

National Consumer Agency

62

54

42

Personal Injuries Assessment Board

71

72

74

Flood Relief.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

82 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Finance if his Department alone or with the cooperation of other Departments is willing to carry out a survey of the areas throughout the country that have been the subject to flooding over the past 20 years with a view to carrying out the necessary remedial works; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2907/10]

For several years, the Office of Public Works has held a significant amount of valuable historical data on flood events occurring nationally over the past century. These data are available on the Flood Hazard Maps website, www.floodmaps.ie.

Following the Review of Flood Policy in 2004, the OPW was assigned lead agency responsibility for the management of flood risk. Central to the policy is a Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme, which focuses on the assessment of flood risk and the long-term planning of the flood risk management measures throughout the country, including non-structural and structural measures. A constituent part of these risk assessments is reference to records of previous flooding events in each catchment.

The CFRAM Programme is being delivered through the CFRAM Studies, led by the OPW, and undertaken in partnership with local authorities, in consultation with stakeholders and the public. The CFRAM Studies are comprehensive catchment-based studies focused on areas of potentially significant risk, for which detailed flood maps are produced and flood risk management measures are assessed. These measures will be prioritised and set out in a Flood Risk Management Plan (FRMP). The CFRAM Programme will, as well as delivering on national policy, meet the requirements of the 2007 EU ‘Floods' Directive. The procurement process for the national programme of CFRAM Studies has been initiated, and the studies will commence in 2010.

OPW is also undertaking a number of other flood risk management programmes, including:

Flood Hazard Mapping;

Flood Studies Update;

Strategic Hydro-Meteorological Review;

Research and Development.

These Programmes will assist in addressing existing and future flood risk by helping to focus on a series of measures regarding sustainable flood prevention, protection and mitigation.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

83 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Finance the steps he will take to address the issue of flooding of residential properties throughout the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2908/10]

Since the introduction of the Arterial Drainage Amendment Act, 1995, allowing the Office of Public Works to undertake urban flood relief projects to protect residential properties and businesses, approximately €200 million has been invested on capital projects in the intervening years, with over €112 million spent in the last five years alone. Since 2003, OPW have completed schemes in Carrick-on-Suir, Co. Tipperary, Kilkenny City, Leixlip, Co. Kildare and on the River Dodder in Counties Meath and Dublin.

OPW has currently profiled expenditure in excess of €200 million on about fifteen major capital schemes from now to 2014, with a Budget allocation for 2010 of €50 million. 2010 will see the first phases of major schemes being completed in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, Mallow, Co. Cork, Ennis, Co. Clare, Waterford City and Fermoy, Co. Cork. Construction works will continue in 2010 on Schemes at Mornington, Co. Meath and the River Dodder in Dublin. It is also planned to commence construction of the second phases of schemes in Clonmel, Mallow and Ennis in the first half of 2010, along with the scheme planned for Templemore, Co. Tipperary.

While these schemes are at construction, the detailed design and procurement processes for civil engineering contractors for the second phases of schemes in Waterford City and Fermoy will continue. Other major schemes, which will be progressed through detailed design and procurement processes in 2010, include Arklow and Bray, both in Co. Wicklow. In addition to all these schemes, it is hoped to commence construction on the main Drainage Scheme in Carlow Town, which includes a flood defence scheme for which OPW is providing funding.

All these schemes form the core of the investment planned over the next five years. In parallel with the major schemes being progressed, a Minor Flood and Coastal Protection Works Programme was initiated in 2009 where OPW are providing funding for minor, localised flood relief work to be undertaken by local authorities. An initial amount of €6m has been allocated for this in 2010. This will be reviewed when all applications have been received from local authorities.

Departmental Reports.

John O'Mahony

Ceist:

84 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Finance the number of reports and task forces set up and commissioned in his Department in 2007, 2008 and 2009; the reason for each report; the number of reports completed; and the cost of each in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2627/10]

The information requested by the Deputy in respect of the years 2007 to 2009 is contained in tables.

2007

Name of report/Task force commissioned

Who carried out the report

Reason for report

Completion date

Cost/ Estimated cost of report

Value for Money and Policy Review of the Grant-in-Aid to Ordnance Survey Ireland

Howarth Consulting Ireland Limited

To assess the objectives of the grant-in aid to Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSi); to identify improved output definitions and monitoring arrangements for future editions of the Service Level Agreement with OSi; and to advise on the placement of oversight of the agency.

Apr 2007

57,475

Risk Review for Accountant’s Branch/ Paymaster General’s Office

PwC

To review risk management in Account’s Branch/ Paymaster General’s Office

Apr 2007

49,624.06

Review of remuneration of CEOs of Commercial State Bodies

Hay Management Consultants

Review pay of CEOs of Commercial State Bodies

Jul 2007

191,180

2008

Name of report / Task force commissioned

Who carried out the report

Reason for report

Completion date

Cost/ Estimated cost of report

Review of the NationalPensions Reserve Fund (NPRF)

Mr Maurice O’ Connell

Review of the NPRF

Nov 2008

Nil

Value for Money and Policy Review of the Construction Procurement Reform Initiative — Independent Assessment Report

Petrus Consulting

Required under the Value for Money and Policy Review Process.

Oct 2008

4,114

2009

Name of report/Task force commissioned

Who carried out the report

Reason for report

Completion date

Cost/ Estimated cost of report

Legal Due Diligence of Anglo Irish Bank

Arthur Cox Solicitors

Pre-nationalisation due diligence

Jan 2009

135,000

Legal Due Diligence of EBS

Arthur Cox Solicitors

High level Legal issues Report on EBS

Dec 2009

230,000

Legal Due Diligence of Irish Nationwide Building Society

Arthur Cox Solicitors

High level Legal issues Report on INBS

Ongoing

725,000

Covered Institutions Remuneration Oversight Committee (CIROC)

Independent Committee established by the Minister for Finance

Under the Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Scheme 2008, the Minister for Finance established the CIROC comprising three members appointed by him to oversee all remuneration plans of senior executives of the covered institutions.

February 2009

47,178

Review of Bank Submissions to the EU

PWC

Review the restructuring plans prepared by AIB, BOI and Anglo Irish Bank for the EU Commission.

Ongoing

Commission on Taxation Report 2009

Commission on Taxation

To consider how the tax system can support economic activity and promote increased employment and prosperity while providing the resources necessary to meet the cost of public services and other Government outlays in the medium and longer term.

Aug 2009

737,848

Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes

Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes

The purpose of the Special Group was to examine the current expenditure programmes in each Government Department to review the scope for reducing or discontinuing expenditure programmes, to make recommendations for reducing public service numbers so as to ensure a return to sustainable public finances, to make recommendations on reallocation of staffing or expenditure resources between public service organisations, and to examine and make recommendations for further rationalisation of State agencies.

Jul 2009

42,323

Departmental Expenditure.

Emmet Stagg

Ceist:

85 Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Finance if there are arrangements in place to ensure that payments for work carried out on the new Department of Defence headquarters in Newbridge, County Kildare to the main contractor are passed onto subcontractors for work done and to further subcontractors in order to ensure that smaller firms are not put in a vulnerable financial position through non-payment for work carried out. [2636/10]

There are no such arrangements in place under the conditions for Design & Build Contracts.

However, if the Deputy is aware of an issue in this regard, he should furnish the relevant details and I will ensure that the situation is followed up by my office.

Tax Code.

Olivia Mitchell

Ceist:

86 Deputy Olivia Mitchell asked the Minister for Finance if a re-evaluation of the criteria for the granting of the artists’ tax exemption has been undertaken or is planned; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2663/10]

Section 195 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 provides an exemption from tax for the profits or gains arising to a person from the publication, production or sale of an original and creative work which has artistic or cultural merit in any of the five categories set out in the legislation, namely, a book or other writing; a play; a musical composition; a painting or other like picture; or a sculpture. The legislation does not include a definition of the term ‘the arts'.

Under the legislation, the Revenue Commissioners are required to make a determination as to whether or not a work has artistic or cultural merit before the exemption can be awarded. The Commissioners are specifically required by the legislation to make their determination having regard to the Guidelines. The Guidelines set out definitions of the terms original and creative, artistic merit and cultural merit. They also set out specific criteria to be taken into account in making determinations relating to works of non-fiction and provide for exclusions from what is to be regarded as original and creative in respect of certain works (e.g. textbooks, works of journalism and functional or utilitarian works). The Guidelines are available on the Revenue website at www.revenue.ie.

The Guidelines in use currently were drawn up in 1994 by the Arts Council and the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, with the consent of the then Minister for Finance.

I understand that these guidelines are currently being reviewed by the bodies mentioned in conjunction with the Revenue Commissioners and that considerable progress has been made. I await the outcome of the current review.

Tax Yield.

Richard Bruton

Ceist:

87 Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Finance if the official statistics on income distribution published by his Department focus solely on tax cases as defined by the Revenue Commissioners instead of looking at the distribution across individual earners; if it is possible for the Revenue Commissioners to derive accurate estimates of the distribution of individual earners from the tax returns or at least make accurate estimates of the distribution; his views on routinely presenting data in this way in order that such data as the percentage of income tax paid by top earners could be judged according to the different measures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2719/10]

Generally speaking the statistics on incomes published by my Department in relation to income tax are based on tax cases. This is clearly stated in publications and in replies to Parliamentary Questions.

The vast majority of married income earners choose to be assessed jointly for income tax purposes. While it may be possible, with the assistance of significant development to the existing computer-based databases and costing model, to produce income statistics for income tax based on individual earners, this is problematic for various reasons, in particular given the facility for married couples to transfer credits and, in part, the standard rate band.

In the interests of consistency, I am reluctant to alter the way income tax statistics are currently presented. Furthermore, I am not convinced that presenting income tax statistics in a manner different to the way income tax is actually assessed and collected provides significant additional value.

Tribunals of Inquiry.

John McGuinness

Ceist:

88 Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Finance the number of tribunals of inquiry conducted by his Department; the title of each; the cost of each to date in 2010; the expected date of conclusion of each; and the projected final costs. [2730/10]

There were no tribunals of inquiry conducted by my Department.

Departmental Agencies.

John McGuinness

Ceist:

89 Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Finance the number of bodies and agencies operated under the remit of his Department; the cost of each on a yearly basis; the name and number that have been abolished in the past four years; the name and number that have been amalgamated; the name of those to be abolished or amalgamated in 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2744/10]

The information requested by the Deputy is outlined in the tables. Table A lists the State Bodies under the aegis of my Department in receipt of Exchequer funding and their Budget allocation for 2009. Table B lists other state bodies under the aegis of my Department not in receipt of Exchequer funding and as such information on budgets is not included. In the period in question no bodies or agencies under the aegis of my Department have been amalgamated and none is scheduled to be amalgamated in 2010. The Committee on Performance Awards has been stood down with effect from the 1 January 2009, while the National Assets Management Agency was set up on the 19th December 2009 under the umbrella of the National Treasury Management Agency.

Table A: Bodies in receipt of Exchequer Funding

Body

Budget for 2009

Decentralisation Implementation Group

28,150

Disabled Drivers Medical Board of Appeal (DDMA)

371,500

Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB)

3,762,000*

Valuation Tribunal

300,000

Review Body on Higher Remuneration in the Public Sector

55,000

Committee for Performance Awards

48,000

Civil Service Arbitration Board

70,000

Civil Service Disciplinary Code Appeal Board

Independent Mediator for the Civil Service

Outside Appointments Board

20,000

National Treasury Management Agency

41,000,000

National Treasury Management Agency Advisory Committee

National Pensions Reserve Fund

National Pensions Reserve Fund Commission

State Claims Agency

State Claims Agency Policy Commission

National Development Finance Agency

National Asset Management Agency

The NTMA acts as the State Claims Agency, and is the body through which the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) and National Asset Management Agency perform their functions. The National Treasury Management Agency manages the National Pensions Reserve Fund and in this respect costs of approximately €23 million were incurred and charged directly to the Fund in 2009.

*The total budget for the running costs of Special EU Programmes Body in 2009 is €3.762m of which the Department of Finance is responsible for funding €1.709m. This figure represents a higher than average funding figure as the costs associated with the relocation of the Special EU Programmes Body's Belfast Office have been included.

Table B: Bodies not in receipt of Exchequer Funding

Name of Body

Interim Board of the Civil Service Childcare Initiative

Disciplinary Appeals Board

Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland

Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority(Financial Regulator)

Irish Financial Services Appeals Tribunal

Financial Services Ombudsman Council

Financial Services Ombudsman

Financial Services Consultative Consumer Panel

Financial Services Consultative Industry Panel

Investor Compensation Company Ltd.

An Post National Lottery Company

As the Deputy may be aware, €4bn in capital was provided to Anglo Irish Bank from Exchequer funds in 2009 to protect the economy from the wider losses that would have occurred in the event of a failure of the bank. Costs incurred in the provision of capital to Anglo are recoupable under the terms of the Subscription Agreement concluded with the Bank. Also, costs incurred by the State in relation to Anglo under the Credit Institutions (Financial Support) 2008 and Anglo Irish Bank Act 2009 are recoupable under the terms of each Act.

National Asset Management Agency.

Jimmy Deenihan

Ceist:

90 Deputy Jimmy Deenihan asked the Minister for Finance the person who owns an asset when the National Asset Management Agency has taken over a non-performing loan; the person who has the right to dispose of an asset arising from a non-performing loan, and when; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2779/10]

NAMA will purchase eligible loans from participating institutions and will manage these loans with the intention of generating the best possible return for the taxpayer. NAMA will, in effect, step into the shoes of the participating institution that has transferred the loan to NAMA. Its interaction with each borrower, including the enforcement of security, will be governed by the relevant loan contract. In general, where a borrower is in default, NAMA will have the option of enforcing security which in many cases will involve the seizing of property. However, the details of the security and any restrictions applying to the borrower will differ depending on the content of each loan agreement.

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

91 Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Finance the action that will be taken by the National Assets Management Agency regarding unfinished shopping centres, housing estates and apartments which remain unsold and unoccupied; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2805/10]

NAMA is being established to purchase certain portfolios of risky loan assets from the balance sheets of participating institutions. In the course of its operation it is expected that NAMA will take possession of various properties. Under the NAMA Act, NAMA will have access to working capital in order for it to complete developments or projects where it is commercially advantageous to do so. It will be a matter for the NAMA Board to manage and deal with acquired properties in a commercial fashion and on a case by case basis with the intention of generating the best achievable financial return for the State.

Tax Code.

Leo Varadkar

Ceist:

92 Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for Finance his views on amending section 21 of the Finance Act 2009 to extend this tax exemption to start up partnerships. [2817/10]

I understand that the Deputy is referring to the corporation tax exemption that was introduced for new start-up companies in Section 31 of Finance (No. 2) Act 2008. The provisions of that section provide for relief from corporation tax, for the first 3 years of operation, for companies incorporated on and from 14 October 2008 that commence to carry on a new trade in 2009. The relief is granted by reducing the corporation tax on the profits of the new trade and on the gains from disposal of assets used for the purpose of the new trade to nil. Full relief is available where the corporation tax otherwise payable by the company in respect of any of its first 3 years is €40,000 or less. There is marginal relief where the corporation tax liability is between €40,000 and €60,000. Where the corporation tax liability is €60,000 or over in any of the first three years, no relief is available for that year. The extension of the scheme to companies that commence trading in 2010 was announced in Budget 2010.

The Deputy will be aware of the recommendations of the Commission on Taxation in relation to this exemption. The Commission proposed that the exemption be extended to non corporates but that it should terminate in 2011. The scheme while still only available to corporates continues to be available for three years. Therefore, new start-ups that commence trading in 2010 can continue to avail of the exemption up to and including 2012.

