Vote 13 - Office of Public Works (Supplementary)

We are resuming our consideration of the 2018 Supplementary Estimate for Public Services, Vote 13 - Office of Public Works. I invite the Minister of State, Deputy Moran, to make an opening statement.

I thank the committee for the time afforded to my officials and me to provide the additional detail on the papal visit, as requested last week.

My attendance at this committee as Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works and flood relief is to propose a net Supplementary Estimate of €20 million. This is to cover costs incurred by the OPW for the papal visit and an estimated additional spend of €4 million on new works, alterations and additions for a number of projects including emergency work, ancillary works on energy retrofit projects, lift replacement programme, work on Leinster House and the Department of Justice and Equality rationalisation programme.

The main part of this Supplementary Estimate, at €18 million, relates to costs of the work undertaken by the OPW on the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland. On request from the Taoiseach's office earlier this year, the OPW fully committed to providing its resources to plan and assist in organising this event. However, it should be noted that there were no funds allocated to the OPW within its 2018 Estimate for an event of this magnitude. There was an understanding that additional funds would be provided on completion of the work by the OPW and I am here to request that the committee approves this Supplementary Estimate.

A number of queries arose at the last meeting regarding the procurement of goods and services for this event. The first aspect that needs to be acknowledged is the extremely short timeframe from the date the Department of the Taoiseach requested the OPW to plan for this event to the actual date of the papal visit. Hence, the OPW used a combination of tendering competitions where possible and existing multi-year frameworks for a number of contracts that had been put in place, together with the Office of Government Procurement for the decade of centenaries. All suppliers on the existing framework had successfully been through the rigours of a public request for tender process and have to date fulfilled all obligations as laid out in their respective contracts.

At the last committee meeting, Deputies were very considerate and complimentary of the excellent work carried out by the OPW on this event.  I would like to reiterate my thanks for the hard work the OPW put into ensuring that this event was carried out in a highly professional and effective manner. To put into perspective the magnitude of the event, it was viewed by 1.1 million viewers from 159 countries, with 1,200 journalists from 31 countries accredited for the event.  We, as Deputies, and our colleagues in government can be proud of how Ireland was portrayed nationally and internationally by this event. Hence, it is my opinion that we should support the hard work the OPW carries out in support of the Government.

Before I conclude, I remind members that the OPW is consistently available to Government to respond to these large-scale infrastructural projects and will do everything in its power to obtain value for money in carrying out its function, which is a very wide remit spanning from flood risk to estate and heritage management. I am happy to recommend this Supplementary Estimate for approval by the committee and to answer any questions that may arise. We circulated answers to the questions put to us last week. I have also circulated the figures required by the committee. I am happy to take questions relating to that.

I thank the Minister of State but, unfortunately, the information came in very late. We got the more detailed information requested after last week's meeting only a couple of hours ago. Can I confirm that the €16.7 million we are talking about now plus another €800,000 that was mentioned last week, which brings the figure to €17.5 million, is not for items that would be usual for a State visit by a Head of State in terms of gardaí deployed in front and behind the car and so on and that they relate, overwhelmingly, to the mass in Phoenix Park, event management and logistics relating to stewarding? Is that the case?

If a concert organiser were to organise a concert in Phoenix Park, and I understand there has been a concert by Ed Sheeran in Phoenix Park, who would pay for those equivalent aspects such as stewarding, event management and logistics? Would the State pay for that?

No. However, I would point out that the money in the Supplementary Estimate for the areas the Deputy mentioned is not just for the event in Phoenix Park. It is to do with the events at Knock, Phoenix Park, Croke Park and what took place on the streets in Dublin during the papal visit. With regard to concerts etc., I believe all concert programmes involve ticketing and the costs in respect of ticketing is put onto the people attending. The people literally pay for the event, and the stewarding company.

Yes, because they are private events organised by private organisers. However, the event in Phoenix Park was a private event. It was open ticketing - there was no charge for the tickets - but it was a private event organised by the Catholic Church. Why is it appropriate for the State to spend close to €18 million of public money on a private church event in any case, not to mention the very substantial moneys that are owed by the church to the State?

I totally disagree with the Deputy. In 1979, when a previous Pope came here, the State got very much involved in delivering that for the people of Ireland. In regard to the Pope's visit for the Gathering of Families, we worked closely, as we have done in the past and continue to do, to make sure that everything was properly in place in terms of security, safety and all the works involved in that for the people who came to this event. The people looked for the Pope to visit Ireland. We stepped up to the mark as requested by the Taoiseach to ensure there was a whole-of-Government approach to making this visit worthwhile and to showcase Ireland abroad.

