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Departmental Expenditure.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 19 October 2005

Wednesday, 19 October 2005

Ceisteanna (200, 201)

Arthur Morgan

Ceist:

272 Mr. Morgan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the total amount paid to a consultancy company (details supplied) since 1997; the details of each of the contracts and services provided; the nature of controls applied in the procurement process; and if value for money has been achieved. [29564/05]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform)

The contracts and services provided to my Department by the company in question since 1997 are outlined below.

There is a contract in respect of access to vendor independent research material, briefings and advisory services on the IT industry worldwide which gives the user on-line access to research and to the company's analysts through an inquiry facility. The contract is renewable on an annual, per user basis. Renewal of the contract has been reviewed each year, in accordance with public service guidelines on the procurement of goods and services from sole suppliers. The following amounts have been paid to the company in question for this contract by my Department for each of the years in question: in 1997, nil; in 1998, €8,750.62; in 1999, nil; in 2000, nil; in 2001, €8,686.80; in 2002, €20,328; in 2003, €23,861.30; in 2004, €14,520.00; and in 2005, €14,520. All figures include VAT.

In 1998, my Department paid the company in question €1,185.14 for services with regard to a conference event.

In addition, the Courts Service has entered into the following contracts with the company in question:

Date

Amount

Purpose

2000

345.69

Registration fee for briefing event in Dublin

2003

1,203.95

Cost of report on Strategic Outsourcing

2005

3,146.00

Registration fee for conference in London

2005

15,125.00

Subscription to Core Research Advisor

All contracts referred to above were in accordance with public service guidelines on the procurement of goods and services from sole suppliers.

Information in respect of any services provided by the company in question to the Garda Síochána is not readily available in the time allowed for response and will be forwarded to the Deputy in due course.

Arthur Morgan

Ceist:

273 Mr. Morgan asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the total amount paid to a consultancy company (details supplied) since 1997; the details of each of the contracts and services provided; the nature of controls applied in the procurement process; and if value for money has been achieved. [29579/05]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The contracts and services provided to my Department by the company in question since 1997 are outlined below.

A contract to supply and implement a financial management system for the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, the Courts Service, the Irish Prison Service and the Garda Síochána was awarded to the company in question in March 2002. The tender was advertised through the EU Journal and all responses were evaluated on the basis of the most economically advantageous tender by a team comprising senior officers from each of the end-user agencies. The project was managed using PRINCE methodology and included a project board which met regularly for the duration of the project and oversaw all aspects of the project, including quality assurance. The scope of the project was subsequently extended to include services for the Land Registry and Registry of Deeds and the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism.

All defined deliverables were completed within the terms of the original contract and as a result of the project coming in under budget, the company in question agreed to include further deliverables outside the scope of the original contract at no additional cost, representing significant value for money for the Department. The cost of this contract to date is €14,124,005.81. This project is yielding very significant results in that the full range of financial management services for all the Departments and agencies, including the Garda Síochána, the Irish Prison Service and the Courts Service, are being delivered: for example, the payroll element alone comprises salary payments to about 22,000 staff who are paid either every week or fortnightly.

A separate contract was awarded to the company in question in January 2005 for the supply and implementation of a calculation and payment system for the criminal legal aid process. Similar procurement arrangements applied for this contract as for the financial management system project. This contract is for a fixed price of €560,720.40, of which €363,65 has been paid to date. This project also came in on time and within budget and represents value for money and a significant improvement on the predecessor system, which had been in operation for a considerable number of years.

Following an evaluation process carried out by representatives from the asylum agencies and divisions of the Department, a contract was awarded to the company in question for the development of a high level information management and information technology strategic plan for the asylum services. Work commenced in May 2002. This work was carried out under the control of a project board made up of representatives from the asylum agencies and divisions of the Department, including business users and information technology users. Board meetings were held at regular intervals and all deliverables were monitored carefully. The contract was for the fixed price of €127,000, including VAT. The final strategy was delivered in October 2002 and is currently being implemented by the Department I regret it has not been possible in the time available to compile information in respect of contracts or services provided by this company to the Garda Síochána. This will be forwarded to the Deputy in due course.

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