Sports Capital Programme Applications

Ceisteanna (234)

Willie Penrose

Ceist:

234. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if an application for capital funding under the sports capital grants scheme has been received from a club (details supplied); if so, if same will be considered for an allocation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2014/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme opened for applications on Friday 7 September and the application period closed on Friday 19th October. By that deadline, a record 2,337 applications were submitted seeking a total of €162m in funding.

I can confirm that an application has been submitted by the organisation referred to by the Deputy.

For the first time, applicants who have submitted incorrect documentation under this round will be given the opportunity to correct their application during the assessment period. While there will be no undue delay in completing the assessment process, in view of the opportunity to correct documentation, the record number of applications received and the detailed information contained in each application, it is likely to take a number of months to have all of these new applications fully assessed.

Departmental Staff Data

Ceisteanna (235, 236)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

235. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of employees in her Department; the number professionally qualified with organisations (details supplied); the number with other relevant professional qualifications; and the number with no professional qualifications, in tabular form. [1882/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

236. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the number of employees in her Department authorised to engage in procurement; the number professionally qualified with organisations (details supplied); the number with other relevant professional qualifications; and the number with no professional qualifications, in tabular form. [1899/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 235 and 236 together.

At 31 December 2018, there were 277 employees (headcount) in my Department.

Of these, 221 are at the grade of Executive Officer or higher and therefore have sanction to authorise payments, subject to the following limits, as well as other restrictions:

Grade

Authorisation Limit

Executive Officer or higher

€1,000

Higher Executive Officer / Administrative Officer or higher

€25,000

Assistant Principal Officer or higher

€100,000

Principal Officer or higher

€1m

Assistant Secretary or higher

€10m

Secretary General

€10m

Note: The Secretary General has authorised different authorisation levels for Tusla drawdown and Early Years/Childcare drawdowns.

My Department does not hold comprehensive records on employee qualifications as it cannot compel employees to disclose their qualifications, whether in respect of the organisations mentioned in the Details Supplied or otherwise.

A dedicated Procurement Unit is in place in DCYA. A contracts register of all contracts which have been live at any time since January 2017 to date with a value of more than €20,000 has been set up and the Procurement Unit monitors these contracts relating to approaching expiry dates etc. A central repository of all the corresponding tender documentation is also in place.

Detailed Procurement Policies and Procedures which includes a policy framework and user guidelines are in place. Staff within the Procurement Unit have attended procurement training, including eTenders training, and two Unit members have completed a Certificate in Procurement.

In addition, 49 employees in my Department have received non-certified training in procurement since its establishment in 2011.

Legislative Process

Ceisteanna (237)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

237. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the status of the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill 2016; and the timeframe for the Bill to progress to Committee Stage. [1928/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

It is the Minister’s intention to progress to Committee Stage of the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill 2016 in the Seanad Éireann as quickly as possible.

This is an important piece of legislation as it provides adopted people and other relevant people with statutory rights to information and to a tracing service. It will also protect relevant records by bringing them into the custody of the Adoption Authority of Ireland and it will create offences for the concealment, destruction, mutilation or falsification of such records.

The Bill must operate within the current constitutional framework and must seek to balance the rights to identity and to privacy, which may sometimes be in conflict. However, the Bill operates on the basis of a presumption in favour of disclosing information in so far as is legally and constitutionally possible. I am continuing to actively explore all options in relation to facilitating the release of as much information as possible to adopted and other relevant persons and will introduce any necessary amendments at Committee Stage.

Legislative Process

Ceisteanna (238)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

238. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs if consideration has been given to amendments of the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill 2016, the scope of the amendments; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1929/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

It is my intention to progress to Committee Stage of the Adoption (Information and Tracing) Bill 2016 in the Seanad Éireann as quickly as possible.

It is intended that a number of Government amendments will be proposed at Committee Stage or Report Stage. These are still being finalised.

Some of these amendments seek to address concerns raised about elements of the Bill during the debate on Second Stage in the Seanad and by advocates and lobby groups. I am continuing to actively explore all options in relation to facilitating the release of as much birth information as possible to adopted and other relevant persons.

In addition, my Department is consulting with the Data Protection Commissioner to determine if amendments are required to ensure compliance with the GDPR.

Departmental Staff Data

Ceisteanna (239, 240)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

239. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the number of employees in his Department; the number professionally qualified with organisations (details supplied); the number with other relevant professional qualifications; and the number with no professional qualifications, in tabular form. [1894/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

240. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the number of employees in his Department authorised to engage in procurement; the number professionally qualified with organisations (details supplied); the number with other relevant professional qualifications; and the number with no professional qualifications, in tabular form. [1911/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 239 and 240 together.