The Minister of State believes it is a good use of public money that, for example, the public spent €1 million on stewarding alone for what was a private Catholic Church event?

When the tickets went online, half a million people applied for them. Once that number of people applied for the tickets, the OPW took on the task of running the event. A management plan was put in place. We then set out how we would run the event. In terms of that event or any event we host, security is of vital importance to the people. There are two different types of stewarding involved in that - one outside and one inside. The people inside took care of what was going on. The people on the outside took care of what took place on the street but the most important point to make is that we looked after the safety of the people attending the papal visit.

There is another €600,000 for stewarding, giving a total of €1.6 million. The State will not look for the Catholic Church, as the organiser, to pay for any of the costs of event management, infrastructure, camera platforms, closed circuit television, temporary toilets, stewarding, etc.

The way in which we run these types of events is set out in the estate management plan. We are obliged to work with those plans. This is not something that just happens. It involves a great deal of organisation. A management plan running to 1,200 pages was put in place to cover this event. We have to adhere to that. We work with the Garda, fire service, local authorities, the HSE and various other agencies as part of the plan. While people were talking about the Pope coming at the end of last year, we only got official notice of that in February. A considerable amount of work needed to be done and we needed to do it perfectly. No unforeseen events, injuries or anything like that occurred in the Phoenix Park that we could not control. It was a very well run event.

I am not questioning the quality of the work done by the OPW on the event management. However, I will not support the Vote and we will see how the division on that goes. Members of the public are being asked to pay event management costs of €100 for each person who attended these events around the country. The public would not do that for a similar private event by a political organisation, social movement or the organisers of a concert or football match. In the cases of all those major events, the costs would be covered by the private organisation in question. This raises a fundamental question about the relationship of church and State. The public is made up of Catholics and non-Catholics, and everybody has their absolute right to practise their religion. However, the public is being asked en masse to pay for a private religious event of one private religion, in this case the Catholic Church. It seems to be completely at odds with any notion of a secular society and of the separation of church and State.

The Taoiseach made a request to the OPW in relation to holding the event. It was estimated that 500,000 people would attend. The OPW put in place a management plan for the event. I will not be drawn into a discussion on church versus State or anything like that. My job, as Minister of State, was to fulfil the request of the Taoiseach and that is what I did.

How much did the Catholic Church in various guises, for example, the World Meeting of Families, contribute to the organisation of these events?

At this time, I am not up to scratch on that.

Do we have any idea?

I will get the figure for the Deputy and send it on to him.

The additional information we received refers to an Actavo procurement-type contract. What does that mean?

I ask the Chairman to repeat the question.

Apparently, there was procurement of €4.9 million. This is referred to as a procurement-type contract. What is that?

I will ask Mr. Buckley from the Office of Public Works to answer that.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

I will explain the procurement for all the contractors, including Actavo. We used a combination of existing framework contracts and an individual procurement where time allowed. Fifteen different headings were involved. We reviewed the procurement timetable with the Department of the Taoiseach, the Office of Government Procurement and the Office of the Attorney General. We decided that 13 of the 15 areas of activity were procured under existing framework contracts, meaning the suppliers had already gone through the checks and balances of public procurement. In two cases, an additional procurement competition was run - very tightly in the time involved. These were for CCTV and security. In the case of Actavo, for the camera platforms, media risers, trackway and much of the fencing on both sites, we already had a framework contract in place and we contracted the work out under the terms of that framework contract.

On what date was that framework contract in place?

Mr. Maurice Buckley

The contract runs from 19 February 2016 to 19 February 2020. We were very fortunate that because the OPW was centrally involved in much of the decade of centenaries commemorations, we had put in place a number of framework contracts for a succession of events and they allowed us to deal with these items. What we did-----

The expenditure of €4.9 million was spent on the basis of a framework contract dated 19 February 2016.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

That is correct.

The next one refers to "procurement" and "framework". What is the difference? What is the framework?

Mr. Maurice Buckley

I think that would be just a technical difference. Both of those would be under different frameworks.

I gather that. The first one is a contract. The framework is dated 2016. Here we were spending €2.021 million and the reference is to a framework. Was that a separate framework for the suppliers involved or was it the framework of 2016?

Mr. Maurice Buckley

This was a separate framework.

In that case, it was a 2018 framework.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

No, this framework was for the provision of health and safety services for the OPW facilities and events management unit, dating from 17 December 2015 and running until 16 December 2019.

The framework for the expenditure of €2.021 million was from 17 December 2015.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

That is correct.

There were multiple suppliers providing all sorts of things. The document refers to "procurement various". What method was used to employ these various contractors at a cost of €1.881 million?