The tax exemption does not apply to partnerships, sole traders or to other non-corporates. It is important that tax reliefs are targeted to the areas which have the potential to provide the best return. The incentive aims to encourage new entrepreneurial activities in the productive sectors of our economy and provide opportunities for increased employment in those sectors. To make it available on a broader basis would in all likelihood make it more costly without delivering a return commensurate with the increased cost.

EU Directives.

Leo Varadkar

Ceist:

93 Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been brought to an EU directive which allows public tenders to be exempt from the normal process when the majority of employees have disabilities; when this directive will be transposed into law here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2818/10]

The current public procurement Directives, 2004/18/EC covering procurement by public sector bodies and 2004/17/EC covering procurement by entities in certain public utility sectors, allow EU Member States to reserve the right to participate in the award of public contracts to sheltered workshops or to participants in sheltered employment programmes. These Directives have been transposed into Irish law under Statutory Instrument 329 of 2006 covering public sector procurement and Statutory Instrument 50 of 2007 covering utility sector procurement. Regulations 16 and 30, respectively, of these Instruments enable contracting bodies to reserve participation in public contract award procedures to those in sheltered employment.

Tax Code.

Leo Varadkar

Ceist:

94 Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for Finance the revenue that would be accrued by abolishing the flat rate expenses system for income tax purposes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2825/10]

The position is that tax law provides that employees and office holders may claim a tax deduction in respect of: (a) the cost of travelling expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of the duties of their employment or office; and (b) the cost of other expenses incurred wholly, exclusively and necessarily in the performance of the duties of their employment or office.

As regards an expenses claim under (b) above, I understand from the Revenue Commissioners that, in strictness, each employee or office holder should submit his or her individual expenses claim to Revenue. However, by way of long standing practice stretching back over 40 years, the expenses deduction due for certain categories of employee are, for administrative ease, agreed between Revenue and the relevant representative bodies. These agreed rates of expenses are granted to individuals in their determination of tax credits for PAYE purposes and have become known as "flat rate expenses".

Therefore, some employees obtain their statutory tax deduction in respect of expenses via the administrative "flat rate expenses" regime whilst others obtain their tax deduction on foot of an individual claim submitted to the Revenue Commissioners. I am informed by the Revenue Commissioners that the cost to the Exchequer of the tax deduction in respect of expenses (other than expenses of travel and subsistence) incurred by employees for the income tax year 2006, the most recent year for which final information is available, is estimated at about €70 million. It is not clear what savings, if any, would result in the abolition of the "flat rate expenses" regime as it would still be open to employees to claim their expenses in the normal way in accordance with the relevant tax legislation.

Departmental Expenditure.

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

95 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Finance the amount of money raised through the National Lottery that he will allocate to the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism in 2010; if the money will be used for community and sports projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2837/10]

Appendix 1 of the Revised Estimates for Public Services each year gives a breakdown by Department of all the expenditure areas that are supported by the proceeds of the National Lottery. It is estimated that a total of €272m will be available in 2010 from the proceeds of the National Lottery and the breakdown of the allocations between Departments will be published shortly as part of the Revised Estimates for Public Services 2010. Since 2005, the expenditure allocations for the relevant subheads exceed the amount available from the National Lottery surplus. Therefore, these subheads are now described as being "part-funded by the National Lottery", and the balance of the expenditure allocation for the subheads comes from normal Exchequer sources.

Tax Code.

Richard Bruton

Ceist:

96 Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Finance the workers in the community and voluntary sector, that receive block grants from the State, that will be subject to the public service wage reduction; and if persons who were exempt from the public service pension levy will also be exempt from this pay cut. [2841/10]

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 48643/09 and 2047/10 which were taken together and answered on Tuesday 19 January 2010. The pay reductions provided for in the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (No. 2) Act 2009 apply to staff of bodies that receive grants from the State only where the body concerned is a public service body as defined in the Act. The Act includes among the definition of a public service body — "a body (other than a body specified or referred to in the Schedule) that is wholly or partly funded directly or indirectly out of money provided by the Oireachtas or from the Central Fund or the growing produce of that Fund and in respect of which a public service pension scheme exists or applies or may be made".

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

97 Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Finance the circumstances under which a person who is not a public servant but whose employment is entirely funded by public funds may be subject to the pension levy; the rationale for this; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2859/10]

In summary, the pension-related deduction introduced by section 2 of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2009 applies to (i) public servants who are (ii) employed by or hold an office or position in a public service body and who (iii) are members of a public service pension scheme or are entitled to a benefit under such a scheme or receive a payment in lieu of membership in such a scheme.

Public Service bodies include the Civil Service, the Garda, the Permanent Defence Forces, Garda Force, local authorities, the Health Service Executive and vocational education committees. In addition any statutory body or company or body corporate (or subsidiary) established and financed wholly or partly by a Minister (whether by share issue or guaranteed loan or money provided) in respect of which a public service pension scheme exists or applies or may be made is a public service body for the purposes of the Act. Any body funded by the Oireachtas or by the Central Fund and in respect of which a public service pension scheme exists or applies or may be made also is defined as a public service body.

As the Deputy is aware, the Act was introduced in the context of the widely accepted need to give priority to the stabilisation of the public finances and to reflect the substantial benefits generally available to staff under public service pension terms.

Departmental Expenditure.

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

98 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Finance the amount that was spent by him on flood relief works in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2865/10]

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

105 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Finance the amount allocated in the budget of the years 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 for flood relief; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2952/10]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 98 and 105 together.

The tables set out the allocation for flood relief activities, for Capital Works, Drainage Maintenance and Hydrometric headings, for the Office of Public Works and the subsequent expenditure under these heading in the years from 2004 to 2009.

Capital Works Expenditure

Year

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Allocation

€20.55M

€20.00M

€20.00M

€32.00M

€30.00M

€43.00M

Expenditure

€15.40M

€16.20M

€14.40M

€23.10M

€24.90M

€36.50M

Major flood relief schemes involve complex engineering and construction operations and invariably have lengthy lead-in times. Underspending on river based engineering works can arise for a variety of factors including:

weather related problems,

unexpected archaeological finds,

the discovery of contamination,

and other environmental/ecological and local issues.

Maintenance and Hydrometric Expenditure

Year

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Allocation

€16.38M

€16.83M

€19.58M

€20.22M

€21.44M

€20.11M

Expenditure

€16.60M

€16.75M

€18.00M

€20.73M

€21.20M

€19.11M

Since 1996 OPW has invested approximately €200M on Capital Flood Relief Projects, with over €130M invested in the 2004-2009 period in question. OPW has currently profiled expenditure in excess of €200 million on about fifteen major capital schemes from now to 2014. The Government has allocated €50M for this area in 2010 and construction works on about twelve major projects will continue throughout this year as well as taking other projects through the various stages of development. A significant amount of the allocation will be spent on the Minor Flood and Coastal Protection Works Programme where OPW will provide funding to local authorities to undertake such localised flood relief work themselves. An initial amount of €6m has been allocated for this in 2010. This may be reviewed when all applications have been received from local authorities.

OPW has also spent approximately €112M in the period in question under the Drainage Maintenance and Hydrometric Programmes. An allocation of €18.326M has been provided for these Programmes in 2010 bringing the total allocation for OPW Flood Relief Activities to €68.326M. Overall, OPW is satisfied that the allocation for 2010 will be fully expended.

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

99 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Finance the amounts returned unspent to his Department in respect of moneys allocated to local authorities for flood relief works in respect of the years 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2870/10]

Funding is provided by the Office of Public Works on an ongoing basis to local authorities to undertake agreed flood relief works, of a major nature, under the local authorities' own powers. Since 2009, OPW has also introduced a Minor Flood and Coastal Protection Works Programme where funding is provided to the local authorities for localised flood relief works. No monies from the funding provided under any of these headings has been returned unspent to OPW.

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

100 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Finance the additional funds given to the Office of Public Works or any other agencies to address the aftermath of the flooding of November 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2872/10]

In the aftermath of the severe flooding of November 2009, the Government undertook a number of initiatives to address the situation. The most pressing issue at the time was to provide assistance to those immediately affected and also to assist the Local Authorities in the post-flood clean-up. An initial sum of €10m was provided for a Humanitarian Aid Scheme, which is administered by the Department of Social and Family Affairs, to alleviate the hardship caused. The Government also indicated that further funding would be made available, if required.

A further €2m was allocated for a targeted Fodder Aid Scheme to be administered by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to assist farmers who were experiencing a fodder shortage, which might have led to financial hardship and potential animal welfare issues on affected farms. Funding of €14m was provided by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government for the post-flood clean-up by Local Authorities.

In addition to these immediate initiatives, the Government has allocated €50m for flood risk management activities for 2010, which is administered by the Office of Public Works. This increased allocation will allow OPW to extend the number of Capital Works schemes already underway throughout the country. Within the overall allocation, I have also announced an increase for Minor Flood and Coastal Protection Works to be undertaken by Local Authorities in 2010. This Programme, which I initiated in 2009, has been increased initially to €6m, and is to cater for works or studies which can be completed in 2010. OPW is currently seeking applications from Local Authorities, and, when the applications are received and evaluated, the allocation may be reviewed.

Departmental Staff.

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

101 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Finance the number of staff employed in each Government Department at the end of 2007, 2008 and 2009 in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2873/10]

The number of staff employed in each Government Department at the end of 2007, 2008 and 2009 is set out in tabular form.

Non Industrial Civil Servants

2007

2008

2009

Department

36,619.65

37,421.35

35,682.83

Agriculture, Fisheries & Food

4,294.08

4,203.94

3,845.18

Arts, Sport & Tourism

171.30

174.43

150.53

Attorney General

128.68

127.89

124.39

Central Statistics Office

825.08

846.97

792.51

Chief State Solicitor

236.63

244.93

229.63

Commission For Public Service Appointments

9.00

12.00

8.80

Communications Energy & Nat. Resources

320.46

288.41

273.32

Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs

273.82

272.56

255.66

Comptroller & Auditor General

139.90

153.90

150.50

Courts Service

1,112.76

1,098.01

1,026.13

Defence

398.64

402.04

373.16

Director Of Public Prosecutions

191.60

196.80

194.92

Education & Science Group

1,600.88

1,660.58

1,574.04

Enterprise Trade & Employment Group

1,046.48

1,103.24

1,011.51

Environment Heritage & Local Government

1,275.92

1,204.42

1,084.23

Finance

658.13

630.57

565.60

Foreign Affairs Group

1,558.70

1,543.95

1,566.55

Health Group

603.56

514.10

485.07

Justice Group

4,689.54

5,288.56

5,017.05

National Gallery

54.50

59.00

55.50

Office Of Public Works

700.58

721.83

669.56

Oireachtas

464.70

440.71

416.12

Ombudsman

85.49

93.73

88.23

Presidents Establishment

22.23

21.30

21.30

Prisons

3,501.15

3,641.17

3,576.87

Public Appointments Service

150.83

146.36

111.66

Revenue Commissioners

6,660.77

6,658.66

6,118.30

Social & Family Affairs

4,486.89

4,610.44

4,907.57

State Laboratory

89.20

91.05

91.40

Taoiseach

243.08

232.86

210.30

Transport

468.04

578.71

534.21

Valuation Office

157.03

158.23

153.03

The numbers correspond to full-time equivalent staff serving in General Service, Professional and Technical grades in the civil service for the period specified.

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

102 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Finance the number of staff in each Department who have applied for and the number who have been approved for the incentivised scheme of early retirement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2874/10]

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

103 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Finance the number of staff employed in agencies that derive from Government Departments, who have applied for and the number who have been approved for the incentivised scheme of early retirement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2875/10]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 102 and 103 together.

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in tabular form and is based on information reported to my Department to date. In summary, the information reported to my Department to date indicates that some 1,106 Civil Servants have applied for the Incentivised Scheme for Early Retirement (ISER) and that 985 Civil Servants have had their applications approved to date. These Civil Service numbers are based on returns from all Departments and Offices.

In the wider public service, some 1,147 Public Servants have applied for the ISER and some 649 Public Servants have had their applications approved to date. The processing of applications under the ISER was suspended in the Health Sector as a result of a direction by IMPACT and some other health unions to their members not to cooperate with redeployment.

Department — Ministerial Vote Groups

Civil Servants

Public Servants

Applicants

Approved

Applicants

Approved

Agriculture, Fisheries & Food

125

108

23

20

Arts, Sports & Tourism

4

4

5

5

Communications, Energy & Natural Resources

9

7

Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs

12

12

7

7

Defence

15

15

1

1

Education & Science

41

31

69

45

Enterprise, Trade & Employment

43

43

82

79

Environment, Heritage & Local Government

53

45

**307

**277

Finance Group

*427

*424

Foreign Affairs

17

16

Health & Children

26

26

649

211

Justice, Equality & Law Reform

144

122

Social & Family Affairs

127

75

Taoiseach

27

24

Transport

36

33

4

4

TOTAL

1,106

985

1,147

649

*Of which 347 are from the Revenue Commissioners.

**Includes Local Authorities from which there were 300 applicants and 272 applications approved.

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

104 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Finance the number of staff employed in each agency that derives from his Department at the end of 2007, 2008, and 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2876/10]

The information requested is set out in tabular form.

Agency

2007

2008

2009

Public Service Appointments

147.35

144.86

129.16

Commission for Public Service Appointments

9.00

12.00

9.00

State Laboratory

91.20

92.85

91.75

Valuation Office (including Valuation Tribunal)

163.00

163.00

154.00

Revenue Commissioners

6,581.45

6,547.77

6,105.05

Office of Public Works*

1,975.10 (of which 128 apprentices/ seasonal/etc)

2,002.83 (of which 92 apprentices/ seasonal/etc)

1,907.03 (of which 108 apprentices/ seasonal/etc)

NTMA

148.00

168.00

169.00

Financial Services Ombudsman

29.00

28.00

27.00

*Shown separately in the figures for the Office of Public Works are figures for apprentices, seasonal/casual and on-call personnel. It should be noted that the seasonal numbers employed rise substantially during the summer season when temporary staff are engaged, for example, as guides/information officers at heritage sites, which are only open for part of the year.

Question No. 105 answered with Question No. 98.

Departmental Reports.

John O'Mahony

Ceist:

106 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of reports and task forces set up and commissioned in her Department in 2007, 2008 and 2009; the reason for each report; the number of reports completed; and the cost of each in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2629/10]

Between January 2007 and April 2009, a total of 28 reports were commissioned by my Department, of which 25 have been completed. The information requested by the Deputy concerning costs and the reason for these reports is set out as follows. Information in respect of the period May to December 2009 is currently being collated by my Department and will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as it becomes available.

Reports commissioned in 2007

Name of Report

Cost

Dáil na nÓg Delegate Report 2007

10,576

Doherty Report on Breast Radiology Services at Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise

Nil

Fitzgerald Report on Breast Radiology Services at Midland Regional Hospital, Portlaoise

Nil

Independent Inquiry into the tragic deaths of the Dunne Family in Monageer, Co. Wexford

212,454

National Children’s Advisory Council (NCAC) — Report on Youth Café Provision

63,023

National Oral Health Policy

Costs ascertained when report completed

Quality Assessment of the Value for Money Review of the Equal Opportunities Childcare Programme 2000-2006

2,995

Report of the Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance

299,334

Research commissioned on : The Physical Chastisement of Children by Parents

126,723

Review of the Operation of the Mental Health Act 2001 — Findings and Conclusions

Nil

Round Table discussion on the financial abuse of older people

3,000

Teenagers’ Views on Solutions to Alcohol Misuse

55,257

Vaccine Damage Steering Group

11,048

Reports commissioned in 2008

Name of Report

Cost

National Children’s Advisory Council (NCAC) — End of Term Report 2005-2008

Nil

Report of the Independent Pharmacy Pricing Body

41,497

Strategic Plan for the St. Ultan’s Children’s Project

14,702

Study of certain Accounting Issues within the Health Service Executive

54,450

A Directory of Health Research Undertaken on Children (0-17 years)

60,148

National Men’s Health Policy 2008-2013

20,604

Evaluation Report on a programme of inclusion for marginalised young people, established by the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.

