Strategic Communications Unit

Ceisteanna (107)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

107. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Taoiseach if he will publish a spreadsheet tracking expenditure to date by the strategic communications unit in his Department; if the unit has made an application for additional funding; and the sanctioning process for additional funding of the unit. [11356/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Taoiseach)

The work of the Strategic Communications Unit is currently under review. Details of expenditure up to the end of February 2018 are contained in the following table:

Details

2017

2018

(to 28 February)

Total

Travel & Subsistence

€3,423.21

€299.34

€3,722.55

Advertising and Incidental Expenses

€35,186.33

€124,385.38

€159,571.71

Postal & Telecommunications

€626.48

€308.27

€934.75

Office Equipment

€10,848.60

€8,212.56

€19,061.16

Total

€50,084.62

€133,205.55

€183,290.17

The figures included above represent actual expenditure incurred and processed through my Department’s financial management system to end February 2018. Additional invoices for various projects are currently being processed or are yet to be received.

In Budget 2018, €5 million was allocated to the Unit. The Unit has not made any application for additional funding.

Strategic Communications Unit

Questions Nos. 109 and 110 answered with Question No. 74.

Ceisteanna (108, 137, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, 147, 151)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

108. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Taoiseach if the strategic communications unit in his Department has hired or purchased external public relations services, graphic design, consultancy companies and or online digital strategy companies since the unit was formed; and the expenditure on those services by amount spent and company engaged in tabular form. [11361/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

137. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach the cost of the tender for research by a company (details supplied); the persons involved in drawing up the terms of the research; the dates it was undertaken; when it was completed; and when it was sent to his Department. [12057/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

138. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach the plans the Strategic Communications Unit has to integrate creative and digital campaign services; and the person that finalised the terms of the contract awarded to a company (details supplied). [12058/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

139. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach the background to awarding the contract to a company (details supplied) for the provision of media strategy planning and buying services; and the person that will oversee the terms. [12059/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

140. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach the details of the contract awarded to a company (details supplied) for the provision of marketing pitch specialist services; and the length of this contract. [12060/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

141. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach the details of the contract awarded to a company (details supplied) for the development of an identity system for rollout to all Departments. [12061/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

142. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he will report on the provision of digital services and a company (details supplied). [12062/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

147. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach the details of the contracts with companies (details supplied); the date the tender was advertised; the date the tender closed; the number of companies bidding; and the value of each contract awarded. [13022/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Niall Collins

Ceist:

151. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Taoiseach the status of successful tenders (details supplied) that the Office of Government Procurement ran on behalf of his Department; the amount agreed for each successful tender to carry out the provision for services; when each provision of service will be completed; and the date for publication. [12747/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Taoiseach)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 108, 137 to 142, inclusive, 147 and 151 together.

Six tenders for specialist advice have been awarded by my Department as follows:

Service

Company

Date Tender advertised

Date Tender closed

Number of bids

Length of contract

Provision of research and insight

Behaviour and Attitudes

19/09/2017

04/10/2017

6

Initial 6 months with 1 x 12 months extension allowable

Provision of digital creative services

Radical (now trading as Core)

26/09/2017

20/10/2017

4

Initial 24 month with 2 x 12 months extensions allowable

Provision of integrated creative and digital campaign services

TBWA

26/09/2017

20/10/2017

3

Initial 24 months with 2 x 12 months extensions allowable

Provision of media strategy planning and buying services

PHD

04/10/2017

03/11/2017

5

Initial 12 months with 3 x 12 months extensions allowable

Development of Government identity system for roll out across Government Departments

Zero-G

27/11/2017

1/12/2017

3

Open

Provision of marketing pitch specialist service

Agency Assessments

28/09/2017

13/10/2017

3

Initial 12 months with 1 x 12 months extension allowable

Procurement for five of these contracts was overseen by the Office of Government Procurement (OGP). In line with public procurement, one tender, in respect of identity, was managed by my Department as the estimated cost for services was under the €25,000 threshold.

Contracts were entered into with these companies to facilitate the delivery of the work programme of the Strategic Communications Unit (SCU), particularly in relation to cross Government informational campaigns.

A contract management process is in place within my Department to oversee all contracts.

The value of the contracts for Radical (Core), PHD Media, TBWA and Agency Assessments was set at a level to allow initial work to be carried out by the successful supplier in each case. The contracts put in place are term contracts. This allows for further work to be carried out by the successful supplier during that term period so the final contract value will be in excess of the original stated value if further work ensues. The contracts put in place do not guarantee any volume of business or exclusivity to the successful supplier.