Mr. Maurice Buckley

For many of the smaller contractors, we would use the best procurement method available to us on a case-by-case basis. Some of these items would have been covered by framework contracts and some would have been under existing contractual relationships. As there was no time to do individual procurement, our focus was to ensure that the prices quoted and charged to OPW stood up to scrutiny and had been checked and vetted to public procurement standards in recent times.

Therefore, they were under this 2015 or 2016-type framework.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

Yes. There were a number of different frameworks.

Do they date back that far? The event took place in 2018 and the OPW went back to 2016 for one framework and 2015 for another framework.

Mr. Maurice Buckley


Does it go back as far as 2015 and 2016 again?

Mr. Maurice Buckley

Yes, quite a few of them would. They are four-year frameworks, many of which were put in place for the centenary commemorations, which obviously was mainly focused on 2016.

The next one is a contract for €1.207 million.

Mr. Maurice Buckley


I just want to get the dates for the frameworks the OPW was using.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

This one for the CCTV services was an individual contract for the papal visit.

How was-----

Mr. Maurice Buckley

This was one of the two specific procurements for the visit.

Was it a real-time procurement process or was it a framework process?

Mr. Maurice Buckley

The CCTV and security services were real-time procurement processes.

How many bidders were there?

Mr. Maurice Buckley

I do not have that information to hand. I will revert to the committee in that regard.

The next company is Eventus. What type of contract is involved? Was it a real-time process?

Mr. Maurice Buckley

It is a framework contract running from 19 February 2016 until 19 February 2020.

Some €1 million was paid to Pulse Security for stewards.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

Pulse Security was awarded an individual real-time tender for the papal visit.

How many companies tendered for that contract?

Mr. John McMahon


Mr. Maurice Buckley

According to my colleague, three companies tendered for that procurement.

ETAV was awarded a contract to provide electrical services. How many tenders were received for that contract or was it a framework?

Mr. Maurice Buckley

ETAV provides electrical services under a framework running from 29 January 2016 to 28 January 2020.

The next item deals with a framework spend of €801,000 on logistic site management and signage.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

That framework runs from 26 February 2016. I should point out that many of the contractors use multiple subcontractors, as mentioned previously at the committee. Approximately ten subcontractors were involved in this case.

One contractor was awarded the contract at a cost of €647,000.

Mr. Maurice Buckley


The contractor then subcontracted the work.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

Yes. Firms such as Actavo and EOBA which were awarded the bigger contracts used multiple subcontractors. At the committee meeting last week, the question of whether small and Irish suppliers got their fair share of the work was raised. I can confirm that they did. Many such suppliers worked as subcontractors for the bigger companies. We checked that the concessions in the Phoenix Park took on an appropriate amount of work through the various contract arrangements. Many of them were small companies which were only capable of taking on a certain amount of work.

Did Ailesbury provide services under a framework?

Mr. Maurice Buckley

Ailesbury provided cleaning services under a framework.

Over what period?

Mr. Maurice Buckley

From 2016 to 2020.

Did the contract with Eventsec involve a framework?

Mr. Maurice Buckley

Eventsec was a direct procurement for the visit.

On the day.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

The Chair probably wants to know how many suppliers tendered.

Mr. John McMahon

Three suppliers tendered.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

I am told that three tendered.

Some €344,000 was paid to CFA Construction Limited. That was procured by a structural engineer.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

Yes. That relates to road works and so on in the park. It was a subcontract to structural engineering works there.

That is what it states in the documentation. Was there a tender process? Was it under a framework?

Mr. Maurice Buckley

It is under a framework. There are multiple suppliers we use for such civil engineering. I can check that for the committee.

Did ION Solutions provide services under a framework or a contract? How many tenderers were there?

Mr. Maurice Buckley

It was a contract.

There were six or seven contractors.

PJ Hegarty & Sons is an existing framework involving €250,000, again dating from 2016.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

That is a wider general framework contract that we use for a significant amount of building maintenance. The Chair also asked about civil engineering works. The framework contracts we are examining are linked to events in 2016 or State visits. However, because the OPW is responsible for the maintenance of all State buildings, we have another range of procured services for the maintenance function and in some cases are able to make use of that.

When was that existing framework put in place?

Mr. Maurice Buckley

It was put in place four years ago and renewed this year.

It dates from approximately 2014.

Mr. Maurice Buckley


Arcana provided administrative staff at a cost of €100,000 under a framework dating from 2016.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

That is a framework, yes. It involves a similar time period of 2016 to 2020.

Yes. The next item deals with the painting of railings, which was procured by BMS.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

BMS, building management services, is-----

Part of the OPW.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

-----part of the OPW and deals with maintenance.