15,727

Phase III of a Qualitative Longitudinal Study of Homeless Youth in Dublin

22,000

Report of the Commission established to provide an independent assessment of how a 35 hour week can be achieved for nurses

397,540

Research on young carers in the Irish population

108,476

Review of Protecting our Future: Working Group on Elder Abuse 2002

66,460

Review of circumstances surrounding the elapse of time in bringing to completion the Western Health Board inquiry into allegations of abuse in the Brothers of Charity Services, Galway.

21,015

Third Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Group on ‘ A Vision for Change’ — the Report of the Expert Group on Mental Health Policy

16,154

Reports commissioned up to April 2009

Name of Report

Cost (€)

Value for Money and Policy Review of Disability Services

€16,939 to date (report is not yet completed).

Expert Group on Resource Allocation in the Health Sector

The work of the Expert Group is not yet completed and therefore the cost is not yet available.

Hospital Procedures.

Ned O'Keeffe

Ceist:

107 Deputy Edward O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Health and Children if an appointment will be arranged in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork. [2656/10]

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Health Repayment Scheme.

Sean Sherlock

Ceist:

108 Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Health and Children the projected cost to the Health Service Executive of payments (details supplied) to be made in 2010; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2667/10]

The Health Service Executive has responsibility for administering the Health Repayment Scheme in conjunction with the appointed scheme administrator KPMG accountants and McCann Fitzgerald solicitors. Based on the latest estimates received from the Scheme Administrator it is estimated that of the 35,330 applications for the scheme, 19,850 claims will result in repayments costing €438m. Taking account of overheads, the total estimated spend on the scheme will be in the region of €465m. Given that €448m, has already been provided to the scheme up to the 31st December 2009, the HSE estimate that additional funding in the sum of €17m will be required in 2010.

Departmental Expenditure.

Tom Hayes

Ceist:

109 Deputy Tom Hayes asked the Minister for Health and Children the names of community organisations based in south Tipperary receiving funding from her Department for community programmes and the funding received by those organisations in 2009. [2673/10]

The funding made available by my Department in 2009 to community organisations in Co Tipperary, from the National Lottery Fund, is detailed in the table.

National Lottery Funding 2009 — Tipperary Organisations

Newport Social Services Day Care Centre

Day Care Centre, Newport, Co Tipperary,

55,000

St Vincents Day Care Centre

St Vincents Health Centre, Station Road, Tipperary Town, Co Tipperary

10,000

TLC4CF (Tipperary, Limerick, Clare for Cystic Fibrosis)

Pottersfield House, Shanaclogh, Adare, Co. Limerick

150,000

Hospital Staff.

Joe McHugh

Ceist:

110 Deputy Joe McHugh asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will intervene to ensure that the consultant haematology position advertised at Letterkenny General Hospital, County Donegal, is filled immediately; her views on the risks posed to patients due to this ongoing vacancy; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2677/10]

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Health Services.

Sean Sherlock

Ceist:

111 Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Health and Children the amount of fees paid by the Health Service Executive to administrators of a scheme (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2694/10]

The Health Service Executive has responsibility for administering the Health Repayment Scheme in conjunction with the appointed scheme administrator KPMG accountants and McCann Fitzgerald solicitors. Since the scheme commenced in 2006, a total of €14.95m including V.A.T has been paid to the Scheme Administrator.

Sean Sherlock

Ceist:

112 Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Health and Children the relationship between the Health Service Executive and a group (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2698/10]

The Deputy's question is more appropriate to my colleague the Minister for Education and Science.

Sean Sherlock

Ceist:

113 Deputy Seán Sherlock asked the Minister for Health and Children the position regarding the relationship between the Health Service Executive and a third party group (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2702/10]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Medical Cards.

Ned O'Keeffe

Ceist:

114 Deputy Edward O’Keeffe asked the Minister for Health and Children the position regarding a medical card application for a person (details supplied) in County Limerick over the age of 70 years. [2705/10]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Site Acquisitions.

Tom Hayes

Ceist:

115 Deputy Tom Hayes asked the Minister for Health and Children if the Health Service Executive have approved land for sale in respect of the site of a school (details supplied) in County Tipperary; if so, when the next step in the process will take place for the Health Service Executive to transfer this land ready for sale; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2710/10]

Estate management of the Health Service Executive property portfolio is a service matter and the question has therefore been referred to the Executive for an update and for direct reply.

National Identity Cards.

Tom Sheahan

Ceist:

116 Deputy Tom Sheahan asked the Minister for Health and Children the cost to her Department to issue a national identity card to members of an organisation (details supplied) who suffer from acquired brain injuries; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2713/10]

The issue raised by the Deputy was the subject of Parliamentary Questions last year. As indicated at the time, I have no funds at my disposal to provide for Brí's proposal. However, I have asked the Health Service Executive to give further consideration to the matter in the context of current priorities and financial constraints and to provide a direct reply to the Deputy.

Medical Cards.

John McGuinness

Ceist:

117 Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will expedite an appeal in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kilkenny regarding their medical card application. [2715/10]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Health Service Staff.

Richard Bruton

Ceist:

118 Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Health and Children if there are obstacles to the implementation of the early retirement scheme in the Health Service Executive such as at a location (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2721/10]

In his Supplementary Budget Statement of 7 April 2009, the Minister for Finance announced that he would make available three schemes to reduce the number of public sector employees in the wider public sector , one of which was the Incentivised Scheme for Early Retirement. My Department issued a circular (8/2009) on 15 May 2009 to give effect to this measure in HSE and other public health sector employment, including this employment. The closing date for receipt of applications for this scheme was 23rd October, 2009.

The scheme did not apply to grades exempted from the moratorium on recruitment and promotions under the 2009 Employment Control Framework for the Public Health Sector, in order to meet the requirements of integrated health care delivery and, in particular, to address needs in the community in respect of care of the elderly and people with disabilities.

Members of all other grades who meet the eligibility criteria had access to this scheme provided the grades/staff groups concerned cooperate with the requirements in relation to redeployment, mobility, skill mix and flexibility which are outlined in the employment control framework: this is designed to allow individuals to avail of this scheme while still protecting services. Because staff who avail of the scheme will not be replaced (save in very exceptional cases), employers were required to pay particular attention, when considering applications, to the scope that exists within the organisation for reorganising and restructuring work in order to minimise the impact on essential service delivery. Staff cooperation and flexibility in that regard was essential. My Department was informed that the health service trade unions issued a directive instructing their members not to cooperate with redeployment and reassignment requests from management. The unions have stated their opposition to the moratorium on recruitment and promotions as set out in 2009 Employment Control Framework for the Public Health Sector, referred to above. This instruction from the unions which remains in place, severely restricts the ability of management to organise/restructure work practice and contravenes the qualification criteria for the scheme. As a result, the HSE suspended all three schemes in June but continued to accept applications, up to the closing date of 23 October 2009.

The HSE recently requested my Department's approval to lift the suspension as it applied to the ISER, and to allow it to proceed to process to finalisation applications received prior to the closing date. This request is currently being considered by my Department in consultation with the Department of Finance.

Tribunals of Inquiry.

John McGuinness

Ceist:

119 Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of tribunals of inquiry conducted by her Department; the title of each; the cost of each to date in 2010; the expected date of conclusion of each; and the projected final costs. [2732/10]

There are no Tribunals of Inquiry currently being conducted by my Department.

Departmental Agencies.

John McGuinness

Ceist:

120 Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of bodies and agencies operated under the remit of her Department; the cost of each on a yearly basis; the name and number that have been abolished in the past four years; the name and number that have been amalgamated; the name of those to be abolished or amalgamated in 2010; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2746/10]

The information requested by the Deputy in respect of the number of bodies and agencies operated under the remit of my Department, the cost of each on a yearly basis, and the name and number that have been abolished in the past four years is being compiled by my Department and will be forwarded to the deputy when available.

With regard to the number of agencies that have been amalgamated, the position is that the Government's programme of rationalisation of agencies in the health sector has been actively progressed by my Department and considerable progress has been made in implementing the programme to date. The primary aim of this ambitious programme is to streamline service delivery, professional registration and policy making in a number of areas in the health sector, through the integration and/or amalgamation of functions.

The progress to date is as follows. The Post Graduate Medical & Dental Board was successfully rationalised into the HSE on 1st January, 2009. The National Council on Aging & Older People and the Women's Health Council were successfully subsumed into the Department of Health and Children in 2009. The Crisis Pregnancy Agency was subsumed into HSE in January 2010 and the Drug Treatment Centre Board is due to follow early in 2010.

Legislation is required to facilitate the rationalization of the Pre Hospital Emergency Care Council, the National Social Work Qualifications Board and the Opticians Board into the Health & Social Care Professionals Council. It is envisaged that the legislation will be finalised during 2010.

The Government approved the inclusion of provisions in the Child Care (Amendment) Bill 2009 to disestablish the Children Acts Advisory Board (CAAB) and to subsume some of its functions into the Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs on an administrative basis. The Bill was published on 16th September 2009 and it is expected that the Bill will be brought forward in 2010. It is intended that the CAAB staff will move to the Department on an administrative basis until such time as the Bill is enacted.

Legislation is already in place to facilitate the rationalisation of the National Cancer Screening Service into the HSE in mid 2010 and arrangements are underway in this regard. The dissolution of the National Cancer Registry and the transfer of its staff to the HSE will be dealt with under the Health Information Bill. Legislation is required to merge the National Council for the Professional Development of Nursing and Midwifery and assign its responsibilities to An Bord Altranais and the Health Service Executive. The new Nurses and Midwives Bill has been drafted and Government approval will be sought regarding the text of the Bill and seeking permission to publish the Bill in the near future.

Nursing Home Support.

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

121 Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Health and Children the position regarding an application in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork under the fair deal nursing home support scheme. [2751/10]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply

Health Services.

Kathleen Lynch

Ceist:

122 Deputy Kathleen Lynch asked the Minister for Health and Children the waiting time for assessment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in the Cork area; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2752/10]

As this is a service matter the question has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Pharmacy Regulations.

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

123 Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Health and Children if she will restrict public availability of chemicals such as mephedrone; if the Misuse of Drugs Acts and the scheduling of poison under the Pharmacy Acts be used to cover chemicals such as mephedrone; if she is in a position to restrict access to headshops by young teenagers who freely avail of these products. [2755/10]

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

137 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health and Children the discussions (details supplied) that she has had to date regarding the proliferation of head shops here; the steps which she is taking to address potential health risks and dangers involved in the consumption of the products on sale in such outlets; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2785/10]

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

149 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Health and Children her plans to regulate the establishment of head shops that sell herbal products and chemical based party and energy pills; the measures she will take to control the sale of these products to minors; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2834/10]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 123, 137 and 149 together.

The Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 and regulations made thereunder regulate and control the import, export, production, supply and possession of a range of named narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances listed in the Schedules to the Act. Substances are scheduled under the Act in accordance with Ireland's obligations under international conventions and/or where there is evidence that the substances are causing significant harm to public health in Ireland.

Items available for sale in so-called ‘head shops', including those containing the chemical Mephedrone, and which are often referred to as ‘legal highs', are substances which are not currently controlled under the Misuse of Drugs legislation. The list of scheduled substances is kept under ongoing review. For example, in 2006 psychotropic (‘magic') mushrooms, which were on sale in such outlets, were banned and their possession and sale is now illegal. On 31 March 2009, BZP was similarly subjected to legislative control measures and criminal sanctions. Minister John Curran, Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, who has responsibility for co-ordinating the National Drugs Strategy, has identified head shops as an area of concern, and is currently considering the options available to more effectively control the activities of head shops.

Under the National Advisory Committee on Drugs, a Research Advisory Group has been established to identify possible options for the regulation of headshops. The Department of Health and Children is actively participating in this process. In the UK, legislation was introduced immediately before Christmas to control a number of substances and groups of substances that have been on sale in headshops. The Department is currently reviewing this legislation to ascertain how similar controls could be introduced in Ireland. The Misuse of Drugs legislation is the most appropriate regulatory framework for regulating substances such as Mephedrone that have the potential to be abused.

Health Services.

Emmet Stagg

Ceist:

124 Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of persons in receipt of home care packages in County Kildare in January 2010; and the number of persons on the waiting list for the home care package. [2764/10]

Emmet Stagg

Ceist:

125 Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Health and Children the amount of funding allocated for the home care package scheme in County Kildare in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. [2765/10]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 124 and 125 together.

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Emmet Stagg

Ceist:

126 Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of persons in County Kildare waiting admission to a long term care beds in public nursing homes in County Kildare and their current circumstances. [2766/10]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Emmet Stagg

Ceist:

127 Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of children awaiting assessment for orthodontic treatment in County Kildare; and the number of children awaiting orthodontic treatment in County Kildare who have already been assessed. [2767/10]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Emmet Stagg

Ceist:

128 Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Health and Children the waiting time for assessment in respect of speech and language therapy in County Kildare; the number awaiting assessment. [2768/10]

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Emmet Stagg

Ceist:

129 Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Health and Children the waiting time for speech and language therapy in County Kildare following assessment; and the number awaiting therapy. [2769/10]

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Emmet Stagg

Ceist:

130 Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Health and Children the amount of funding allocated to the home help service in County Kildare in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. [2770/10]

Emmet Stagg

Ceist:

131 Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of persons availing of the home help service in County Kildare in 2007, 2008, 2009 and to date in 2010. [2771/10]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 130 and 131 together.

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Emmet Stagg

Ceist:

132 Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Health and Children the progress made in securing a new health centre for the town of Kilcock, County Kildare. [2774/10]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Emmet Stagg

Ceist:

133 Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Health and Children the waiting time for eye tests for children in Maynooth and Naas Health Centres in County Kildare. [2775/10]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Medical Cards.

Michael Ring

Ceist:

134 Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Health and Children when medical cards will be restored to persons (details supplied) in County Mayo. [2782/10]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Foreign Adoptions.

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

135 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health and Children the position regarding the negotiations on a bilateral adoption agreement with Ethiopia; the consultation to date with the Australian authorities on the issue; the implications of her decision on adoptions from Vietnam; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2783/10]

The Adoption Bill, 2009, is designed to give force of law to the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption. The new legislation, which incorporates the provisions of the Hague Convention, is designed to provide a framework to ensure that appropriate procedures have been followed and that all adoptions are effected in the best interests of the child. Future intercountry adoption arrangements will be governed by the terms of the Adoption Bill 2009 when enacted.

The current policy position, as set out in the Adoption Bill 2009, is that for an adoption to be registered under the Bill it must be effected in a contracting State to the Hague Convention or in a country with which Ireland has a bilateral agreement. For non-Hague countries only those adoptions effected prior to the commencement of the new law can be registered on the Register of Inter-Country Adoptions to be established under the Bill.

The issue of transitional measures for prospective parents who are at a definable stage in the adoption process when the Bill is enacted and who wish to continue to adopt a child from a non-Hague, non-bilateral country, is being examined. Prospective adoptive parents have waited a long time and it is my intention to be as flexible as possible in relation to applicants.

