National Transport Authority Remit

Question No. 298 answered with Question No. 288.

Ceisteanna (297)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

297. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason the NTA did not consult with companies (details supplied) on charges; if the matter will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13120/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I wish to advise the Deputy that the provision of the North Wall Coach Park is a matter for the National Transport Authority (NTA), which has statutory responsibility for the development of public transport infrastructure in the Greater Dublin Area (GDA)

The purpose of providing a new coach park at North Wall was, in part, to address the issue of on-street parking of coaches in the city centre, particularly with regard to the Luas Cross City works and route. Due to numerous competing demands, the availability of kerbside space for coach parking is extremely limited in Dublin City Centre during business hours. Accordingly, the NTA, in consultation with (and including a signed Memorandum of Understanding) with the Coach Tourism Transport Council (CTTC), developed an off-street coach parking facility close to the city centre where coaches could layover during business hours, thereby freeing up on-street coach parking spaces for drop-off and collection purposes.

In light of their responsibility in this matter, I have referred the Deputy's question to the National Transport Authority for a direct response. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

Question No. 298 answered with Question No. 288.

Sports Capital Programme Eligibility

Ceisteanna (299)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

299. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the public service obligations applicable to private sports clubs which receive funding under the sports capital grants, for example, the need for an element of public access at private golf clubs in receipt of sports capital funding which charge high fees for persons to join; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13149/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The Sports Capital Programme (SCP) as operated by my Department provides grants to assist in the development or refurbishment of sports facilities and the provision of sports equipment. The full terms and conditions of the SCP are available on my Department's website including details of who can apply.

SCP applicants must sign a declaration guaranteeing that they will not deny anybody access to any facility for which they have received a grant on the grounds of gender, civil status, family status, age, disability, race, sexual orientation, religious belief, or membership of the Traveller Community without just, reasonable and proper cause. Clubs applying for grant assistance must also be open for new members to join at the time of the assessment process.

In relation to future rounds of the SCP, my Department is undertaking a review of the 2017 round with a view to making recommendations on how to improve the process for future calls. This review will consider any changes required to the eligibility criteria and is also examining what is feasible in terms of the scale and timing of the next round. I expect this review to be complete shortly and an announcement regarding the next round will be made at that stage.

A value for money review of the programme is also being carried out within the Department that will examine, among other things, the impact that the programme is having on participation in sport.

Ministerial Staff Data

Ceisteanna (300)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

300. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport 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. [13167/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The information requested by the Deputy is provided in the following table:

Name

 Role

 Salary Range

Aisling Dunne (Special Adviser)

To advise me in relation to political and Departmental issues. 

 €84,973 to €104,507 per annum

Carol Hunt (Special Adviser)

To advise me in relation to political and Departmental issues.

 €84,973 to €104,507 per annum

Katie Mann (Personal Assistant)

To work on constituency matters.

 €47,486 to €60,611 per annum

Caroline Greene (Personal Secretary)

To work on constituency matters. 

 €509.56 to €992.36 per week

Ultan Sherlock (Civilian Driver)

 Civilian Driver

 €691.01 per week

All of these staff were appointed and are paid in line with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform guidelines on the staffing of Ministers' Offices. The number of Special Advisers appointed by me is also in line with section 11 of the Public Service Management Act 1997.

The Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 and the Standards in Public Office Act 2001 apply to these appointments.

Road Signage

Ceisteanna (301)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

301. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason the traffic signs manual published by his Department does not specify that Knock and Knock airport be included on all signposts pointing northwards on the M17/N17 from the new Rathmorrisey junction on the M6/M17/M18 northwards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13171/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The Traffic Signs Manual provides detailed guidance on the provision and use of road markings and signs, including their layout and symbols, the circumstances in which they must be used and the rules for positioning them.  It provides examples of the wording to be used on signs but does not and could not specify each and every sign in the country.

As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects (including signage) is a matter for the Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

Noting the above position, I have referred the Deputy's question to TII for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you don't receive a reply within 10 working days.

Swimming Pool Programme Administration

Question No. 303 answered with Question No. 289.

Ceisteanna (302)

Paul Murphy

Ceist:

302. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the measures his Department is taking to resolve the fault in the swimming pool in a centre (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13228/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

My Department provided funding of €3.8m towards the original construction cost of the swimming pool in question. A further grant of €136,800 was provided in 2011 under the Energy Efficiency Upgrade and Enhanced Disabled Access initiative.

My Department has not provided funding for any repair work and does not operate a scheme for such expenditure. The management and maintenance of Local Authority swimming pools, including any required maintenance work, are matters for the relevant local authority in the first instance.

Question No. 303 answered with Question No. 289.