Was that a tender?

Mr. Maurice Buckley

Yes, it was a tendered amount.

How many suppliers tendered for the contract?

Mr. Maurice Buckley

Approximately three suppliers tendered for it.

Banqueting Food Systems was awarded a contract at a cost of €76,000.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

Yes, that is a framework contract. Seven companies competed to be awarded that contract.

Critical Healthcare was awarded a framework contract worth €66,000 by the HSE.

Mr. John McMahon

The HSE, yes.

Conex Developments undertook road works at the Papal Cross at a cost of €61,000.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

That contract is similar to those for the other road works. My colleagues have explained to me that we used our existing OPW maintenance contractors for those civil engineering works.

Some €1.3 million remains to be paid by the OPW. It has not received invoices for those services.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

Yes. We have more to pay out and we have internal costs that need to be allocated to the papal visit. However, what has been provided is an up-to-date status of the costs.

I apologise for missing the start of this session. The third item involves multiple suppliers. I presume that none of those items is listed more than once. The third item refers to multiple suppliers and works on the gates of the Phoenix Park gates and another entry refers to PJ Hegarty & Sons carrying out work on the gates of the Phoenix Park. I want to ensure that two separate suppliers undertook those works.

Each supplier is listed once.

What necessitated works being carried out twice on the Phoenix Park gates for the papal visit?

As we know, it was necessary to take down the gates of the Phoenix Park for reasons relating to the management and control of the papal visit. Temporary gates were erected. For crowd control purposes, the temporary gates were taken down before the Pope arrived and put back up when the event was over. That is the source of that approximate cost of €200,000.

Stewarding services are listed twice, coming to €1.64 million.

As the Deputy can imagine, it would have been very difficult for one company to provide sufficient stewards for the event. The services were divided into a contract for stewarding outside the event and another for inside.

It also took into account the other areas the Pope visited.

Do we have any idea how many personnel we are talking about with regard to stewards?

That is 2,916 in total, inside and outside.

That was for the whole three-day visit.

I might come back to the Minister of State on that, I just want to do the maths.

That includes Knock and those areas also.

On the outstanding invoices, are they outstanding because the companies are slow to submit them or are there issues with the costs?

Mr. Maurice Buckley

It is a combination of both. There are a number of steps to consider, the first of which is procurement in advance to make sure the agreed rates are correct and acceptable, and meet procurement guidelines. Then, when the invoice is lodged we check the invoice against the work done. Some of this is quite complicated because there is so much detail involved, as the members can see from figures such as 2,916 stewards. There are many queries, checks and cross-checks until we are satisfied that the invoices can be paid. In some cases we are dealing with multiple small suppliers and the main contractor cannot invoice the Office of Public Works until it in turn is invoiced by multiple smaller suppliers, some of which are voluntary organisations. It can take a bit of time. This is why there are quite a few outstanding invoices. The visit was on 26 August, and even though it is now early December we will get quite a significant number of invoices over the next week or two

The sum of those invoices is €1.3 million outstanding.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

Yes. They are invoices that we know about, which are still being cleared and have not been processed or cleared for payment yet.

So there might be others?

Mr. Maurice Buckley

Yes. It is a moving feast. As every week goes by we are honing the figure. The overall total of €18 million is correct and the costs will not exceed €18 million for the total visit, against an initial estimate of €20 million.

Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked about the gates and there was some discussion about it at the last meeting of the committee. Three figures were mentioned. There is one figure in the Estimates, which the Minister of State has explained to Deputy O'Brien, of €244,000. This was for taking down gates and putting up temporary gates. What are the other figures with regard to these gates?

There is another estimated cost of €700,000. First, we had to go out to tender for the gates. This does not come about by just sending out a tender; there were different people involved in heritage issues from other Departments to look at how we would go about this. The gates are a protected structure and are part of the Phoenix Park. In order to get the gates properly in place for the event and afterwards, and for money to be spent on them, it is not just a case of repainting the gates and putting them back up. I shall outline what goes along with that. In taking the gates down originally, some stonework and pillars had to be removed. They had to be rebuilt and put in place. Steelwork had to be in place. We also had to incur costs on tarmacadam and archaeologists because to put these gates back into place we were interfering with the road works. Included in those costs are the collective costs in putting the gates back where they belong. As members are aware, the park has won awards and gold medals recently and is vital to the people of Ireland. It is hugely important to the people and we had an opportunity, when doing those gates and bringing them back, to put them into use again that will do for centuries to come.