Ireland does not have a bilateral agreement with Ethiopia in respect of adoption. Consideration of this matter is at an early stage. My Office has had no contact to date with the Australian authorities in relation to the recently announced decision by the Australian Government to suspend adoptions from Ethiopia.

I issued a detailed statement following the Government decision of the 13th January to suspend bilateral intercountry adoption negotiations with Vietnam. The statement is available at www.omc.gov.ie.

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

136 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health and Children further to Parliamentary Question No. 105 of 17 December 2009, the interim measures she will put in place in respect of foreign adoption applicants who have submitted applications in advance of the enactment of the Adoption Bill; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2784/10]

As outlined in my reply to the Deputy on 17th December, 2009, the position regarding transitional measures for prospective parents who are at a definable stage in the adoption process when the Bill is enacted and who wish to continue to adopt a child from a non-Hague, non-bilateral country, is being examined. Prospective adoptive parents have waited a long time and it is my intention to be as flexible as possible in relation to applicants.

Question No. 137 answered with Question No. 123.

Hospitals Building Programme.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

138 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of outpatient appointments that were cancelled or postponed due to the closure of the outpatients department at Our Lady’s Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin 12 for the week 26 to 31 October 2009; the number of outpatients staff not on duty that week due to the closure; the savings involved; the way same was calculated. [2798/10]

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

139 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children the future role of Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, Dublin 12 if the National Paediatric Hospital is built on the Mater Hospital site. [2799/10]

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

141 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children if she has reconsidered the decision not to select Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, Dublin 12 as a site for ambulatory service subsequent to the opening of a future National Paediatric Hospital on the Mater site, Dublin 7; the way the selected hospitals for such a service were selected; and the reason Crumlin was not selected. [2801/10]

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

142 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children the reason for continuing to build new facilities at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, Dublin 12 when a new National Paediatric Hospital is being built. [2802/10]

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

144 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children if she or her officials have had discussions with the owners of the site of Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children, Crumlin, Dublin 12 regarding future plans after the National Paediatric Hospital is built on the Mater Hospital site in Dublin 7. [2804/10]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 139, 141, 142 and 144 together.

The way to provide the best possible paediatric tertiary care most effectively involves the creation of one single national paediatric hospital, alongside a major teaching hospital, bringing together all the medical and nursing expertise for complex conditions. The concept of bringing together all three present services is widely accepted.

The development of the National Paediatric Hospital is a priority project for the Government. Rawlinson Kelly & Whittlestone Ltd (RKW), an established UK-based health care planning company, were commissioned to prepare a high level framework brief for the new paediatric hospital.

The Brief was to include advice on the preferred model of care, on the core services to be delivered at the new hospital, and on the additional range of services to be provided outside of the main hospital. It was also to include an assessment of the range of services to be provided through the urgent/ambulatory care service, and on the preferred location(s) for this service.

The Brief considered a number of potential locations using the following criteria: access and travel times, critical mass, staffing implications and available infrastructure.

Among RKW's findings, which were announced by the HSE on 31st October, 2007, was that a network of Ambulatory and Urgent Care Centres should be established and operated by the new hospital. The first of these should be developed at Tallaght. The services to be provided will include urgent care consultations, outpatient appointments and day surgery.

The project is proceeding as planned and is being overseen by the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board which was established in May, 2007. The HSE is working closely with the Board in progressing the project, which is scheduled for completion and commissioning in 2014.

Services at Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, National Children's Hospital Tallaght and the Children's University Hospital Temple Street will transfer to the new National Paediatric Hospital. Pending completion of the project, and to ensure the best possible services for children, the HSE will continue to finance the provision and development of services at each of the transferring hospitals.

The real challenge in paediatrics is to maximise the efficient use of all our healthcare capacity both in Dublin and across the country. Crumlin, Temple Street and Tallaght paediatric services need to be increasingly working in a coordinated, shared and efficient fashion to prepare for the eventual coming together of the three institutions into one national paediatric hospital.

I have been in contact with the CEO of the HSE and the CEO's of the three hospitals involved and have asked them to have governance arrangements put in place ahead of the opening of the new National Paediatric Hospital for the unified management of the services for children, provided by these hospitals, which will form the basis of the new hospital. In this context the HSE is actively pursuing ways in which services across the three hospitals can best be coordinated, to avoid unnecessary duplication and to achieve savings that can be put back into patient care. A Paediatric Hospitals Operations Group has now been established for ongoing network management and enhanced integration of the three paediatric hospitals in advance of the transfer to the new paediatric hospital.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

140 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children the construction cost of the proposed National Paediatric Hospital on the site of Dublin’s Mater Hospital, Dublin 7. [2800/10]

The management and delivery of the health capital programme is a service matter for the Health Service Executive and the question has therefore been referred to the Executive for direct reply.

Questions Nos. 141 and 142 answered with Question No. 139.

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

143 Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of construction works carried out at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin 12 over the past ten years; and the purpose and cost of each project. [2803/10]

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Question No. 144 answered with Question No. 139.

Cancer Screening Programme.

Fergus O'Dowd

Ceist:

145 Deputy Fergus O’Dowd asked the Minister for Health and Children the position regarding the outsourcing of cervical smear testing to a company (details supplied); the cost of the contract to date in 2010; the number of tests carried out; if this contract has come up for tender again; if companies here will be able to tender; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2806/10]

The matters raised by the Deputy are the responsibility of the National Cancer Screening Service. Accordingly, my Department has requested the Chief Executive Officer of the Service to respond directly to the Deputy on the matter.

Services for People with Disability.

Leo Varadkar

Ceist:

146 Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for Health and Children her views on the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes report proposal to transfer the disability functions of the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform to the office of mental health and disability; and if a decision has been made on this matter. [2822/10]

The proposal contained in the Report of the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure that certain disability functions be transferred to the Department of Health and Children from the Department of Justice Equality and Law Reform remains under consideration by both Departments. The proposal will be considered in the context of how best to achieve the Government's overall policy goals in relation to people with a disability, in line with the National Disability Strategy and a whole of Government perspective.

Health Services.

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

147 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health and Children further to Parliamentary Question No. 181 of 9 July 2009, the position regarding the issues raised; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2828/10]

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply.

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

148 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Health and Children further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 105 and 106 of 12 February 2009 and No. 222 of 6 May 2009, the position regarding the issues raised; the breakdown of the figures in the primary community continuing care areas where waiting lists apply; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2829/10]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the HSE for direct reply

Question No. 149 answered with Question No. 123.

Proposed Legislation.

Ciaran Lynch

Ceist:

150 Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for Health and Children when the Adoption Bill 2009 will be brought before the Houses of the Oireachtas; the formal submissions that have been received in regard to this Bill; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2860/10]

The Adoption Bill 2009, which will give force of law to the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, is continuing its progress through the Oireachtas. It has already passed all stages in the Seanad and the second stage debate was completed in the Dáil today, Thursday, 21st January. A number of submissions have been received from interested parties and were considered in the drafting process.

Health Service Staff.

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

151 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of permanent staff and temporary staff employed by the Health Service Executive at the end of 2007, 2008 and 2009 in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2877/10]

I wish to advise that the numbers (WTE excl. Career Breaks) of staff in the public health service at the end of 2007, end of 2008 and at the end of November 2009 (the latest data available), as recorded on the health service personnel census, are as follows:

31/12/2007

31/12/2008

30/11/2009

WTE Permanent

70,140

71,388

75,197

WTE Job-Sharing

3,485

3,123

3,062

WTE Temporary

16,197

14,084

11,087

WTE Locum

3,691

3,061

2,595

WTE Part-Time

12,587

14,393

12,731

WTE Sessional

822

470

352

WTE Training

4,582

4,508

4,744

Total WTE excl. Career Break

111,505

111,025

109,769

Note 1: Excludes home helps.

Note 2: Student nurses are included in the 2007 and 2008 employment ceilings on the basis of 3.5 students equating to 1 wholetime equivalent. The employment levels adjusted for this are 110,664 (Dec 07) and 111,001 (Dec 08).

Note 3: Data source — Health Service Personnel Census.

Note 4: December 2009 figures not yet available.

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

152 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of social workers employed by the Health Service Executive at the end of 2007, 2008 and 2009 in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2878/10]

I wish to advise that the numbers (WTE excl. career breaks) of social worker grades employed in the public health service at the end of 2007, end of 2008, and at the end of November 2009 (the latest data available), as recorded on the Health Service Personnel Census (HSPC), are as follows:

31/12/2007

31/12/2008

30/11/2009

Social Worker

1,047.97

1,061.78

1,080.00

Social Worker, Medical

141.4

140.23

138.82

Social Worker (Non-professionally qualified)

174.97

156.99

49.93

Social Worker, Principal

234.63

223.06

223.16

Social Worker, Psychiatric

32.71

31.53

31.99

Social Worker, Psychiatric Senior

1

2.8

1.8

Social Worker, Senior Medical

153.62

150.22

159.91

Social Worker, Team Leader

330.98

331.71

346.84

Social Work Practitioner, Senior

138.9

137.35

147.02

Total

2,256.18

2,235.67

2,179.47

Employment data for social workers includes the grade of Social Worker (Non-professionally qualified). The HSE has advised that, during 2009, some of the staff in the grade of Social Worker (Non-professionally qualified) were reclassified to other grades within the census. My Department has asked the HSE to clarify the situation in relation to the reclassified grades and reply direct to the Deputy.

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

153 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of public health nurses employed by the Health Service Executive at the end of 2007, 2008 and at the end of October 2009 in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2879/10]

The number of Public Health Nurses (expressed in Whole Time Equivalent terms) employed by the HSE at the end of 2007, 2008 and at the end of October 2009 were as follows:

Grade

31/12/2007

31/12/2008

31/10/2009

Director of Public Health Nursing

28.85

29.00

27.55

Director of Public Health Nursing, Assistant

164.63

178.82

169.91

Public Health Nurse

1,502.82

1,521.09

1,544.59

Public Health Nurse, Senior (Immunisation)

3.50

1.80

1.80

Public Health Nurse, Student

147.00

125.78

84.60

Total:

1,846.80

1,856.49

1,828.45

Data source — Health Service Personnel Census.

General Medical Services Scheme.

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Ceist:

154 Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Health and Children further to Parliamentary Question No. 145 of 12 November 2009, when a reply will issue. [2882/10]

The information sought by the Deputy is not provided by the Health Service Executive (HSE) to my Department as a matter of routine. My Department has again requested the Parliamentary Affairs Division of the HSE to arrange for a reply to issue to the Deputy on this matter.

Medical Cards.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

155 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health and Children if and when a full medical card will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2924/10]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

156 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health and Children if and when a medical card will issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Limerick; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2925/10]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.

Hospital Accommodation.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

157 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health and Children if and when a permanent nursing bed will be provided at Maynooth Community Hospital or alternative private nursing home in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2926/10]

As this is a service matter it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply

Departmental Staff.

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

158 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Health and Children the number of staff employed in each agency that derives from her Department at the end of 2007, 2008, and 2009; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3212/10]

The numbers of whole time equivalent (WTE) staff employed in agencies under the aegis of my Department, other than the Medical Council, on 31 December 2007, 31 December 2008 and 30 September 2009 (the latest data available) are as follows:

Agency

WTEs 31 Dec 07

WTEs 31 Dec 08

WTEs 30 Sep 09

An Bord Altranais

48.00

49.50

42.00

Children’s Act Advisory Board

14.20

16.00

13.00

Crisis Pregnancy Agency

15.00

17.00

13.80

Dental Council

4.00

5.00

5.00

Food Safety Authority of Ireland

81.00

81.40

85.47

Food Safety Promotion Board

35.00

27.00

29.80

Health and Social Care Professionals Council

n/a

2.00

4.00

Health Information and Quality Authority

33.70

77.50

132.20

Health Insurance Authority

8.58

8.58

8.58

Health Research Board

80.70

83.70

77.20

Irish Blood Transfusion Service

582.85

582.05

586.48

Irish Medicines Board

226.82

240.62

245.70

Institute of Public Health

20.00

19.00

19.00

Mental Health Commission

39.75

41.45

40.33

National Cancer Registry Board

41.42

46.12

49.40

National Cancer Screening Service

193.27

258.79

274.47

National Council for the Professional Development of Nursing and Midwifery

11.50

11.50

11.50

National Council on Ageing and Older People

12.30

9.00

Subsumed into DoHC

National Paediatric Hospital Development Board

n/a

2.00

2.50

National Social work Qualifications Board

7.00

7.00

6.69

National Treatment Purchase Fund

47.40

49.80

45.60

Office of Tobacco Control

7.00

8.00

7.00

Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland

19.00

19.50

20.00

Postgraduate Medical and Dental Board

33.70

16.30

Subsumed into HSE

Pre-Hospital Emergency Care Council

15.00

15.00

16.00

Women’s Health Council

8.50

5.00

Subsumed into DoHC

Voluntary Health Insurance

889.44

951.03

900.77

I will forward information in relation to the Medical Council to the Deputy as soon as it is received from the Council.

Road Network.

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

159 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Transport if extra funding will be made available to Cork County Council to help to address the need for road repairs in the aftermath of the November 2009 flooding and the recent extreme weather in December 2009 and January 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2866/10]

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is a statutory function of each road authority in accordance with the provisions of section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. The carrying out of works on these roads is a matter for the relevant local authority to be funded from its own resources supplemented by State road grants. The initial selection and prioritisation of projects to be funded is also a matter for the local authority.

When Exchequer grants for regional and local roads are allocated each year, my Department does not hold back a reserve allocation, at central level, to deal with weather contingencies. Holding back such an allocation would mean a reduction in the road grant allocations made to all local authorities at the beginning of each year.

The allocations made to local authorities are inclusive of a weather risk factor. Local authorities are expressly advised in the annual road grants circular letter that they should set aside contingency sums from their overall regional and local roads resources to finance necessary weather related works. The amount of money provided in the 2010 Estimates for funding regional and local roads is €411.177 million and this year's allocation will be based on that amount.

I have, however, asked local authorities, including Cork County Council, to provide details of exceptional road related costs associated with the November 2009 flooding and recent prolonged severe weather, which fall outside the normal financial provision for winter maintenance. I will have regard to this information when deciding on the 2010 regional and local road grant allocations. I will announce these grant allocations by mid February 2010 at the latest.

Departmental Reports.

John O'Mahony

Ceist:

160 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Transport the number of reports and task forces set up and commissioned in his Department in 2007, 2008 and 2009; the reason for each report; the number of reports completed; and the cost of each in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2632/10]

The information requested by the Deputy is contained in the table below.

Report

Task Force

Year

Reason for Report/Task Force

Completed Yes/No

Cost

Cost & Efficiency Review of Dublin Bus & Bus Éireann

2008

Cost & Efficiency Review

Yes

306,959.19

Value for Money Review of the Railway Safety Programme 2004-2008

2009

Value for Money Review

Yes

154,217.00

Farrelly Report

2009 (June)

To review the procedures for processing applications for Road Transport Operator Licences and the legislative framework and make recommendations.

Yes

8,368.48

Inter-Departmental/Agency Task Force on fuel prices for the road haulage industry

2008 (June)

To address concerns outlined by the road haulage sector in relation to increasing fuel prices in Summer 2008 and other haulage issues, and to develop a list of actions to be taken by the various agencies.

Meets twice yearly

Nil

Contractauditline Audit Report of ERDF assisted projects under the ESIOP.