Ombudsman for Children Data

Ceisteanna (304)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

304. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of requests for additional funding, staff resources or expertise that have been made by the Office of the Ombudsman for Children since January 2016; the purpose of the requested additional, funding staff resources or expertise; the response of her Department to each request in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13147/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Firstly, I would like to say that I am fully supportive of the work of the Ombudsman for Children, Dr. Niall Muldoon and the staff of his Office. The Office is not only a mechanism of redress but has a significant role to play as an independent national monitor in the area of children's rights.

In July 2016, the Ombudsman for Children submitted a business case to this Department proposing a significant expansion of his staffing resources. At my first meeting with Dr. Muldoon I indicated my support for his proposal and that it would be done on a suitably phased basis.

The allocation for the Ombudsman for Children's Office was increased from €2.154m in 2016 to €2.360m in 2017. I am pleased that in 2018 I secured an allocation of €2.733m for the Office. My Department's External HR Unit is working with the Ombudsman for Children's Office to obtain the necessary approvals to proceed with the required recruitment, and other temporary requested measures, as outlined in the following tables:

Year

Approval sought from Department for the following posts

Date received in Department

All posts sanctioned

Date of Sanction

2016

3 posts - 1 Office Manager (HEO replacement post)- 1xDigital Media Officer (EO)- Temp replacement for maternity cover

14.9.2016 14.9.2016 13.9.2016

3 posts

15.9.2016 14.9.2016 14.9.2016

2017

6 posts -Head of Education and Participation (AP)- Investigator (AP)- 2 x Education and Participation Officers (2xEO)- 2 x Early Resolution Officers (2 x EO) 2 temporary posts to cover maternity leave:- Communications Manager (AP)- Investigator (AP)

21.9.2017 13.11.2017

6 posts 2 temporary posts

28.9.2017 14.11.2017

2018

3 temporary posts to cover maternity - Participation, Rights and Education Officer (EO)- Human Rights & Policy Officer (AO)- Corporate Services Officer (EO)

5.3.2018

3 temporary posts

9.3.2018

Year

Funding Allocation

Expenditure

2016

€2.154m

€1.8m (underspend of €0.354m)

2017

€2.36m

€2.150m (underspend of €0.2m)

2018

€2.733m

Child and Family Agency Funding

Ceisteanna (305)

Tom Neville

Ceist:

305. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if Tusla will provide funding to a service (details supplied) to assist it to meet its running costs; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13053/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, administers the provision of funding and the awarding of grants to child and family services nationwide. In line with its Commissioning Strategy, Tusla is committed to using all available resources for children and families in the most efficient, equitable, proportionate and sustainable way.

Tusla has advised that the organisation to which the Deputy refers received joint funding from the Health Service Executive (HSE) and Tusla in 2014 and 2015.

Tusla has developed its framework for the management of and accountability arrangements for grants in accordance with public sector guidelines. Tusla has advised that it did not receive certain required documents in 2016 including; an Annual Report, Scope of Services, audited accounts, or any official report of client numbers from the organisation. Due to the lack of engagement on these items, Tusla did not issue funding to the centre referred to by the Deputy in 2016.

Tusla has also advised that it did not receive a grant application from the centre for 2017 or 2018. In the past year, Tusla has engaged with members of the Board of the centre, referred to by the Deputy, on several occasions to outline the requirements for a successful funding application, and to express its concern in relation to the ongoing issues regarding governance matters.

Over the past two years, Tusla has provided funding to another organisation in the area which provides a high quality counselling service for young people.

Tusla will continue to work with its community partners throughout the country and will consider service needs and funding resources for such groups where appropriate, in accordance with public financial management principles, procedures, and additional reporting requirements.

Ministerial Staff Data

Ceisteanna (306)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

306. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the details of each non-Civil Service appointment she has made to a role in her Department; the persons appointed; the role, qualifications and salary of each; and the guidelines that apply in respect of party political fundraising. [13153/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

As Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, I have appointed two Special Advisers and two Civilian Drivers in my Department. The appointments have been made in accordance with Instructions for Ministerial Appointments as published by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. These instructions set specific conditions to be met in respect of such appointments including the salaries to be applied. In accordance with these instructions, both my Special Advisers have been placed on the Principal Officer Standard Scale - PPC and are both currently on the 4th point of this scale - €95,441 and my Civilian Drivers are both on an annual salary of €34,305.

The terms of the Ethics in Public Office Act 1995 and the Standards in Public Office Act 2001 apply to all Ministerial staff appointments, including Special Advisers, and in accordance with these Acts a copy of the appointees' contracts of employment together with details of qualifications are laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas. In addition, the Acts provide for each individual appointee, with the exception of the grade of Civilian Driver, to make written statements of registerable interests which could materially influence the appointee in, or in relation to, the performance of official functions.

The Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour also apply to Ministerial appointees but the Deputy may wish to note that the restrictions on civil servants engaging in political activity under the Code do not apply to Ministerial staff holding temporary unestablished positions in the civil service and whose tenure is coterminous with that of the relevant Minister.

I am satisfied that all of the persons appointed by me are appropriately qualified to carry out their official functions.