The two figures are €244,025 to take down the gates and to put up temporary gates. The €700,000 figure is for-----

That is to take down the gates, to put up temporary gates, to take down the temporary gates and put the proper gates back up when the papal visit was over. The other cost of €700,000 was put out to tender for getting the gates sprayed, done up and getting them back to their original use.

They were the original gates.

Yes. On top of that there are other costs such as the steelwork, stonework, pillars and tarmacadam. Those works are required for the gates also.

I understand that but is the €700,000 included in this Estimate? This came up at the committee last week

It is included in this Estimate. Is there any other figure? The Estimates refers to conservation architects and gate works where the OPW is waiting for an invoice for €6,150. What is that for exactly?

It is for the architects who supervised the works.

Is there any other estimate in here that relates to gates?

That is €244,000 and €700,000 and €6,150.

I will return to the issue of the stewards. Pulse Security had the higher figure of just over €1 million. A breakdown is given of all the areas where that company's personnel provided security, namely, Dublin Castle, the papal route, the Pro-Cathedral, the Capuchin Day Centre and Knock. They were not involved in the Phoenix Park event according to this breakdown. There is reference to car parks and there are two aspects that the Minister of State might be able to explain. One is the combined services-----

One was for outside the Phoenix Park.

They were outside the Phoenix Park, but it shows a figure for the Phoenix Park event as zero.

Eventsec provided services inside the Phoenix Park.

When we are looking at the figure for the Phoenix Park event are we referring to the inside event and not the outside?

The stewarding was done externally as well as internally. It was combined for the event.

I am trying to establish how much the security cost for the day of the Phoenix Park event if security was being provided outside. I have all the figures for the other events such as Dublin Castle and the Pro-Cathedral. There are then the other two figures, one of which is security and one of which is combined services. It is for just over €600,000. Could we get a further breakdown of exactly where that €600,000 was spent?

That is the figure of €630,000.

Yes. Where was that spent?

Inside the Phoenix Park.

Inside the Phoenix Park. Does that refer to Pulse Security? The figure for Pulse Security in this breakdown is for €1,005,270.

That is a different company.

What does the Minister of State mean that it is a different company?

That is events. There were two different companies providing stewards.

I just need to clear this up for myself. We have a list of the spending to date that shows a figure of €1,005,270 for Pulse Security for steward services. This was a tender, as far as I am aware. The contract procurement information is for Pulse Security, with a contract reference number and a total of €1,005,270. I believe there is a 21 cent difference between the two documents. It shows a zero figure in the breakdown for the Phoenix Park event. When I asked the question the Minister of State said it was for services outside the park but then said it was for security services inside the park. I am just trying to get a breakdown of exactly how much was spent by Pulse Security on the Phoenix Park event. I have the figures for every other location it was working.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

We must break it down. Pulse Security would certainly have worked on Sunday, 26 August, when the mass was taking place in the Phoenix Park, on the roads outside and in managing the people.

What we will have to break down concerns the total of just over €1 million, which would have included Knock, Dublin Castle, Saturday morning, the papal visit to Dublin on Saturday afternoon and the outside event on Sunday. I do not think we have that figure to hand.

We have the figures for Dublin Castle, the papal route, the Pro-Cathedral, the Capuchin Day Centre, Knock and the car parks. There are two other figures. One is €387,000 for combined services, while the other is security for €246,000. I am looking for more detail on these two figures because we know some of the security was subcontracted to G4S.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

My colleague will try to get that figure for the Deputy. Perhaps we could come back to that point.

I am happy to return to this matter if the officials can source the information.

We will flag that. We can come back to it when the witnesses have the information.

I apologise for arriving late; I had to attend another meeting. The Minister of State or his officials may have answered my questions already. On the last occasion, I asked questions about the events co-ordinator. There were two positions there. Did we get some clarification about that? How much did it cost?

Mr. John McMahon

There were four event managers, three of whom were on site and one of whom was in Dublin Castle. There were three event co-ordinators. I know the terminology is a bit confusing. The event co-ordination was handled by the OPW's the event management unit. It depended on the locations. We have site-located event controllers and event co-ordinators co-ordinating their activities so it was a combined effort of seven different parties overseen by the OPW's event management control unit.

I understand the OPW needs to have those people when it is expecting large crowds and that it cannot leave anything to chance. I want to query one other figure. The figure for training in crowd safety is €10,000. Again, I presume the OPW has to do that type of thing in the lead up to an event. Did a private company carry that out?

Mr. John McMahon

To the best of my knowledge, yes. We will confirm that.

What would have been involved there? Was it a half a day, a day or two days?