Nil

2008

Financial verification checks on ERDF co-financed projects under the ESIOP 2000-2006

Yes

68,450.00

Sharepoint Development Strategy Review

Spanish point Technologies Ltd

2009

To review and advise on the Department’s Sharepoint Development Strategy

Yes

8,660.00

Report on the consolidated working text of the extant provisions of the Merchant Shipping Acts 1894-2005

NA

2007

To prepare a consolidated working text of the extant provisions of the Merchant Shipping Acts 1894-2005.

Yes

52,586.60

Department of TransportDisabled Access Assessment of Domestic Passenger Ships

NA

2008

To assess the accessibility of a representative sample of domestic passenger ships and harbours/ports.

Yes

36,633.00

Report of the Maritime Passenger Transport Forum

NA

2008

The report sets out the work of the Forum and makes recommendations to make marine passenger services more accessible to people with disabilities.

Yes

5,666.00

Report

Task Force

Year

Reason for Report/Task Force

Completed Yes/No

Cost

Project Report on disabled access audits of passenger vessels

NA

2009

Access audits funded by the Department were offered to all domestic passenger ship owners/operators. The audit reports will help inform owners/operators on how to improve access for persons with reduced mobility. The Project Report from the consultants engaged to carry out the audits gives an overview of the access audit findings.

No

46,777.00

Development of an IT Vision for the Marine Safety Sector

Marine Survey Office / Sogeti Ireland Ltd

2007

The provision of integrated systems to benefit the Department and its End Users.

Yes

80,066.10

Health & Safety Statement

Marine Survey Office / Phoenix Safety

2007

Statutory Requirement for periodic review of H&S in buildings

Yes

10,698.13

Appointment of an ISO business analyst For obtaining ISO: 9001:2008 certification

Marine Survey Office / Sogeti Ireland Ltd

2009

Implementation of a QMS system that will be a European requirement for national Maritime authorities

Yes

61,035.53

STCW Audit

Marine Survey Office / Daire Brunicardi, T/A Corrin Nautical Services

2009

Independent Evaluation STCW convention requirement

Yes

4,017.52

Site analysis on various West Coast Locations

2008

Accommodation and technical advice for Irish Coast Guard Co-ordination centres

Yes

22,675.00

Irish Coast Guard Pollution Prevention, Preparedness and Response Capabilities Study 2008

2009

Technical advice on Emergency Towing Vessel and related pollution response capacity

Yes

44,175.00

Future Helicopter Study Group Report 2009

2009

Study of future helicopter search and rescue requirements

Yes

6,600.00

Report

Task Force

Year

Reason for Report/Task Force

CompletedYes/No

Cost

Value for Money study on Regional Airports

N/A

2009

Value for Money study on Regional Airports

No

N/A

Report and advice relating to procuring facility management operator for Terminal Two at Dublin Airport

N/A

2008

Report and advice relating to procuring facility management operator for Terminal Two at Dublin Airport

Yes

236,925.00

Consultancy relating to the Cork Airport debt

N/A

2008

Consultancy relating to the Cork Airport debt

Yes

30,250.00

Consultancy on State Airports Business Plans

N/A

2007

Consultancy on State Airports Business Plans

Yes

54,822.08

Capital Expenditure Grant Scheme Review for regional airports

N/A

2007

Capital Expenditure Grant Scheme Review for regional airports

Yes

169,950.02

Review of Motor Insurance Premiums for Young Persons

2008

To examine whether or not young drivers have benefited to the same extent as other age groups from the general reduction in motor insurance premiums

Yes

70,650.00

Dublin Port Study

2009

Study of port capacity in the Greater Dublin Area

Yes

157,550.00

Standardisation Review of the System Dossier on Internal Financial Controls

No

2008

To review and standardise the System Dossier on Internal Financial Controls

Yes

23,326.38

Resource Capacity Study

N/A

2009

To review Divisional structures and resource assignments having regard to strategic priorities; and to identify potential for efficiencies in resource deployment.

Yes

Consultant: €135,351 incl VAT Independent Chairman: €4,050 gross

Report

Task Force

Year

Reason for Report/Task Force

CompletedYes/No

Cost

Examination of the Department of Transport’s decision to authorise the re-routing of the Dublin Bus Route 41X service

N/A

2009

Review of the decision of the Department to authorise the rerouting of the Dublin Bus route 41X service

Yes

25,636

Review of Business Case of Luas Lines A1 and C1.

2007

Review of economic evaluation of business cases as part of Departmental approval processes

Yes

13,370.50

Business Cases for Reopening of WRC Phase 1 (Ennis to Athenry) Dublin Bus requirementsIE purchase of 33 railcars

2007

Review of economic evaluation of business cases as part of Departmental approval processes

Yes

19,481

Article 4 verification checks on EU co-financed public transport projects under the ESIOP 2000-2006

2008

Verification checks required under EU funding rules

Yes

70,964.18

Report of the Public Inquiry into the Cork-Midleton Railway Order application

2007

Report required under the statutory railway order process

Yes

33,275

Financial Audit of cohesion funded rail network track & signalling project

2007

Audit required under EU funding rules

Yes

14,217

Road Safety.

John McGuinness

Ceist:

161 Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Transport if he will carry out an analysis of the vehicle testing centre in County Wexford to determine if there is a need for another centre in the New Ross area in view of the number of hauliers in the area and the high number of heavy goods vehicles and trailers in the county; the position regarding the PriceWaterhouse Coopers report relative to applications for new test centres; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2641/10]

The relevant local authority has responsibility for matters relating to the approval of commercial vehicle testing centres. I have approved, in full, proposals from the RSA to reform the commercial vehicle roadworthiness system based on the findings of the Price Waterhouse Coopers report. The phasing and means of resourcing implementation of the reform plan is under consideration in light of current constrained Exchequer circumstances.

Road Network.

Michael Ring

Ceist:

162 Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Transport if funding has been drawn down by Mayo County Council in relation to flooding and landslides in Buckagh, Keena, Shramore, Treenlaur and Glenisland which occurred at the beginning of July 2009. [2647/10]

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads, in its area, is a statutory function of each road authority in accordance with the provisions of section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. The carrying out of works on these roads is a matter for the relevant local authority to be funded from its own resources supplemented by State road grants. In 2009, Mayo County Council undertook necessary reinstatement works to address damage to roads caused by flooding in July of that year. The council has submitted applications for regional and local road funding in 2010, including funding for works necessitated by the July 2009 flooding. Regional and local road grant allocations for 2010 are being considered at present and I will announce these grant allocations by mid February 2010 at the latest.

Parking Regulations.

Michael Ring

Ceist:

163 Deputy Michael Ring asked the Minister for Transport the number of disabled parking discs allocated in the past five years on a county basis in tabular form. [2650/10]

Under the Road Traffic Acts and the Road Traffic (Traffic and Parking) Regulations, 1997, the granting of a disabled person's parking permit is a matter for the prescribed issuing authorities i.e. local authorities, the Irish Wheelchair Association and the Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland. It is my understanding that no local authority currently issues permits under the scheme and my Department does not receive detailed information relating to permits issued by the Irish Wheelchair Association or the Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland.

Road Network.

Richard Bruton

Ceist:

164 Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Transport the legal basis for the company running the barrier free tolling imposing penalty charges on unpaid trips; if there are limits to the cost that they can add on as costs or penalty; and if there is a legal or constitutional limit on a body imposing such charges without judicial rights of review. [2718/10]

In the first instance, I should clarify that the statutory power to levy tolls on national roads, to make toll bye-laws and to enter into toll agreements with private investors in respect of national roads, is vested in the National Roads Authority (NRA) under Part V of the Roads Act 1993 (as amended). Under section 64 of the Act the non-payment of a toll can be dealt with under either civil or criminal law. This section provides that toll bye-laws made by the NRA in accordance with section 61 of the Act may allow an amount known as a "default toll" to be imposed for the non-payment or late payment of a toll. This section also provides that the default toll may take into account administrative costs in charging and collecting the toll.

The system has been carefully designed to act as an effective deterrent to toll evasion. It offers road users significant time to settle their debt and default tolls are imposed on a progressive scale. Road users have more than two months to pay the toll before court action can be initiated.

Tribunals of Inquiry.

John McGuinness

Ceist:

165 Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Transport the number of tribunals of inquiry conducted by his Department; the title of each; the cost of each to date in 2010; the expected date of conclusion of each; and the projected final costs. [2735/10]

There have been no tribunals of enquiry conducted by my Department.

Departmental Agencies.

John McGuinness

Ceist:

166 Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Transport the number of bodies and agencies operated under the remit of his Department; the cost of each on a yearly basis; the name and number that have been abolished in the past four years; the name and number that have been amalgamated; the name of those to be abolished or amalgamated in 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2749/10]

The Department funds the general administrative expenses of the following agencies and the estimates costs in 2008 and 2009 are set out as follows. Eight bodies in total have been abolished in the past 4 years. The Dublin Transportation office replaced by the National Transport Authority on 1st December 2009. Seven Harbour Authorities established under the Harbours Act 1946 have been abolished since 2006. Sligo, Annagassan, River Moy, Youghal, Kilrush and Westport harbours have transferred to local authority control and Dingle has been designated a Fishery Harbour Centre. There are six remaining Harbour Authorities under the Harbours Act 1946. Current policy is to transfer responsibility for these to local authorities l or to amalgamate them with State owned port companies. It is hoped that a number of these transfers will take place in 2010.

In compliance with the Government's decision of October 2008, the Air Accident Investigation Unit of the Department of Transport, the Railway Accident Investigation Unit of the Railway Safety Commission and the Marine Casualty Investigation Board will be administratively merged in mid-2010 to form the Irish Accident Investigation Office as an Executive Office under the aegis of the Department of Transport. Legislation to underpin the new arrangements is expected to be introduced in the Oireachtas in 2010.

It is also my intention to amalgamate the Commission for Aviation Regulation and the regulatory functions of the Irish Aviation Authority with the planned new National Transport Authority. Detailed proposals to implement the decision are currently being considered.

In line with the McCarthy Report proposals, consideration is been given to the merging of the National Roads Authority and the Railway Procurement Agency and this will be progressed during 2010. The Public Transport Regulation Act 2009 provides for the dissolution of the Commission for Taxi Regulation by the Minister at the request of the National Transport Authority and for the transfer of the staff, functions, duties and ongoing responsibilities of the Commission to the Authority. This will be progressed on receipt of a request from the Authority.

General Administrative Expenses

State Body

2008

2009

€million

€million

CIÉ Group — Bus Átha Cliath

Nil

Nil

CIÉ Group — Bus Éireann

Nil

Nil

CIÉ Group — Iarnród Éireann

Nil

Nil

Railway Safety Commission

2.1

2

Railway Procurement Agency

11.0

10.6

National Roads Authority

16.3

15.9

Dublin Transportation Office*

1.1

1

National Transport Authority**

Road Safety Authority

22.7

32.8

Medical Bureau of Road Safety

3.3

4.3

Marine Casualty Investigation Board

0.2

0.2

Dublin Airport Authority

Nil

Nil

Shannon Airport Authority

Nil

Nil

Cork Airport Authority

Nil

Nil

Commission for Taxi Regulation

Nil

Nil

Commission for Aviation Regulation

Nil

Nil

Irish Aviation Authority

Nil

Nil

Port of Cork Company

Nil

Nil

Drogheda Port Company

Nil

Nil

Dublin Port Company

Nil

Nil

Dundalk Port Company

Nil

Nil

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company

Nil

Nil

Galway Harbour Company

Nil

Nil

New Ross Port Company

Nil

Nil

Shannon/Foynes Port Company

Nil

Nil

Port of Waterford Company

Nil

Nil

Wicklow Port Company

Nil

Nil

Arklow Harbour Commissioners

Nil

Nil

Baltimore Harbour Commissioners

Nil

Nil

Bantry Bay Harbour Commissioners

Nil

Nil

Kinsale Harbour Commissioners

Nil

Nil

Tralee and Fenit and Harbour Commissioners

Nil

Nil

Wexford Harbour Commissioners

Nil

Nil

*Abolished 1 December 2009.

**Established 1 December 2009.

Rail Network.

Emmet Stagg

Ceist:

167 Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Transport the expected improvement works which will be completed on the Maynooth suburban rail line in 2010; and the improvement to services resulting from these works. [2759/10]

Since 1st December 2009, this is a matter which comes under the remit of the National Transport Authority (NTA). The Oireachtas Liaison Officer for the NTA is Mr. Matt Benville, The National Transport Authority, 59 Dawson St., Dublin 2.

Rural Transport Services.

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

168 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Transport the level of funding that he will allocate to the rural transport programme in 2010; if he will re-state the commitment that this scheme will not be abolished; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2826/10]

The provision for the Rural Transport Programme in 2010 is being maintained at €11 million in recognition of the important role it plays in combating social exclusion in rural Ireland. The Government's commitment to the Rural Transport Programme is clearly stated in Towards 2016 and in the present National Development Plan. The development of rural transport is also a key objective in the Government's sustainable travel and transport plan Smarter Travel — A Sustainable Transport Future and in the Department's Sectoral Plan under the Disability Act 2005.

Public Transport.

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

169 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Transport the number of permanent staff and temporary staff employed by Dublin Bus, Bus Éireann and Iarnród Éireann at the end of 2007, 2008 and 2009 in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2880/10]

This is an operational matter for the companies concerned and not one in which I have any role.

Departmental Staff.

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

170 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Transport the number of staff employed in each agency that derives from his Department at the end of 2007, 2008, and 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3216/10]

The information requested by the Deputy is contained in the following table.

Agency

2007

2008

2009

Railway Safety Commission

8

8

13

Medical Bureau of Road Safety

34

34

35

National Roads Authority

143

145

140

Road Safety Authority

309

309

308

Office of the Taxi Regulator

21

22

23

National Transport Authority* (Formerly the Dublin Transportation Office)

28

33

34*

Commission for Aviation Regulation

21

25

20

*The DTO was dissolved on 1 December 2009 and the work of the office transferred to the newly established National Transport Authority — NTA which was also established on 1 December 2009 under the Public Transport Regulation Act 2009.

Proposed Legislation.

Michael Kennedy

Ceist:

171 Deputy Michael Kennedy asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if legislation will be passed to protect persons who clear footpaths of snow and ice outside their premises from being sued should an accident involving a member of the public subsequently occur; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2665/10]

The law in this area, which is of long standing, already achieves a reasonable balance in relation to the care that is expected of persons for their own safety and for other persons. And, while I have no proposals to amend the law, my Department continues to review its operation.

Departmental Reports.

John O'Mahony

Ceist:

172 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of reports and task forces set up and commissioned in his Department in 2007, 2008 and 2009; the reason for each report; the number of reports completed; and the cost of each in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2630/10]

I wish to inform the Deputy that it has not been possible to compile the information requested in the time available. A response is being prepared and will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as possible.

EU Funding.

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

173 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform further to Question No. 346 of 9 June 2009, the position regarding same, including the figures for 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2658/10]

A call for applications under the European Integration Fund in respect of the 2009 programme was published by Pobal on behalf of my office in November with a closing date of 26 February 2010. Therefore, it is not possible to say at present what the take-up of funding under the 2009 programme will be. As I indicated in my reply to Question No. 346 of 9 June last, the present call for applications is directed at local authorities, other public bodies, NGOs and other relevant organisations and not just at NGOs and partnership companies as was the case with the previous call. In view of the availability of funds from the 2008 allocation, it was decided to invite groups being assisted from the fund to seek additional resources to continue their projects from 31 December 2009 to no later than 30 June 2010, which is the end of the extended eligibility period, as I explained in my reply to Question No. 346 of 9 June last. A sum of €226,233 has been approved in response to proposals.

Garda Strength.

