Question No. 147 answered with Question No. 80.

National Development Plan Data

Question No. 149 answered with Question No. 73.

Ceisteanna (148)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

148. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Taoiseach the projects mentioned in the National Development Plan 2018-2027 that come under his Department's remit or bodies under its aegis; and the estimated completion dates for each project in tabular form. [13023/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Taoiseach)

The National Development Plan 2018-2027 together with the National Planning Framework, was published on 16 February, 2018 as Project Ireland 2040.

The National Development Plan (NDP) sets out the Government's intentions for investment in public infrastructure out to 2027, grounded in the strategic investment priorities identified by each Minister and in line with the strategic outcomes developed in the National Planning Framework (NPF).

Given its size and role, my Department does not have any capital expenditure allocation, and therefore there are no projects under my Department or the bodies under its aegis in the National Development Plan.

However, as with other national strategies, my Department does contribute to the overall approach and priorities which are contained in the Plan. Cabinet Committee D provided a forum in which the preparation of the NPF and the NDP were discussed in addition to a number of dedicated Cabinet meetings.

Question No. 149 answered with Question No. 73.

Strategic Communications Unit

Question No. 151 answered with Question No. 108.

Ceisteanna (150)

John Brady

Ceist:

150. Deputy John Brady asked the Taoiseach the amount spent on the strategic communications unit since its introduction. [12544/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Taoiseach)

The amount spent on the Strategic Communications Unit since its introduction is listed in the following table:

Details

2017

2018 (to 28 February)

Total

Travel and 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

Question No. 151 answered with Question No. 108.

Ministerial Staff Data

Ceisteanna (152)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

152. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Taoiseach the details of each non-Civil Service appointment he has made to a role in his Department; the persons appointed; the role, qualifications and salary of each; and the guidelines that apply in respect of party political fundraising. [13166/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Taoiseach)

Special Advisers are non-established civil servants appointed by Government at the request of the relevant Office Holder in line with Section 11 of the Public Service Management Act, 1997. There are nine Special Advisers employed by my Department, working in my office and the office of the Government Chief Whip, one of whom is a public servant (i.e. a non-civil servant).

As the terms of the Ethics in Public Office Act, 1995, and the Standards in Public Office Act, 2001, apply to the appointment of Special Advisers and require that contracts of employment for Special Advisers should be laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas, I can inform the House that the Special Adviser in question is paid at Assistant Secretary level. In addition, as the terms and conditions of employment of Special Advisers allow for the laying before the Houses of the Oireachtas of a statement of their qualifications relevant to their official functions, I can inform the House that the Special Adviser in question has a BA in History and Politics from University College Dublin (1994), a Ph.D in History from University College Dublin (1997) and is a Fellow of Trinity College Dublin since 2008.

There are a further three non-civil servants working in my Department; two are public servants working in the Strategic Communications Unit and one staff member is seconded to my Department from a private sector organisation and working on Brexit-related issues in my Department's International, EU and Northern Ireland Division. The two public servants working in the Strategic Communications Unit are working at levels equivalent to the civil service grades of Assistant Secretary and Higher Executive Officer respectively. The staff member seconded to my Department from the private sector is working at Assistant Principal Officer level. While I am constrained by Data Protection legislation in relation to the release of the qualifications of these individuals, I can confirm that they are well qualified to carry out the duties assigned to them.

All staff working in the Department of the Taoiseach are bound by the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour. Section 5 of the Code deals specifically with the issue of civil servants and politics. Apart from the provisions in relation to civil servants and politics, the Code also applies to the posts of:

- Special Adviser;

- Government Press Secretary;

- Deputy Government Press Secretary;

- Assistant Government Press Secretary; and

- all Private Office staff holding temporary non-established positions and whose tenure is coterminous with that of the relevant Office Holder (e.g. personal assistants, personal secretaries, civilian drivers, etc.).

