I propose to take Questions Nos. 60 and 85 together.
As the Deputy will be aware, my Department and the Department of Rural and Community Development published a Report on Local Public Banking at the beginning of July of this year. The Report concludes that there is not a compelling case for the State to use Exchequer funds to establish a new local public banking system, however, there is a commitment from the Government to consider other means by which the objectives of local public banking may be achieved.
I have noted the rebuttal to the Report on Local Public Banking published by Irish Rural Link. As part of our continued engagement with key public banking stakeholders, my Department has consulted with Irish Rural Link and others in the development of the terms of reference which will form the basis of the evaluation that the external consultants will conduct. Officials in my Department are currently preparing for a tender process to engage an external consultant. It is envisaged that the tender process will be concluded by the end of this year, with a view for the evaluation process to begin in early 2019.