Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Ceisteanna (149, 150, 151)

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Ceist:

149. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 138 and 139 of 7 March 2013 that the only specific cost saving he can actually quantify resulting from his stated intention to abolish the statutorily independent boards of the National Library and Museum are the fees paid to board members; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35584/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Ceist:

150. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 138 and 139 of 7 March 2013, if he has evaluated the cost to the National Museum and National Library of the loss of expertise contained on their boards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35585/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Ceist:

151. Deputy Seán Ó Fearghaíl asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht further to Parliamentary Question Nos. 138 and 139 of 7 March 2013, in which he stated (details supplied), if the considerable administrative costs of his proposals in relation to his intended abolition of the independent boards of the National Museum and National Gallery have ever been weighted in any cost benefit analysis; if he will now make that analysis available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35586/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Arts)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 149 to 151, inclusive, together.

As the Deputy will be aware, the Public Service Reform Plan published by the Government on 17th November 2011 outlined a series of rationalisation measures, some of which related to a number of the bodies funded from my Department's Vote Group. The Deputy will of course also be aware that Public Service Reform Plan is not solely focussed on monetary savings but also on creating efficiencies and streamlining services and structures. In this context, my Department developed a comprehensive and practical approach to the implementation of the various Government Decisions in this area, which was endorsed by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

As part of that process, the Government has decided that the boards of the National Museum and National Library will be discontinued and, as board fees totalling over €80,000 were paid out to members of these boards in 2012, direct recurring annual savings of that order will be made as a result. In addition, the current provision by my Department of shared corporate support services to the National Archives will be extended to the National Museum and National library. This will lead to significant savings on administration, as it will facilitate greater sharing of staff and expertise, as well as freeing up staff of the institutions for frontline and core services. Savings of approximately €200,000 are expected to be achieved in staff costs, with a further €350,000 in savings to be achieved through additional shared services.

In relation to the Deputy's query as to whether the administrative costs of the proposals in relation to the intended abolition of the independent boards of the National Museum and National Gallery have ever been weighted in any cost benefit analysis, I trust the Deputy is referring to the National Library in his question rather than the National Gallery and must advise the Deputy again that the decision taken by Government in relation to the National Library and National Museum is not solely focussed on monetary savings but also on creating efficiencies and streamlining services and structures. I should also say that while no formal cost benefit analysis was undertaken in relation to this matter, a full review and consideration of the issues arising in the context of the discontinuation of the boards of the National Museum and National Library was undertaken.