Economic Data

Ceisteanna (153)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

153. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Taoiseach the classification of the entertainment sector in the national accounts. [11996/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Taoiseach)

The entertainment sector is included under NACE REV.2 section R (Arts, entertainment and recreation). An excerpt of Table 21 of the National Income and Expenditure Annual Results showing the Gross value added at current basic prices for section R as well as the total is as follows:

Table 21 Gross Value Added at Current Basic Prices

NACE REV. 2 - section

NACE REV. 2 - division

Description

2011 - €m

2012 - €m

2013 - €m

2014 - €m

2015 - €m

2016 - €m

R

90-93

Arts, entertainment and recreation

1,895

1,722

1,782

1,765

1,765

1,863

 

 

Gross value added at current basic prices

157,082

160,308

164,382

177,007

243,181

255,358

1 Preliminary

Defence Forces Funding

Ceisteanna (154)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

154. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the Defence Forces are not permitted to retain intellectual property and the associated income in cases in which they contribute innovation, ideas and technology to joint projects with industry partners. [13042/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

The Government approved arrangements in July 2011, whereby Enterprise Ireland would support the Department of Defence and the Defence Forces capability development through engagement with Irish-based enterprise and research institutes on the use and application of innovative civilian technologies in the military sphere. The White Paper on Defence reinforces this arrangement stating the Defence Forces will make available resources and expertise, including advice and information, to Enterprise Ireland supported companies and research institutes.  In return the Defence Forces are exposed to new technologies and research that could inform the direction of defence capabilities.

The White Paper on Defence recognises the need to "resolve the issues of intellectual property rights and possible endorsement of such products or research."  In this context a project has been created, jointly staffed by civilian and military personnel.  The project team is currently developing an Intellectual Property Policy for the Defence Organisation.  It is expected that the policy will be finalised and approved in the coming months.

Innovation is currently recognised and rewarded in the Defence Forces - the Chief of Staff Innovation Award 2018 was recently launched in recognition of innovative expertise within the Defence Forces.  This award offers Defence Forces personnel an opportunity to shape future capability development.  The winner(s) of the award will receive a place on the TechInnovate Intrapreneur Training Programme hosted by National University of Ireland.

Permanent Structured Co-operation

Ceisteanna (155, 156)

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

155. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the steps that have and will be been taken to ensure that companies here have the full support of all relevant State agencies in particular Enterprise Ireland and the IDA in accessing PESCO projects (details supplied) and funding; and if Irish companies will be assured that they will not be placed at a competitive disadvantage or precluded from these opportunities. [13043/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Lisa Chambers

Ceist:

156. Deputy Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the discussions or interactions he has had with other Departments and State agencies in respect of PESCO and Ireland's access to research and development and project funding; and the steps being taken to apply for such funding. [13044/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Defence)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 155 and 156 together.

While PESCO does not provide for direct funding to Member States or to companies established in Member States, some capability development projects developed under PESCO may be eligible for funding from the European Defence Fund, in particular from the European Defence Industrial Development Programme (EDIDP).

The text of the proposed Regulation to establish the EDIDP was negotiated between Member States in the Friends of the Presidency format in the second half of 2017. My Department worked closely with colleagues in the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation to ensure that the Programme reflected the interests of Ireland, particularly in the area of opportunities for SMEs.

The Regulation is expected to be adopted in May and my staff will continue to work with Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation in particular, through this negotiation process to ensure Irish interests are reflected in the final programme.

In addition to the specific work carried out on the development of the above Programme, my Department and the Defence Forces have an on-going arrangement with Enterprise Ireland. This arrangement provides for Enterprise Ireland to support the Department of Defence/Defence Forces in the development of military capability. This is achieved by raising the awareness of, and engaging with, Irish-based enterprise and research institutes, including third level colleges that are engaged in relevant and related activities. Two committees, comprising of personnel from the Department of Defence, Enterprise Ireland and the Defence Forces oversee this arrangement. (The Defence Enterprise Committee and the Defence Enterprise Ireland Co-ordination Committee). The Committee meetings are regularly briefed on developments in the EU in relation to Horizon 2020, European Defence Agency, EDIDP, European Defence Fund and PESCO.

PESCO also features as a topic at meetings of the Interdepartmental Group on the European Union and Brexit which is attended by senior officials across Government Departments.

I have now confirmed Ireland's participation in two PESCO projects (1) EU Training Mission Competence Centre and (2) Upgrade of Maritime Surveillance. As these projects are still at an early stage it is unclear what opportunities may be available within these projects for Irish industry/SMEs and whether they will be eligible for EDIDP funding. However my staff will ensure that the existing relationship with Enterprise Ireland is utilised to facilitate the onward communication of any opportunities that may arise.

Furthermore a joint Military and Civil project team has been created within the Defence Organisation to establish a Security and Defence Enterprise Group. This Group would support Irish-based enterprise in their engagement with EU institutes and funding programmes, to the benefit of Irish Enterprise and Defence Forces capability. Once established this Group will provide the Defence Organisation with a further means for communicating opportunities (including information related to accessing EU funding) to interested parties.