Martin Ferris

Ceist:

174 Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of full-time gardaí serving in the Tralee and Listowel divisions in the years 2005 to 2009 inclusive. [2668/10]

I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that the personnel strength of the Tralee and Listowel Garda Districts at 31 December for the years stated by the Deputy was as set out in the following table:

District

31/12/2005

31/12/2006

31/12/2007

31/12/2008

31/12/2009

Tralee

106

117

128

136

136

Listowel

48

52

56

61

59

Martin Ferris

Ceist:

175 Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of gardaí serving on the drugs squad in County Kerry. [2669/10]

I am informed by the Garda authorities that, as of 31 December 2009, the latest date for which figures are readily available, there was one sergeant and ten gardaí assigned to the Kerry Divisional Drugs Unit.

Drug Offences.

Martin Ferris

Ceist:

176 Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of arrests made for drug related offences in County Kerry from 2007 to 2009 inclusive; the number of convictions for the same offence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2671/10]

The Garda Síochána Act 2005 makes provision for the compilation and publication of crime statistics by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), as the national statistical agency, and the CSO has established a dedicated unit for this purpose. I have asked the CSO to provide the statistics sought by the Deputy directly to him.

Departmental Funding.

Tom Hayes

Ceist:

177 Deputy Tom Hayes asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the names of community organisations based in south Tipperary receiving funding from his Department for community programmes and the funding received by those organisations in 2009. [2676/10]

I can inform the Deputy that, based on the current information available to me in relation to the recently concluded financial year 2009, the following community organisations based in south Tipperary have received funding in 2009 from my Department approximating €308,000: Aiséirí Cahir: €85,000; Clonmel Youth Training, €90,000; EDGE — Garda Youth Diversion Project, €95,400; South Tipperary Traveller Men's Development Project, €29,000; Integrate Carrick, €700; Three Drives Family Resource Centre, €300; South Tipperary Sports Partnership, €1,000; and Clonmel Community Partnership, €6,700. I would also like to inform the Deputy that funding allocated by my Department to any Linkage, MOVE or PACE projects within the South Tipperary area has not been included in the above figure, as these projects are based nationwide and it is not possible to provide a break down of such project funding for South Tipperary alone. The total funding received nationwide by these projects in 2009 was €2,955,000.

Garda Operations.

Martin Ferris

Ceist:

178 Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of arrests and convictions made in the Kerry Garda division for all offences for the years 2007 to 2009, inclusive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2678/10]

The Garda Síochána Act 2005 makes provision for the compilation and publication of crime statistics by the Central Statistics Office, as the national statistical agency, and the CSO has established a dedicated unit for this purpose. I have asked the CSO to provide the statistics sought by the Deputy directly to him.

Probation and Welfare Service.

Charles Flanagan

Ceist:

179 Deputy Charles Flanagan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the budgetary allocation to the Probation Service in 2008, 2009 and 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2680/10]

I wish to advise the Deputy that the budget allocation for the Probation Service for the years in question are outlined in the table that follows this reply. The figure for 2010 has not been included as the estimates for 2010 have not yet been finalised.

Year

Budget Allocation

€000

2009

51,796

2008

54,019*

*In January, 2008 €10.02 million of the Probation Service budget was transferred to the Irish Youth Justice service following the transfer of responsibility for the monitoring of Juvenile Offending Initiatives.

Sentencing Policy.

Charles Flanagan

Ceist:

180 Deputy Charles Flanagan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the status of the integrated sentence management system; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2681/10]

The Irish Prison Service is developing and rolling out a fully co-ordinated Integrated Sentence Management system (ISM) across all prisons and places of detention. ISM involves a new emphasis on prisoners taking greater personal responsibility for their own development through active engagement with both specialist and non-specialist services in the prisons. The end result will be a prisoner-centred approach to working with prisoners with provision for initial assessment, goal setting and periodic review to measure progress. ISM was first introduced on a pilot basis in Arbour Hill and Wheatfield prisons. During 2009, it was extended to additional numbers of prisoners in these prisons and was also initiated in the Training Unit and the Midlands Prison. Preparatory work also commenced in St. Patrick's Institution. Altogether over 200 prisoners have participated in ISM to date. Parallel work on a range of necessary system supports such as the development of an IT database and staff training is ongoing. It is envisaged that ISM will be consolidated in these five prisons in 2010, with approximately 500 prisoners participating by the end of the year. ISM will continue to be rolled out to all other institutions on a phased basis, subject to the availability of resources.

Telecommunications Services.

Charles Flanagan

Ceist:

181 Deputy Charles Flanagan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of mobile phone seizures that took place in each prison here in 2009 and to date in 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2682/10]

Section 36 of the Prisons Act, 2007, which was brought into operation on 1 May, 2007, makes it an offence for prisoners to have unauthorised possession of or use of mobile telecommunication devices. Under the Act it is also an offence to supply such a device to a prisoner. The penalties for such an offence, on summary conviction, include a fine not exceeding €5,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both, and on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €10,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both. It is Irish Prison Service policy to report and hand over seizures of mobile phones to the Garda. Cell and area searches for contraband such as mobile phones take place in all prisons on a daily basis. These include random, targeted and intelligence led searches. These searches have been particularly effective and local intelligence indicates that the availability of mobile phones has decreased across the prison system. Details of mobile seizures are set out in the table below and it is important to note that a large percentage of these seizures are not directly from prisoners but are instead retrieved at entry point or before they get to the prisoner population. This is as a direct consequence of newly introduced security measures including a airport style scanners and x-ray machines, which are in operation at the entrances of all the relevant closed prisons. Details of mobile seizures for 2009 and figures to 17 January 2010 are set out in the following table:

Prison/Place of Detention

2009

2010 (to 17 January 2010)

Arbour Hill

2

0

Castlerea

70

1

Cloverhill

41

1

Cork

27

1

Dóchas Centre

40

0

Limerick

309

5

Loughan House

78

7

Midlands

87

5

Mountjoy (Male)

904

54

Portlaoise

48

2

Shelton Abbey

103

3

St. Patrick’s Institution

121

3

Training Unit

116

3

Wheatfield

228

3

Total

2,174

88

Reporting systems for 2010 are currently being modified to differentiate between seizures within the prison and at point of entry to the prison.

Charles Flanagan

Ceist:

182 Deputy Charles Flanagan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of prisoners convicted of possessing, using or supplying a mobile telecommunications device in prison in 2008 and 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2683/10]

Statistics in relation to court convictions is a matter for the Courts Service, which under the Courts Service Act, 1998 is independent in the performance of its functions. Section 36 of the Prisons Act 2007, which was brought into operation on 1 May 2007, makes it an offence for prisoners to have unauthorised possession of or use of mobile telecommunication devices. Under the Act it is also an offence to supply such a device to a prisoner. The penalties for such an offence, on summary conviction, include a fine not exceeding €5,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both, and on conviction on indictment, to a fine not exceeding €10,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both. It is Irish Prison Service policy to report and hand over seizures of mobile phones to the Garda. As of 20 January 2010, there are 53 people serving sentences for this offence. Cell and area searches for contraband such as mobile phones take place in all prisons on a daily basis. These include random, targeted and intelligence led searches. These searches have been particularly effective and local intelligence indicates that the availability of mobile phones has decreased across the prison system.

Television Licence Fee.

Charles Flanagan

Ceist:

183 Deputy Charles Flanagan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of persons who were committed to prison in the past five years for non-payment of fines following court proceedings initiated by An Post for not having a television licence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2684/10]

I expect the number of committals for non-payment fines to fall substantially once the Fines Bill 2009 has been enacted.The information requested by the Deputy for the years 2005 to 2009 is set out in the table that follows this reply. These figures relate to persons committed to prison for breach of the Broadcasting and Wireless Telegraphy Act 1988 where a fine or a prison sentence or indeed both may be imposed for not having a television licence.

Year

Total

2005

52

2006

31

2007

32

2008

54

2009

62

I can advise the Deputy that the number of such people held in custody at any one time is a tiny fraction of the overall prisoner population. To illustrate this point, figures relating to 20 January 2010 indicate that there was no person in custody for non-payment of fines in relation to not having a television licence.

Garda Equipment.

Ruairí Quinn

Ceist:

184 Deputy Ruairí Quinn asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the reason a telephone help line (details supplied), set up by the Garda Commissioner in the wake of the publication of the Murphy report, puts callers through to an answering machine and that any voice message does not seem to be responded to by the Garda Síochána; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2699/10]

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the telephone help line referred to by the Deputy was set up following the publication of the report of the Commission of Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse in the Dublin Archdiocese on 26 November last. A dedicated telephone line with voicemail facility was installed in the office of the Assistant Commissioner, National Support Services, Harcourt Square, and was continuously monitored by a dedicated call taker and personnel at the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Investigation Unit. I am also informed that after the first week following the installation of the help line there was a marked reduction in the number of calls being received. A decision was therefore taken to alter the period during which the help line was staffed to between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. Any person who was unable to get through to the call taker and who left a voice mail message was called back. Following a subsequent further reduction in the number of calls to the help line, it was decided that the voice mail facility would be utilised full-time, checked on a regular basis, and any caller who had left a message would be responded to. The situation is being kept under review. The Garda authorities are not aware of any calls not being responded to and, if the Deputy has any further information in that regard, I will be happy to have it examined.

Residency Permits.

Tom Sheahan

Ceist:

185 Deputy Tom Sheahan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when a person (details supplied) in County Kerry will receive their long term residency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2711/10]

An application for Long Term Residency from the person concerned was received in my Department on 30 March 2009. I understand that applications received in September 2008 are currently being processed. It is likely, therefore, that further processing of the application of the person concerned will commence in the coming months, with a view to having it completed by July this year. The person in question will be contacted as soon as a decision is reached on the application.

Garda Deployment.

Richard Bruton

Ceist:

186 Deputy Richard Bruton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the protocol for the gardaí offering an escort to celebrities travelling between events; if there are arrangements for cost recovery in such circumstances; if there has been a recent review of the justification for such deployment of resources in recent times; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2720/10]

I am informed by the Garda authorities that there is no protocol for the Garda Síochána offering an escort to celebrities travelling between events. The provision of a Garda escort is determined by the nature of the request including security considerations and public safety. Arrangements are in place for cost recovery in respect of some escort duties performed.

Tribunals of Inquiry.

John McGuinness

Ceist:

187 Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of tribunals of inquiry conducted by his Department; the title of each; the cost of each to date in 2010; the expected date of conclusion of each; and the projected final costs. [2733/10]

The information requested by the Deputy in respect of sitting or recently concluded Tribunals of Inquiry, established under the Tribunals of Inquiry (Evidence) Acts 1921 to 2004, where the final cost is not yet determined, is set out in this reply. The Smithwick Tribunal was established in 2005 to investigate suggestions that members of the Garda Síochána or other employees of the State colluded in the fatal shootings of RUC Chief Superintendent Harry Breen and RUC Superintendent Robert Buchanan on 20 March 1989. The sole member of the tribunal is His Honour Judge Peter Smithwick. The total cost of the tribunal to 31 December 2009 (the latest date for which figures are available) is €6.09 million. The tribunal is in its investigative phase at present and it is not, therefore, possible to say when it will conclude its work. Neither is it possible at this point to indicate the final cost. The tribunal of inquiry into complaints concerning some gardaí of the Donegal Division has concluded. The cost, as at end of December 2009 was €52.8 million and the projected final cost is approximately €70 million.

Departmental Agencies.

John McGuinness

Ceist:

188 Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of bodies and agencies operated under the remit of his Department; the cost of each on a yearly basis; the name and number that have been abolished in the past four years; the name and number that have been amalgamated; the name of those to be abolished or amalgamated in 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2747/10]

I can inform the Deputy that the main bodies within the remit of my Department include the Garda Síochána, the Courts Service, the Irish Prison Service and the Property Registration Authority in addition to 24 other bodies, details of which can be found in the appendices to my Department's most recent Annual Report available at www.justice.ie and in the Oireachtas Library. Full details of estimates associated with all the bodies concerned are contained in the Abridged Estimates Volume for Public Services 2010. The costs associated with these bodies for earlier years are contained in the Revised Estimates for Public Services for each of the years concerned. Copies of the Abridged Estimates Volume for Public Services and the Revised Estimates for Public Services are available at www.finance.irlgov.ie and in the Oireachtas Library. With regard to the abolition or amalgamation of bodies and agencies operated under the remit of my Department, I can inform the Deputy that the Garda Síochána Complaints Board and the Garda Síochána Complaints Appeal Board were established under the Garda Síochána (Complaints) Act 1986. The board ceased to accept new complaints when the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission opened its doors on 9 May 2007 and its staff and resources have steadily declined in line with its reduced workload. It continues, however, to have responsibility for a number of complaints which were already being investigated under its remit at that time. While most of these have been finalised, a number of them are the subject of ongoing litigation. When this work has been completed the then Minister will, under powers conferred on her/him by the Garda Síochána Act 2005, by order repeal the Garda Síochána (Complaints) Act 1986. The National Crime Council ceased operation in October 2008. The Remembrance Commission’s term of appointment came to an end on 31 October 2008. Government funding to the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism ceased at the end of 2008. Some of its functions have been absorbed into the Office of the Minister for Integration. From June 2009, in line with the Budget Decision, secretarial support for the Classification of Films Appeal Board, the Censorship of Publications Board and the Censorship of Publications Appeal Board are provided by the Irish Film Classification Office. Subject to the enactment of the Immigration, Residence and Protection Bill 2008 and the commencement of relevant provisions therein, the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner will cease to exist in 2010 and its functions will be subsumed into my Department. The Refugee Appeals Tribunal will be replaced by the Protection Review Tribunal at the same time. My Department is actively examining where common services or other resources can be shared to obtain efficiencies and reduce costs.

Citizenship Applications.

Jack Wall

Ceist:

189 Deputy Jack Wall asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding an application for naturalisation in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2750/10]

Officials in the citizenship division of my Department inform me that there is no record of an application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to in the Deputy's Question.

Garda Strength.

Emmet Stagg

Ceist:

190 Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of gardaí serving in each garda station in the Leixlip Garda District and Naas Garda District in County Kildare on 31 December 2009. [2756/10]

I have been informed by the Garda Commissioner that on 31 December 2009 the personnel strength of each Garda station in Leixlip and Naas Garda Districts was as follows:

Leixlip District

Strength

Carbury

5

Celbridge

18

Kilcock

8

Leixlip

33

Maynooth

15

Total

79

Naas District

Strength

Ballymore Eustace

1

Clane

8

Kilcullen

3

Kill

3

Naas

107

Robertstown

4

Total

126

Garda Deployment.

Emmet Stagg

Ceist:

191 Deputy Emmet Stagg asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will order an independent review of the allocation of gardaí here in view of the disparity between the numbers in some divisional areas, including the fact that Kildare has one garda for every 580 people, Roscommon and Longford has one garda for every 312 people, Cavan and Monaghan has one garda for every 287 people and Clare has one garda for every 330 people. [2776/10]

The Garda Commissioner, with his senior managers and Divisional Officers, arranges for the allocation of Garda personnel throughout the State. Garda management is aided in this by a distribution model known as the Garda Establishment Redistribution Model (GERM).

I am advised by the Commissioner that this model indicates the most effective means to distribute Garda personnel and acts as a guide to Garda management decision making. It takes into account many different policing variables, including crime trends, socio-economic factors, and census information. The allocation of Garda personnel is determined by these factors and also takes account of the policing requirements of each individual Division.

Citizenship Applications.

Seán Barrett

Ceist:

192 Deputy Seán Barrett asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if, in view of the lengthy delay since an application for citizenship was made in January 2008 in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin, an early decision on this application will be made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2780/10]

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Parliamentary Question 347 on 20 October, 2009. The position remains as stated.

