Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Ceisteanna (151)

Michael Ring

Ceist:

227 Mr. Ring asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the amount which was spent in his Department from January 2002 to December 2003 for media purposes and advertising; the areas in which the money was spent, that is, national papers, provincial papers, RTE radio, local radios and so on; the amounts spent on a year to year basis; and the amount of money which was spent on videos, whether for promotional, educational or advertising purposes. [4062/04]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Foreign)

Expenditure on media advertising for 2002 was €251, 605.51 and for 2003 was €203,919.70. This can be broken down as follows:

Vote 38 — Foreign Affairs — expenditure under the general advertising subhead of €61,543.04 in 2002 and €50,343.35 in 2003 and expenditure of €20,411, 2002, and €29,184.36, 2003, from the Passport Office subhead. Expenditure under these subheads included payments for advertisements providing details of the Department's opening hours over the Christmas period, changes in travel requirements for travellers to the United States as well as advertising of employment opportunities, e.g. legal trainees in our legal division. It is not possible, in the timeframe given, to provide the Deputy with a breakdown of each item of expenditure.

There was €18,336.92 relating to advertisements in the national newspapers advising the public of the availability of the revised White Paper on the Treaty of Nice and Seville Declarations 2002, following publication in July 2002 and €18,373.77 relating to advertisements in the national newspapers advising the public of the availability of the summary Information Guide on the Treaty of Nice and Seville Declarations 2002, during October 2002.

Vote 39 — Development Co-operation — there were advertisements placed in three national newspapers and two newspapers in Northern Ireland in 2003 in respect of the development education grants scheme, €14,001. Advertising in 2003 for Development Co-operation Ireland, DCI, recruitment purposes and invitations for submissions to DCI task forces amounted to €22,107.27. The placement of an advertisement in 2003 in two national newspapers by the Advisory Board to Development Co-operation Ireland inviting expressions of interest to tender for research purposes cost €3,747.20. In addition, €132,940.78 was spent on the design and production of a TV and print advertising campaign for World AIDS Day 2002, as well as the purchase of space on TV networks, RTE, UTV, Channel 4, E4, Sky and TG4 and national newspapers,The Irish Times, Irish Independent, The Star, Irish Examiner, Evening Herald, Evening Echo, Sunday Independent, Sunday Tribune, Sunday World, Sunday Business Post and Ireland on Sunday, while €84,536.52 was spent on the design and production of a print advertising campaign for World AIDS Day 2003, as well as the purchase of a full page of space in national newspapers: The Irish Times, Irish Independent, The Star and Irish Examiner.

The Deputy will also wish to be aware of the following other media related expenditure undertaken by the Department during 2002 and 2003: the communicating Europe initiative or CEI funds a range of projects and activities aimed at promoting public awareness about the European Union. In 2002, CEI allocated a total of €43,782.52 for two series of the Eurofile television programme which featured reports on developments in the EU and the National Forum on Europe. The first series of Eurofile was transmitted from February to May 2002 on City TV Dublin, Meath Province 5 Television and on the EBS Satellite system. The second series of Eurofile, which was aired in autumn 2002, was transmitted on TG4.

CEI supported two audio-visual information initiatives in 2003. CEI provided €23,493.54 in funding to the National Forum on Europe in March 2003 for the production of an information video entitled A Journey of Discovery, which was presented by Hector Ó hEochagáin. The video explains the functioning of the EU institutions and provides information on the Convention on the Future of Europe and the enlargement of the EU. The National Forum on Europe transmits the video at public meetings and has circulated copies of the production to all second level schools in Ireland.

Development Co-operation Ireland has contributed for a number of years to the operation costs of the Worlds Apart series on RTE Radio 1. In 2002 and 2003, this contribution was € 47,000 and €55,000 respectively.

Prior to 2003 the development education budget was operated through the National Committee for Development Education, the NCDE. In line with the recommendations in the Ireland Aid Review, the activities of NCDE were incorporated into Development Co-operation Ireland during 2003. In this regard, €110,321 was awarded in grants in 2003, under the Media Challenge Fund 2003, to 15 local radio stations throughout the country for the production of programmes of good development educational content. Grants were also provided to two video production companies and one community radio station in 2003, amounting to a total of€75,000, for the production of videos andradio programmes promoting development education

Apart from the projects referred to above, there was no expenditure on promotional, educational or advertising videos.