Mr. John McMahon

I will have to come back to the Deputy about the specifics of that. Volunteers provided by the church and others were stewarding on the day. They would have been largely untrained in certain skills such as crowd control and possibly health and safety aspects. In respect of the stewarding we would have engaged, we would have insisted upon a level of capacity and competence. Training would have been necessary for those who did not have the right competence in order for them to acquire that competence.

I see Mr. McMahon answered the question I put on the previous occasion about ATM hire.

Mr. John McMahon

We did. There was no site coverage for the local providers so it was necessary to have cash payment at a number of the tills. We anticipated that this might be an issue so ATMs were provided for people attending to acquire cash if they needed to pay for food and beverages.

Were most of the other services carried out by Actavo?

Mr. John McMahon

No, there was a multiplicity of suppliers. There was a subcontracting arrangement relating to those that were provided by Actavo. It engaged more than 60 subcontractors that were working under the Actavo umbrella but that would have engaged by Actavo. There were about 330 individual contractors working on the events. While the headline figures might seem very high, with Actavo at over €5 million beneath that, a large number of subcontractors were engaged by Actavo.

That is all I wanted clarified.

The Eventsec security contract for €635,000 was only for inside the Phoenix Park. It did nothing else while Pulse Security looked after security outside the Phoenix Park. Could Mr. McMahon come back with those figures if he has them? Is it fair to say that the overall cost will be more than €18 million because, obviously-----

Maybe not to the Minister of State's Department but in general, will it cost more than €18 million? Obviously there is a Garda bill.

There will be additional costs relating to that.

There is a Garda bill that the Department of Justice and Equality must meet. Perhaps this is an unfair question and if it is, the Chairman can pull me up on it. What is the total cost of the papal visit across all Departments?

I would not be in a position to give that answer based on what we have regarding the cost to the OPW. That is what we are looking for-----

The figure of €18 million is just the OPW bill.

Other costs have been mentioned such as additional gardaí. Deputy Burton mentioned the Army personnel. Is that paid by the OPW or does it come out of the Army's own budget?

We applied and got stewards in and also had volunteers. We did not have enough volunteers so An Garda Síochána brought in the army.

Who paid them? One hears about police being paid for extra-----

The Department of Defence.

That is all separate. That is not billed back to the OPW's cost centre.

So An Garda Síochána and the Department of Defence are separate.

Yes. There was €500-----

The point Deputy Jonathan O'Brien was making was that it is €18 million plus. Is that-----

Will the OPW see those costs? Is it informed about the costs?

Are there any further questions?

Who operated the ATMs? Did two banks operate them?

I have done my own work on this matter. These ATMs are brought in for most concerts and other events and are paid for by whatever company is running them. Seneca was one company that provided while Power Solutions was the other.

That involved providing the ATMs but who operated them? Was a bank or banks involved?

Companies provide it.

They do the whole lot.

We have to provide a service. As the Deputy knows, most people travel around with debit cards. They do not carry cash.

I am not questioning that at all. I know the service must be provided. I was just curious to know.

In his opening statement, the Minister of State went through the OPW. We received an explanation last week regarding the Leinster House spend. The Minister of State spoke about the Department of Justice and Equality rationalisation programme. What is that?

The figure for the Department of Justice and Equality rationalisation programme was €1.5 million. The cost of restoration is €2.5 million.

What will the €1.5 million be spent on?

I will ask Mr. McMahon to answer that question.

Mr. John McMahon

I will consult my note. The rationalisation of the accommodation of the Department was required as a result of a lease expiring on 94 St. Stephen's Green and the Department being compelled to move. The project involved the relocation of staff across three properties while maintaining business as usual. The project required multiple staff moves as a result of the complexity of phasing of works. In addition, out-of-hours work added to the project cost. The provision of a high-security secure file storage area was not included in the original brief and was subsequently included. A fire integrity upgrade was also required in one of the properties. To sum it up, it involved the costs incurred in moving the Department from a property where a lease was being surrendered to other property.

In the other paperwork we received, there is a flood risk management estimate for 2018. Is that part of this?

There is reference to €4 million.

The €4 million is in regard to Leinster House.

There is no Supplementary Estimate for flooding.

No, I am spending a lot of money but I would like to spend more.

The Supplementary Estimate for 2018, Vote 13, refers to flood risk management.

No, that is not part of the Supplementary Estimate.

I am looking at the 2018 Estimate and the actual outturn. The difference between both is included in this Supplementary Estimate. Therefore, for estate management there is a greater outturn than what was estimated. What is that put down to?

Mr. Mick Long

With regard to the Supplementary Estimate, while €22 million is being sought, nothing is being sought on the flood risk management side. The Revised Estimate template just compares 2017 with 2018.

Therefore, some of these figures have nothing to do with today's meeting and are just part of the information that was given.