A research tender with estimated costs of up to €130,000 ex Vat was published on September 18th 2017 to commission an initial report of Government and its services, and a rolling tracker of attitudes. After an open procurement process, overseen by the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) the tender was awarded to Behaviour and Attitudes. The research is comprised of an initial survey to determine citizens' view of the role of Government and the areas Government is responsible for in fulfilling its role and, a series of follow-on tracker surveys. The questionnaire which is being used in the research is in the process of being finalised and reviewed and no fieldwork has commenced. Therefore, no findings (preliminary or otherwise) are available. The results and findings of the project, along with relevant collateral such as the questionnaire, will be published once available. This is expected to be during Quarter 2, 2018.

In relation to the contract awarded to a marketing pitch specialist, this contractor provided advice and assistance regarding the appointment of communication agency partners and assists with the appointment of the most suitable agencies for communications tasks. The contract is of a year's duration, commencing in October 2017 with the option of a 12 month extension at the discretion of the Department.

Questions Nos. 109 and 110 answered with Question No. 74.

Departmental Advertising Data

Question No. 112 answered with Question No. 73.

Ceisteanna (111)

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

111. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Taoiseach the amount spent by his Department on advertorial type content during the tenure of each previous Taoiseach; the month and year that each such advertorial was published; and the cost in this regard in each instance. [11391/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Taoiseach)

The information sought is not readily available and would require the analysis of records dating back to the foundation of the State. Work on this scale would incur unreasonable cost to my Department

The current Financial Management System used by my Department became operational in 2002 and the information provided here comes from the records readily available.

The costs outlined in the table below relate to advertising spend by my Department, which includes both public service advertising and advertorials.

Year

Advertisements

2002

€20,145.40

2003

€44,437.63

2004

€31,071

2005

€12,988

2006

€377,045

2007

€277,365

2008

€65,525

2009

€12,825.35

2010

€11,578.89

2011

€101,061.92

2012

€562,573.48

2013

€68,128.27

2014

€26,114.75

2015

€60,878.34

2016

€24,330.87

2017

€35,528.55

2018 to mid-March

€144,112.95

Question No. 112 answered with Question No. 73.

Departmental Banking

Ceisteanna (113)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

113. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Taoiseach the cost to his Department of negative interest rates on deposits held; and the details of same for agencies under his aegis. [11744/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Taoiseach)

My Department does not have any deposit accounts. The National Economic and Social Development Office (NESDO) – the only body under the aegis of my Department – has one deposit account. It does not incur negative interest rates.

Departmental Advertising Expenditure

Question No. 115 answered with Question No. 73.

Ceisteanna (114)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

114. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Taoiseach the amount spent by his Department on third party public relations advice, communications advice, online advertising and public awareness campaigns from January 2017 to date in 2018, by year, month and company engaged in tabular form. [11774/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Taoiseach)

The information requested by the Deputy is set out in the table.

The figures included represent actual expenditure incurred, and processed through my Department’s financial management system to the end of February 2018. Additional invoices for various projects are currently being processed or are yet to be received.

2017

February

Company

Description

Amount

FCR Media Ltd

Advertising in State Phone Directory

€5,571.90

August

Mediavest Ireland Ltd

Advertisement regarding process for nomination of a person by the Government to the Office of Chief Justice.

€3,118.53

Q4 Public Relations

Public Relations and Communications Services for the Data Summit 2017

€30,750

October

Mediavest Ireland Ltd

Recruitment advertisement – Nominee to European Court of Auditors

€1,968.37

December

Cawley Nea TBWA Ltd

Creative Services in production of Regional Development Fund and Self-Employed videos

€13,351.65

Cawley Nea TBWA Ltd

Creative production for radio and digital media for Healthy Ireland campaign

€16,605

2018

February

Company

Description

Amount

Cawley Nea TBWA Ltd

Project 2040 – creative services

€121,661.90

Question No. 115 answered with Question No. 73.

Taoiseach's Meetings and Engagements

Ceisteanna (116)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

116. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he has spoken with Chancellor Merkel since she formed a coalition government; and if so, the issues that were discussed. [11816/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Taoiseach)

I met with Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday in Berlin. We discussed preparations for this week’s European Council, including Brexit, trade, EMU, the Western Balkans, and the tax challenges of digitalisation. Our exchanges also covered bilateral relations. I took the opportunity to thank the Chancellor for her ongoing support and solidarity in relation to our unique concerns arising from Brexit. I also congratulated her on her recent re-election as Chancellor.