Prison Building Programme.

Leo Varadkar

Ceist:

193 Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his plans in respect of Thornton Hall in 2010; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2795/10]

The Government re-affirmed its commitment to developing a new prison campus at Thornton Hall, Kilsallaghan, County Dublin and also approved the launch of a new tendering process for the construction of a more affordable and better value prison campus at Thornton. The aim is to provide good quality, regime focussed prison accommodation with appropriate support and rehabilitative facilities for prisoners to prepare them for re-integration back into society. The new prison facility will provide accommodation for 1,400 prisoners with operational flexibility to accommodate up to 2,200 in a range of security settings.

The development is now proceeding on a phased basis with phase one comprising essential enabling works required for the development including the construction of the dedicated access road, perimeter wall and off-site services. Tenders for the construction of the access road will be issued in March of this year. A tender competition for the construction of the perimeter wall of the prison will issue mid-Summer.

An EU wide tender competition for the appointment of technical advisors to the Irish Prison Service is already in progress. The Irish Prison Service is being assisted in this process by the National Development Finance Agency. It is intended to invite tenders for the construction of the main prison development later this year.

Departmental Programmes.

Leo Varadkar

Ceist:

194 Deputy Leo Varadkar asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his views on the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes Report proposal to transfer the disability functions of his Department to the office of mental health and disability; and if a decision has been made on this matter. [2823/10]

I refer the Deputy to the details of my reply to Question No. 54 September 2009. The disability functions of my Department centre on promoting the principles of equality but do not involve service delivery. No decision has been made to transfer the disability functions of my Department at this juncture.

Prison Accommodation.

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

195 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform his plans to review the decision not to reopen Harristown House, Castlerea, County Roscommon; if he will overturn this decision; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2832/10]

I would refer the Deputy to my reply to Questions 624, 635 and 721 on 16 September, 2009. The situation regarding Harristown House remains unchanged. My Department, in consultation with the Irish Prison Service, is examining other potential alternate uses for the House. These discussions are ongoing.

Prison Building Programme.

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

196 Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 247 of 13 October 2009, the cost of planting in 2009; the corresponding maintenance costs; the consideration given to undertaking further additional planting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2833/10]

No additional planting was undertaken at the Thornton Hall Site during 2009.

During 2009, approximately €9,600 was spent on landscape maintenance, including weed removal and control; removal of all tree stakes and tree ties; fixing and securing of protective fencing etc at the Thornton Hall site.

Consideration was given to the planting of further trees and shrubs as referred to in my answer to the Deputy's Parliamentary Question of Tuesday 13 October, 2009. However, this had to be deferred due to weather conditions.

The Deputy will be aware that when granting development consent for the Thornton Hall prison project, the Oireachtas decided to increase the planted zone at certain points along the perimeter of the site in order to mitigate the visual and aural impact of the development. This additional planting will be undertaken at the appropriate time.

Visa Applications.

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

197 Deputy Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding an application in respect of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2839/10]

The person referred to has submitted two on-line applications for a visa both made on 12/12/2009. No documentation or fees have been submitted to date in relation to either of these applications. As the person concerned states she is a South African national, she does not require a visa prior to entering the State. Entry into the State and the period of time the person may remain is at the discretion of the Immigration Officer at the port of entry.

Magdalene Laundries.

Joan Burton

Ceist:

198 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will make a statement on the position of files and records held by Government Departments in respect of women and young girls who were routinely committed by order of the courts and other mechanisms to institutions and homes run by religious orders (details supplied); if these files will be released; and the steps he proposes to take in respect of this matter and the proposals made by an organisation. [2857/10]

In my replies to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 547, 548, 549 and 550 of Tuesday, 19 January, 2010 to Deputy Ruairí Quinn I set out fully the current position. I have nothing further to add to those replies.

Garda Strength.

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

199 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of full-time gardaí in the force at the end of 2007, 2008 and 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2881/10]

I am informed by the Garda authorities that the personnel strength of An Garda Síochána as at 31 December 2007, 2008 and 2009 was 13,755, 14,412 and 14,547 respectively.

Residency Permits.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

200 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding the case of a person (details supplied) in County Carlow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2883/10]

I have been informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) of my Department that, to date, they have not received an application from the person referred to in the Deputy's Question. If this person has resided legally in the State for five years on work permit conditions they may apply to their local immigration officer to have their permission to remain in the State renewed.

Deportation Orders.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

201 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform when a Garda national immigration bureau card will re-approve and re-issue in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Meath who applied for this card in October 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2884/10]

The person concerned applied for asylum on 16 September 2004. Her three children were included in her application. Her claim was examined by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and the Refugee Appeals Tribunal, following which it was recommended that she should be declared a refugee. Based on this recommendation, the person concerned was issued with a formal declaration of refugee status by letter dated 27 October 2005 with this status applying equally to her three children. This communication also advised the person concerned of the rights and entitlements accompanying refugee status in the State, one of which was that she would be permitted to reside in the State on Stamp 4 conditions.

The person concerned was notified by letter dated 3 July 2009 that the Minister was proposing to revoke her refugee status in accordance with Section 21(1)(h) of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) as it appeared that she had given false and misleading information during the course of her asylum application. She was informed that she had 15 working days from the date of that letter to make representations to the Minister in this regard. The person concerned made representations to the Minister within the specified period.

Following the consideration of the case of the person concerned, including all representations submitted, the Minister decided to revoke her status as a refugee in accordance with Section 21(1)(h) of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended). The person concerned was notified of this decision by letter dated 4 December 2009. This letter also informed her of her entitlement to appeal to the High Court under Section 21(5) of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) against this decision.

Arising from the revocation of her refugee status, the person concerned no longer enjoys the benefits accruing from refugee status in the State and therefore her permission to reside in the State under Stamp 4 conditions was withdrawn.

The person concerned was notified by letter dated 15 January 2010 that as she no longer had an entitlement to remain in the State, the Minister now proposed to make Deportation Orders in respect of her and her children. She was given the options, to be exercised within 15 working days, of leaving the State voluntarily, of consenting to the making of Deportation Orders or of making representations to the Minister setting out the reasons why Deportation Orders should not be made against her and her children. In addition, she was notified of her entitlement to apply for Subsidiary Protection in the State in accordance with the European Communities (Eligibility for Protection) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 518 of 2006).

The 15 working day period referred to in my Department's letter of 15 January 2010 expires on 8 February 2010. It is open to the person concerned to make representations and/or apply for Subsidiary Protection in the State within that period. In any event, the case of the person concerned will not be further processed until the 15 working day period referred to has elapsed.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

202 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding residency status in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2885/10]

The person concerned applied for asylum on 29 October 2008. In accordance with Section 9 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended), the person concerned was entitled to remain in the State until his application for asylum was decided. His asylum application was refused following consideration of his case by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and, on appeal, the Refugee Appeals Tribunal.

Arising from the refusal of his asylum application, and in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), the person concerned was notified, by letter dated 27 March 2009, that the Minister proposed to make a Deportation Order in respect of him. He was given the options, to be exercised within 15 working days, of leaving the State voluntarily, of consenting to the making of a Deportation Order or of making representations to the Minister setting out the reasons why a Deportation Order should not be made against him. In addition, he was notified of his entitlement to apply for Subsidiary Protection in the State in accordance with the European Communities (Eligibility for Protection) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 518 of 2006).

The person concerned submitted an application for Subsidiary Protection in the State in accordance with these Regulations and this application is under consideration at present. When consideration of this application has been completed, the person concerned will be notified in writing of the outcome.

In the event that the application for Subsidiary Protection is refused, the position in the State of the person concerned will then be decided by reference to the provisions of Section 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and Section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) on the prohibition of refoulement. All representations submitted will be considered before the file is passed to me for decision. Once a decision has been made, this decision and the consequences of the decision will be conveyed in writing to the person concerned.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

203 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding an residency application in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2886/10]

This applicant applied for asylum on 16 September 2002. His application and a subsequent appeal were refused and a Deportation Order was made on 11 March 2005. The applicant applied for Subsidiary Protection, but this application was deemed invalid under the regulations.

The applicant instituted Judicial Review proceedings on 18 April 2005 challenging the Deportation Order made in respect of him and accordingly, as the matter is sub judice, I do not propose to comment further.

Citizenship Applications.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

204 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding an application for citizenship in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2887/10]

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Parliamentary Question 260 on 13 October, 2009. The position remains as stated.

Residency Permits.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

205 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding an application for residency in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2888/10]

I refer the Deputy to my detailed Replies to his earlier Parliamentary Questions, Nos. 704 of Tuesday, 3 November 2009 and 686 of Wednesday, 16 September 2009. The position in the State of the person concerned is as set out in those Replies.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

206 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding residency or citizenship in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2889/10]

I refer the Deputy to Parliamentary Question No. 100 of Thursday, 2 July 2009, and the written Reply to that Question.

As stated in my last Reply, the person concerned has submitted an application for Subsidiary Protection in the State which is under consideration at present. When consideration of this application has been completed, the person concerned will be notified in writing of the outcome.

In the event that the application for Subsidiary Protection is refused, the position in the State of the person concerned will then be decided by reference to the provisions of Section 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and Section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) on the prohibition of refoulement. All representations submitted will be considered before the file is passed to me for decision. Once a decision has been made, this decision and the consequences of the decision will be conveyed in writing to the person concerned.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

207 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding family reunification in the case of persons (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2890/10]

I am informed by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) that a letter issued to the legal representative of the person referred to by the Deputy on 16th December 2009 and that to date no response has been received.

I am further informed by INIS that on receipt of a response from the legal representative of the person referred to by the Deputy his Family Reunification application will be further processed.

Deportation Orders.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

208 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the procedure followed to date and likely further developments in the case of an application for residency and refugee status in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Laois; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2891/10]

The person referred to by the Deputy applied for Asylum on 12 December 2006. The claim was assessed by the Refugee Applications Commissioner who concluded that the person concerned did not meet the criteria for recognition as a refugee. The Commissioner's recommendation was communicated to him by letter dated 19 September 2007. This communication advised the person of his entitlement to appeal the Commissioner's recommendation to the Refugee Appeals Tribunal, which he duly did.

The Refugee Appeals Tribunal considered the person's appeal, following which the Tribunal affirmed the Commissioner's earlier recommendation to reject his claim. The outcome of the appeal was made known to the applicant by letter dated 31 December 2009.

In accordance with normal procedures, the applicant's file has been forwarded to my Department's Ministerial Decisions Unit for final processing of the Asylum claim. A letter will be issued formally advising him that his asylum claim has been rejected and affording him three options as follows:

1. Return home voluntarily;

2. Consent to the making of a deportation order, or

3. Make written representations to me within 15 working days for temporary leave to remain in the State and/or make an application for subsidiary protection under the European Communities (Eligibility for Protection) Regulations 2006 (SI No. 518 of 2006).

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

209 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the progress to date in the application for residency in the case of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 22; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2892/10]

I refer the Deputy to Parliamentary Question No. 675 of Tuesday, 6 October 2009, and the written Reply to that Question.

The up to date position is that the representations submitted by the person concerned as to why a Deportation Order should not be made in respect of him are currently being considered in my Department. This consideration will have regard for the provisions of Section 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and Section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) on the prohibition of refoulement. Once this consideration has been completed, the file is passed to me for decision. Once a decision has been made, this decision and the consequences of the decision will be conveyed in writing to the person concerned.

Asylum Applications.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

210 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the progress to date and likely outcome in the application for residency in the case of persons (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2893/10]

The persons concerned, a husband and wife, made separate applications for asylum on 31 August 2005. The couple's child was born in the State in late 2005 and this child was included as a child dependant in his mother's asylum application. In accordance with Section 9 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended), the persons concerned were entitled to remain in the State until their respective applications for asylum were decided. Their asylum applications were refused following the separate consideration of their cases by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and, on appeal, the Refugee Appeals Tribunal.

Arising from the refusal of his asylum application, and in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), the first named person was notified, by letter dated 14 August 2008, that the Minister proposed to make a Deportation Order in respect of him. He was given the options, to be exercised within 15 working days, of leaving the State voluntarily, of consenting to the making of a Deportation Order or of making representations to the Minister setting out the reasons why a Deportation Order should not be made against him.

Arising from the refusal of her asylum application, and in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), the second named person was notified, by letter dated 28 July 2008, that the Minister proposed to make Deportation Orders in respect of her and her child. She was given the options, to be exercised within 15 working days, of leaving the State voluntarily, of consenting to the making of Deportation Orders or of making representations to the Minister setting out the reasons why Deportation Orders should not be made against her and her child. In addition, both the first and the second named persons were notified of their respective entitlements to apply for Subsidiary Protection in the State in accordance with the European Communities (Eligibility for Protection) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 518 of 2006).

The persons concerned have submitted applications for Subsidiary Protection in the State in accordance with these Regulations and these applications are under consideration at present. When consideration of these applications have been completed, the persons concerned will be notified in writing of the outcomes. In the event that the applications for Subsidiary Protection are refused, the positions in the State of the persons concerned will then be decided by reference to the provisions of Section 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and Section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) on the prohibition of refoulement. All representations submitted will be considered before the files are passed to me for decision. Once decisions have been made, these decisions and the consequences of the decisions will be conveyed in writing to the persons concerned.

Given that the consideration of these cases has not yet been completed, the Deputy will appreciate that it would be entirely inappropriate to make any comment on their likely outcomes.

Residency Permits.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

211 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding an application for residency in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2894/10]

I am informed by the Immigration Division of my Department that, following consideration of an appeal in this case, the person concerned was approved a Residence card of a family member of an EU citizen valid for a five year period. The person concerned was informed of this decision by registered letter on 13 November 2009.

Asylum Applications.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

212 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding an application for residency in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2895/10]

I refer the Deputy to Parliamentary Question No. 187 of Thursday, 17 December 2009, and the written Reply to that Question.

The up to date position is that the representations submitted by the person concerned as to why Deportation Orders should not be made in respect of her and her child are currently being considered in my Department. This consideration will have regard for the provisions of Section 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and Section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) on the prohibition of refoulement. Once this consideration has been completed, the file is passed to me for decision. Once a decision has been made, this decision and the consequences of the decision will be conveyed in writing to the person concerned.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

213 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding an application for residency and citizenship in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2896/10]

The person concerned applied for asylum on 20 May 2003. In accordance with Section 9 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended), the person concerned was entitled to remain in the State until his application for asylum was decided. His asylum application was refused following consideration of his case by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and, on appeal, the Refugee Appeals Tribunal. The person concerned initiated Judicial Review Proceedings in the High Court, challenging the decision of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal in his case. On 20 April 2009 the High Court refused the Judicial Review Leave Application with the consequence that the earlier decision of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal stood.

Arising from the refusal of his asylum application, and in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), the person concerned was notified, by letter dated 28 May 2009, that the Minister proposed to make a Deportation Order in respect of him. He was given the options, to be exercised within 15 working days, of leaving the State voluntarily, of consenting to the making of a Deportation Order or of making representations to the Minister setting out the reasons why a Deportation Order should not be made against him. In addition, he was notified of his entitlement to apply for Subsidiary Protection in the State in accordance with the European Communities (Eligibility for Protection) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 518 of 2006). The person concerned submitted an application for Subsidiary Protection in the State in accordance with these Regulations and this application is under consideration at present. When consideration of this application has been completed, the person concerned will be notified in writing of the outcome.