Mr. Mick Long


Are there any other questions?

I asked for information, although the witnesses can come back with it after the meeting.

We have it available.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

I will deal with that. For Pulse Security there was a total cost of €1 million covering all of the events and the security on the Sunday outside of the Phoenix Park. Out of that total cost of just over €1 million, the Phoenix Park proportion for the Sunday was just under €200,000.

This relates to the two figures for the payment of contractors, first, €1.005 million, and, second, €635,347, which gives an overall amount of approximately €1.64 million.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

Correct. They are two different stewarding companies. As I said, Eventsec-----

This was questioned by Deputy Jonathan O'Brien.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

I will explain. One of the companies, Eventsec, costing €655,000, dealt with security within the Phoenix Park only. Pulse Security, which received the larger amount of just over €1 million, dealt with Knock and the events on the Saturday at Dublin Castle and other events around Dublin city. On the Sunday of the papal mass in the Phoenix Park, it dealt with security outside of the Phoenix Park, in other words, crowd management around the city with regard to traffic.

What of the €200,000?

Mr. Maurice Buckley

The proportion of the €1 million related to that was just under €200,000.

To follow up on that, we now have the figure for Dublin Castle, the papal route, the Pro-Cathedral, the Capuchin Day Centre and Knock. I will put down the Phoenix Park event as €200,000 because it was outside. I presume the reference to car parks is to car parks around the Phoenix Park, which, again, are outside.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

It also refers to Knock, which was difficult to organise for car parking.

I was looking for information on two figures. I now know that €200,000 of this is in regard to the Sunday. There is a combined services figure of €387,000 and a security figure of €246,000, which comes to approximately €630,000. We now know €200,000 of that was in regard to the Sunday event. What does the other €400,000-plus relate to? I am trying to get a breakdown of the combined figures.

It is for the non-Sunday events.

Other events took place, for example, the Saturday night in Croke Park and in the streets of Dublin related to the papal visit.

However, they are not listed as individual events. Therefore, we spent €400,000-odd on stewarding on Croke Park.

We were not involved in Croke Park.

Where did the €400,000 get spent?

It was on the papal route.

We already have a separate figure for the papal route of €73,000.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

I am not sure what document the Deputy is reading from. Is it from the details of the last meeting?

It does not say which page, but it is halfway through. It is contract and procurement information on overall cost for the company, Pulse Security. It gives us a list for the two subcontractors, G4S and SecuriGroup. It then gives us a breakdown of the costs, which is the €1.006 million and tallies with the overall figure. It gives us a breakdown of where all the money was spent at the different events, except for combined services and security. I am trying to find out what those figures relate to. I now know €200,000 is for the outside event on the Sunday but that still leaves €400,000-odd.

If it helps, we can write to the Deputy with a full, detailed list in this regard. I do not have the figures he requires from me.

Yes, they can write to the committee so we all have the information.

What is the total figure?

The total is €387,000 plus the €246,000-----

The Deputy is looking for an explanation of both of those figures.

Yes. I know what €200,000 was spent on but I do not know where the other €400,000-odd is.

Mr. Maurice Buckley

Yes, we will do that.

Therefore, the Deputy requires information on roughly €400,000.

It is €433,000.

If members have no other questions, I will make a comment. We went through this in detail today and on the previous occasion. The Minister of State will see from the engagement with members that a significant amount of information was not provided in a way that was clearly understood at the first meeting. To go back to Deputy O'Brien's query, we have to accept that the witnesses will write in to us and explain the €400,000, even though that should have been dealt with as part of the Estimate. I am saying that to the Minister of State's colleagues as much as I am saying it to him. On another occasion, if that were to happen, we might ask that we would not deal with the Estimate on the day we have it, and that we would come back again. I believe in having all of the figures here but, on this occasion, we have spent two meetings at it and I certainly would not be satisfied that all of the information was here. I ask the OPW to reply to the committee on that as soon as possible and to note that, in future, we expect all information to be provided early and previous to the meeting itself.

I raised the issue of Durrow Abbey with the Minister of State last week. I want to put on record that I had a casual meeting with the Minister of State where we spoke about it, and I spoke to Mr. Buckley. I will not go into the matter now because I am going to leave it for another day and ask members for their views as to how it should be handled. In the meantime, I am asking again for all of the information relative to that issue, including dates, times, facts and figures, dating back to the time when this was first discussed with the Arts for Peace project. I intend to suggest to members, when I get that information, that we have a special meeting with the OPW, and to include the Minister of State, Deputy Canney, who was then Minister of State in the Department with Deputy Moran. I want to put on record that I attended meetings with the OPW and officials and it was my understanding that we were discussing the surrender of the lease of Durrow Abbey back to the State for a figure. At one stage, at a meeting with the Minister of State, Deputy Canney, and officials, a figure of €600,000 was mentioned.