In the event that the application for Subsidiary Protection is refused, the position in the State of the person concerned will then be decided by reference to the provisions of Section 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and Section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) on the prohibition of refoulement. All representations submitted will be considered before the file is passed to me for decision. Once a decision has been made, this decision and the consequences of the decision will be conveyed in writing to the person concerned.

The person concerned also made an application for residency in the State on the basis of being the spouse of an EU National. However, following consideration of this application, under the provisions of the European Communities (Free Movement of Persons) Regulations, 2006, a decision was made to refuse the application. The person concerned was notified of this refusal decision by letter dated 23 October 2008.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

214 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding an application for residency in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2897/10]

I refer the Deputy to my detailed Reply to his recent Parliamentary Question, No. 629 of Tuesday, 19 January 2010, in this matter.

As stated in my earlier Reply, in the event that the application for Subsidiary Protection made by the person concerned is refused, the position in the State of the person concerned and that of her two children will then be decided by reference to the provisions of Section 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and Section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) on the prohibition of refoulement. All representations submitted, including those of a medical nature, will be considered before the file is passed to me for decision. Once a decision has been made, this decision and the consequences of the decision will be conveyed in writing to the person concerned.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

215 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding an application for residency in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2898/10]

The person concerned applied for asylum on 7 December 2006. In accordance with Section 9 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended), the person concerned was entitled to remain in the State until her application for asylum was decided. Her asylum application was refused following consideration of her case by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and, on appeal, the Refugee Appeals Tribunal.

Arising from the refusal of her asylum application, and in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), the person concerned was notified, by letter dated 9 October 2007, that the Minister proposed to make a Deportation Order in respect of her. She was given the options, to be exercised within 15 working days, of leaving the State voluntarily, of consenting to the making of a Deportation Order or of making representations to the Minister setting out the reasons why a Deportation Order should not be made against her. In addition, she was notified of her entitlement to apply for Subsidiary Protection in the State in accordance with the European Communities (Eligibility for Protection) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 518 of 2006).

The person concerned initiated Judicial Review Proceedings in the High Court, challenging the decision of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal in her case. The High Court refused the Judicial Review Leave Application with the consequence that the earlier decisions of the Refugee Appeals Tribunal and the Minister stood. The position in the State of the person concerned will now be decided by reference to the provisions of Section 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and Section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) on the prohibition of refoulement. All representations submitted will be considered before the file is passed to me for decision. Once a decision has been made, this decision and the consequences of the decision will be conveyed in writing to the person concerned.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

216 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding an application for residency in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 1; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2899/10]

I refer the Deputy to Parliamentary Question No. 150 of Thursday, 5 November 2009, and the written Reply to that Question.

As stated in my last Reply, the person concerned has submitted an application for Subsidiary Protection in the State which is under consideration at present. When consideration of this application has been completed, the person concerned will be notified in writing of the outcome. In the event that the application for Subsidiary Protection is refused, the position in the State of the person concerned will then be decided by reference to the provisions of Section 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and Section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) on the prohibition of refoulement. All representations submitted will be considered before the file is passed to me for decision. Once a decision has been made, this decision and the consequences of the decision will be conveyed in writing to the person concerned.

Residency Permits.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

217 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding residency and family reunification in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2900/10]

I wish to inform the Deputy that the person concerned was granted permission to remain in the State under the revised arrangements for the non-EEA parents of children born in Ireland prior to 1 January, 2005, known as the IBC/05 Scheme. This permission to remain, which was renewed in September of 2007, is currently valid until 22 September, 2010.

With regard to the issue of family reunification, I wish to advise the Deputy that permission to remain in the State granted under the IBC/05 Scheme, and renewal thereof, is subject to the condition that the granting of such permission to remain does not confer any entitlement or legitimate expectation on any other person, whether related to the applicant or not, to enter the State. This was an express condition of the Scheme and one which all applicants signed an undertaking to accept. It is, however, open to all persons who are resident outside the State and who are visa-required to enter the State, to make an application for a visa to their nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate. All visa applications are assessed on their individual merits and further information concerning visa applications may be found on www.inis.gov.ie.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

218 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding residency and family reunification in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2901/10]

I wish to inform the Deputy that the person concerned was granted permission to remain in the State under the revised arrangements for the non-EEA parents of children born in Ireland prior to 1 January, 2005, known as the IBC/05 Scheme. This permission to remain, which was renewed in July of 2007, is currently valid until 14 July, 2010.

With regard to the issue of family reunification, I wish to advise the Deputy that permission to remain in the State granted under the IBC/05 Scheme, and renewal thereof, is subject to the condition that the granting of such permission to remain does not confer any entitlement or legitimate expectation on any other person, whether related to the applicant or not, to enter the State. This was an express condition of the Scheme and one which all applicants signed an undertaking to accept. It is, however, open to all persons who are resident outside the State and who are visa-required to enter the State, to make an application for a visa to their nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate. All visa applications are assessed on their individual merits and further information concerning visa applications may be found on www.inis.gov.ie.

Asylum Applications.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

219 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the residency status in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Meath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2902/10]

The Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner, (ORAC), determined on 15 January 2010, in accordance with the terms of the Dublin II Regulation, Council Regulation (EC) No. 343/2003, that the United Kingdom is responsible for examining the asylum application of the person concerned. The Dublin II Regulation, (Council Regulation (EC) No. 343/2003), is intended to prevent the phenomenon of ‘asylum shopping' across Europe and sets out criteria for determining which Regulation State is responsible for examining an asylum application where applications have been lodged in more than one Regulation State or whereby an asylum seeker has been granted a visa to enter another Regulation State and has entered that other State before entering Ireland and making an asylum application here. At the same time, it guarantees applicants that one State will process their application, thereby preventing the creation of ‘refugees in orbit', a situation which had previously pertained in Europe.

In regard to the person referred to by the Deputy, a Transfer Order was subsequently signed on 18 January and on 19 January 2010 she was transferred to the United Kingdom.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

220 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding an application for residency in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2903/10]

The person concerned applied for asylum on 7 February 2007. In accordance with Section 9 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended), the person concerned was entitled to remain in the State until her application for asylum was decided. Her asylum application was refused following consideration of her case by the Office of the Refugee Applications Commissioner and, on appeal, the Refugee Appeals Tribunal.

Arising from the refusal of her asylum application, and in accordance with the provisions of Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended), the person concerned was notified, by letter dated 10 June 2008, that the Minister proposed to make a Deportation Order in respect of her. She was given the options, to be exercised within 15 working days, of leaving the State voluntarily, of consenting to the making of a Deportation Order or of making representations to the Minister setting out the reasons why a Deportation Order should not be made against her. In addition, she was notified of her entitlement to apply for Subsidiary Protection in the State in accordance with the European Communities (Eligibility for Protection) Regulations 2006 (S.I. No. 518 of 2006). The person concerned submitted an application for Subsidiary Protection in the State in accordance with these Regulations and this application is under consideration at present. When consideration of this application has been completed, the person concerned will be notified in writing of the outcome.

In the event that the application for Subsidiary Protection is refused, the position in the State of the person concerned will then be decided by reference to the provisions of Section 3(6) of the Immigration Act 1999 (as amended) and Section 5 of the Refugee Act 1996 (as amended) on the prohibition of refoulement. All representations submitted will be considered before the file is passed to me for decision. Once a decision has been made, this decision and the consequences of the decision will be conveyed in writing to the person concerned.

Citizenship Applications.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

221 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding an application for citizenship in respect of persons (details supplied) in Dublin 24; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2904/10]

Valid applications for certificates of naturalisation from the persons referred to in the Deputy's Question were received in the Citizenship Division of my Department in August 2007. Processing of the applications has been completed and I have reached a decision on both. The persons concerned will be informed of the decisions in the near future.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

222 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding an application for citizenship in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 15; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2905/10]

A valid application for a certificate of naturalisation from the person referred to in the Deputy's Question was received in the Citizenship Division of my Department in May 2007. I decided in my absolute discretion to grant a certificate of naturalisation and the person in question was informed of that decision in a letter issued to him on 14 July, 2009.

Officials in the Citizenship Division inform me that they wrote to the person in question via his legal representatives on 29 October, 2009 seeking clarification in relation to the name to be used on the certificate of naturalisation (the name that appears on a certificate of naturalisation, except in the case of a married woman, will be that which appears on the birth certificate as submitted by the person concerned). A reminder letter was issued on 13 January, 2010. Clarification was received in the Citizenship Division of my Department on 18 January, 2010. A certificate of naturalisation will issue to the person concerned in the near future.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

223 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding an application for residency and citizenship in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2906/10]

I refer the Deputy to my reply to Parliamentary Question 706 on 3 November, 2009. The position remains as stated.

The General Immigration Division of my Department has informed me that in November 2009 an application was received from the person in question for a Without Condition As To Time endorsement, also known as stamp 5. The application was processed and as the person had acquired the necessary immigration residency stamps his passport was endorsed with a Without Condition As To Time endorsement and returned to him by registered post on the 26 November 2009. The Without Condition As To Time endorsement gives the person in question residency in the State until his current passport expires on the 17 May 2014. Records with the Garda National Immigration Bureau show that the person in question registered his new endorsement on the 2 December 2009.

Departmental Agencies.

Joanna Tuffy

Ceist:

224 Deputy Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number of staff employed in each agency that derives from his Department at the end of 2007, 2008, and 2009; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3213/10]

The number of whole-time equivalent staff attached to the 19 agencies and executive offices of the Department (but excluding bodies in the wider Justice sector which recruit their own staff such as the Courts Service, Garda Síochána, Garda Ombudsman Commission, Legal Aid Board, Property Registration Authority and non-administrative staff in the Irish Prison Service) at the end of 2007 was 986, at the end of 2008 was 1,090 and at the end of 2009 was 1,012.

Departmental Reports.

John O'Mahony

Ceist:

225 Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the number of reports and task forces set up and commissioned in his Department in 2007, 2008 and 2009; the reason for each report; the number of reports completed; and the cost of each in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2628/10]

The Department of Foreign Affairs is responsible for two Votes — Vote 28 (Foreign Affairs) and Vote 29 (International Cooperation). The following tables set out, for both Votes, the details of reports commissioned by the Department in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and the costs in each case.

There were 4 reports on the EU which I requested the department to undertake prior to and post the Lisbon Treaty in 2009. I also requested a review on Irish Prisoners Abroad. All the other reports and those listed in Vote 29 were requested from various divisions in my department through Irish Aid.

Irish Aid (Ireland's official development assistance programme) occasionally commissions outside expertise where the specialised knowledge and/or skills are not available within the Department and where the effective management and evaluation of the programme necessitates the presence of such skills. During the course of their engagements these consultants/experts may prepare reports and other documentation. However, as they would not have been commissioned specifically to furnish a report, these details have not been included in the table.

One Task Force was established under the auspices of my Department in the period in question. The Hunger Task Force was established in 2007 following a recommendation of the September 2006 White Paper on Irish Aid. The aim of the Hunger Task Force was to identify the additional, appropriate and effective contributions that Ireland can make to international efforts to reduce hunger. The first meeting of the Hunger Task Force took place in Dublin on 14th September 2007. The Task Force reported in September 2008, and outlined a number of key actions which Ireland can take to give practical leadership internationally on the attainment of the Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of those who suffer from hunger by 2015. The total cost of the Task Force was €301,991.

Vote 28: Experts/Consultants commissioned to produce reports in 2007

Matter Reported On

Costs

Sysnet Limited

ICT Security Review

28,133

Goodbody Economic Consultants

Value for Money and Policy Review of the Support for Irish Emigrant Groups Programmes

25,894

Annesley Resource Partnership

Quality Assurance Assessment of the Value for Money and Policy Review of the Support for Irish Emigrants Groups Programmes

3,751

BCT Communications Limited

Evaluation of the capacity building programmes provided by the Institute of Public Administration in 2006 to the Bulgarian Institute of Public Administration and the Romanian National Institute of Administration.

20,469

Mr. Richard Townsend

Assist with a review of the mandate and structures of the Ireland-United Nations Association (IUNA)

3,993

Mr. Chris Flood

Report on Irish Prisoners Abroad

6,066

Vote 28: Experts/Consultants commissioned to produce reports in 2008

Matter Reported On

Costs

Millward Brown

Research Project to establish reasons underlying the result of the Referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

138,061

Communications Clinic

The preparation of a detailed Communication Action Plan to be used to direct spending under the Department’s Communicating Europe Initiative (CEI) in 2009.

48,000

Richard Sinnott, Johan A Elkink, Kevin O’Rourke and James McBride

Report on Attitudes and Behaviour in the Referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon

11,800

Mr Jim O’Leary

Assessment of Value for Money Review of the Passport Service.

7,260

Vote 28: Experts/Consultants commissioned to produce reports in 2009

Matter Reported On

Costs

Millward Brown

Fieldwork for survey to investigate opinions and attitudes to the European Union

30,253

Vote 29: Experts/Consultants commissioned by Irish Aid to produce reports in 2007

Matter Reported On

Cost

Annesley Resource Partnership

Quality Review of Irish Aid Report re. Tsunami

2,723

Annesley Resource Partnership

Review of the Irish Aid Fellowship Training Programme

34,388

Aodh O’Connor

Technical Consultants to the Civil Society Section Funding Schemes

9,800

Dalberg Global Development Ad.

Evaluation of Learning and Training Programme for Development Workers (Dtalk)

26,245

Dalberg Global Development Ad.

Mapping of Irish Aid Approval Processes

55,358

Debbie Thomas

Production of publication material for communication about Irish Aid’s health programming

10,000

Ecorys Research and Consulting

Evaluation of the Mozambique Country Programmes 2001-2006

93,191

Farrell Grant Sparks

Provision of Consultancy Services for Irish Aid Management Review

92,767

Institute of Public Administration

Quality Assessment of Mozambique CSP Evaluation

2,904

Intrac

Public Expenditure Review of the Irish Governments Support to Tsunami affected countries

31,181

Intrac

Review of the Irish Missionary Resource Service (IMRS)

66,105

Jane Salvage

Support to the AMAR Health Rehabilitation Project for the Marsh Arabs of Southern Iraq

12,135

John Grindle

External Evaluator for Development Cooperation Ireland Project Proposals for the Balkans and CISs

8,500

John Grindle

Support to Review of the Staffing Needs of the Diplomatic Missions in Programme Countries, Sierra Leone and South Africa

15,426

KPMG

Value for Money Review of the Passport Service

35,406

Maeve Martin

Evaluation of the Development and Intercultural Education (DICE) Project

15,000

Mary Jennings

Mainstreaming Building Strategy and Practice within Irish Aid

3,020

Oxford Policy Management

Strategic review of Irish Aid engagement with the United Nations funds and programmes

61,316

Reginald Terrence Allsop

Support to the Zambia/Ireland Teacher Education Initiative

21,960

Richard Townsend

Report on staffing needs of missions in Irish Aid Programme Countries

8,556

Karen Rothwell

Piloting of Organisational Assessment Guidelines

24,421

Siobhan Mullally

Independent/External Mid-term Evaluation of the Justice System Programme in Timor Leste

5,197

Steve Packer

Evaluation of the Irish Aid World Bank Education Trust Fund

23,001

Theta Eta Advisors Limited

Preparation of a report entitled: Best Practice in the Governance of Aid Programmes

6,050

Oxford Policy Management

Research study entitled: “Measuring Impact: The Global and Irish Aid Programme Context”

42,258

Mr Tony Killick

(i) Preparation of a report entitled: “Selectivity in Action: Choosing Irish Aid’s Tenth Programme Country”

25,410

(ii) Editorial Work on Research Findings Volume 1 Governance Trade and Aid Effectiveness.

Overseas Development Institute