There are a number of issues that need to be sorted out but they can only be addressed by the provision of the full documentation to this committee. Then we can examine exactly what is happening and understand the position from both sides of the argument.

As the Chair is well aware, there are High Court proceedings in respect of this and papers are pending. It would be wrong for me or anybody to start investigating this matter when legal action is being pursued. It would be unfair for me to make any more statements on this matter until the outcome of those legal proceedings is known. That is only right and fair.

I suggest that the Minister of State has an obligation to protect taxpayers' money. As I explained to Mr. Maurice Buckley, the proceedings in court are a step beyond common sense for both parties. Mediation was suggested. There have been a number of issues during the course of this matter and I do not accept that hiding behind the threat of a High Court action is sufficient. The Department needs to give itself time to examine the existing documents and to reach its conclusion. Based on the fact that a commitment was given and discussions entered into by the Minister of State at the Department, Deputy Canney, I give an assurance that I will come back to this at a future date. I am asking the Minister of State, again, for the history of this matter to be provided to the members so they can make up their own minds as to what should be done.

As I stated previously, this matter is subject to proceedings in the High Court and I will not be saying anything further.

I am asking the Minister of State to provide the information on the history of this matter to the members of this committee. That does not affect the court case.

I am sorry. It can affect the outcome.

Is the Minister of State refusing to give the information to this committee?

No, I will discuss it with my team. In fairness, the Chair raised this matter with me a year ago. He said at the time that we had done nothing. I made a commitment then to the Chair to meet that person, but on the date I went down to the Chair's neck of the woods, that person was not available.

It did not suit.

Since then, I have asked my officials to go through the documentation. The best legal advice I have, as I have set out, states that there are proceedings in the High Court and I have to adhere to that advice. The Chair can understand where I stand-----

I can understand-----

The Chair has referred to a duty to the taxpayer, and I have a duty to the taxpayer.

I am not asking that the committee be furnished with the details of the court case. I am asking that we be furnished with the generalities of the matter we are talking about. The Minister of State is not prohibited from sharing that information.

I am sorry, but according to the legal advice I am adhering to, I cannot do as the Chair requests due to the pending case in the High Court.

The Minister of State is intending to go to court-----

-----backed by taxpayers' money.

On legal advice, I am not saying anything further on this matter. I am sorry.

I am going to let it go at that. I assure the Minister of State he has not heard the end of this matter. I also assure him that the commitments given by the Office of Public Works, OPW, the then Minister of State, Deputy Canney, and two other Ministers, will be well ventilated and it will not be a pretty sight for the OPW.

I am not in court in respect of the abbey but I am stating the advice I have. As the Chair is going with his advice, I am going with the advice available to me.

I am not availing of any advice. I just want to inform this committee. That is all.

What previous Ministers have done is nothing to do with me. I am going on the advice available to me. I am sorry.

That is grand. I reiterate that this is not the end of this matter. It is typical of the OPW.

No. I disagree with the Chair. The OPW does very efficient work.

I know that the Minister of State disagrees. He has been well briefed since our last meeting and knows damn well that he is wrong. I have every intention of pursuing this matter to the very end because I believe the person in question, or project in question, was misled. All I have asked for is clarification on all of those issues. The Minister of State can hide behind his legal advice and state he is going to court etc. That is fine. It will now be for the other party to decide where best to go with this. I am simply saying that the Minister of State can get legal advice but he can judge for himself as to whether it is correct and in the interests of the taxpayer. We are going to leave it at that.

As the Chair said the last day, he is getting excited now. I am giving him my side of the matter. I accept his side-----

No, I am not excited.

I am sorry. This is an agenda that the Chair has raised a number of times prior to me becoming the Minister of State in this Department. Legal papers have been issued and I am going with the advice I have. I ask the Chair to let that person, whoever he or she may be-----

It is not a person.

-----to go further with this matter. I have met Offaly County Council and various other groups regarding this matter. I am happy with what I have said and I am making no further comment.

That is fine. Let me be clear, however. I am not getting excited, at all, but I have every intention of getting to the truth. That is why I asked for the general paperwork to inform us as to what this case is about. I will get to the bottom of this issue without getting excited at all.

I do not get excited.

I am not talking about the Minister of State. I am talking about me.

I am just letting the Chair know that I do not either.

When the Minister of State and his officials are before this committee again, perhaps we will be able to deal further with this matter. I thank the Minister of State and his officials for attending.