My Department pays subscriptions for professional membership fees for staff as required for them to undertake their official duties. The Department currently pays professional membership fees for two staff for the bodies specifies in Table A.

In addition, the Department holds corporate membership with the Institute of Public Administration.

Table A

Organisation

Staff Membership

Chartered Accountants Ireland

1

Institute of Internal Auditors

1

The procurement of goods and services within the Department takes place in the context of the Office of Government Procurement framework arrangements. All procurement must be authorised by the relevant budget holder, which in practical terms means that authorisation can take place at HEO level and above. Employees have authorised approval limits and all procurement expenditure must be certified and authorised by different individuals holding the appropriate authorisations.

Illness Benefit Data

Ceisteanna (241)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Ceist:

241. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the amount and dates of payment of illness benefit to a person (details supplied) in County Cork in respect of 2019. [1823/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Person concerned is currently in receipt of Illness Benefit and two payments have issued to him thus far. The first payment of €1551 issued to him on the 31st December 2018 which included arrears and that weeks payment.

A further payment of €231 issued to him on the 11th January 2019 which was for the current medically certified period of up to 7th January 2019. If they remain ill and unfit for work, a further medical certificate should be submitted to the Department as soon as possible in order for further payments to issue.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the deputy.

Partial Capacity Benefit Scheme Appeals

Ceisteanna (242)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

242. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a file for an appeal for partial capacity benefit for a person (details supplied) in County Kildare will be forwarded to the appeals office for processing; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1828/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Partial Capacity Benefit (PCB) allows a person who has been in receipt of Illness Benefit for six months and who may not have full capacity for work, to return to employment and continue to receive a partial or full payment from the Department.

The Partial Capacity Benefit file and relevant reports in respect of the person concerned was sent to the Social Welfare Appeals Office on the 9th January 2019.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office has advised me that the appeal by the person concerned will now be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral hearing

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Departmental Staff Data

Ceisteanna (243)

John Brady

Ceist:

243. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of staff working within the carer's allowance section; the number in each area within the section; when staff were last taken on in the section; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1829/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

My Department, like all Government departments and agencies, is required to operate within a staff ceiling figure and a commensurate administrative staffing budget, which for this Department has involved reductions in staff numbers.

At the end of December 2018, there were 75.02 FTE’s (77 people) assigned to the Carers Allowance section.

There are two areas within the Carers Allowance Section:

(i) Maintenance Section – Currently, there are 38.55 FTE’s (39 people) assigned to this area.

This section maintains the claims of 79,914 carers and their 47,973 qualified children as well as dealing with queries in relation to their 87,589 care recipients. On a weekly basis the section replies to emails, processes PQs, replies to written/email representations, re-assesses customer requests for re-assessment, reviews decisions on foot of pre-appeal reviews and appeals as well as answering phone-calls on a dedicated Oireachtas phone-line.

(ii) New Claims section – Currently, there are 36.47 FTE’s (38 people)

This section processes approx. 400 applications per week, issuing arrears and implementing Appeals Officer decisions on a weekly basis.

My Department is focusing on prioritising the filling of critical posts. The staffing needs for all areas within the Department, including the Carers Allowance Section, are continuously reviewed, taking account of workloads, management priorities and the competing demands arising, to ensure that the best use is made of all available resources with a view to providing an efficient service to those who rely on the schemes operated by the Department.

Since 1st June 2018 there has been 6 new staff assigned to the Carers Allowance section, (6 FTE).

Social Welfare Benefits Data

Ceisteanna (244)

John Brady

Ceist:

244. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of applications received, awarded and refused, respectively for carer’s allowance and carer’s benefit in 2018. [1830/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The information requested by the Deputy is detailed in the following tabular statement.

The number of claims in respect of Carer's Allowance and Carer's Benefit registered, awarded or rejected in 2018

Scheme

Registered

Awarded

Rejected*

Carer's Allowance

20,122

17,242

9,291

Carer's Benefit

4,101

2,774

1,026

* The rejected claim total may include claims which were subsequently awarded on review following receipt of additional information from the applicant.

Carer's Allowance Payments

Ceisteanna (245)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

245. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the resumption of full payment in the case of a person (details supplied) will be expedited; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1914/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Carer's allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a child or an adult who has such a disability that as a result they require that level of care.

The person concerned has been in receipt of a half-rate CA since 1 March 2018 as her husband has been claiming an increase for a qualified adult for her on his jobseeker's benefit.

On 23 October 2018 she requested a review of her CA entitlement as her husband has returned to work and has ceased claiming jobseeker's benefit.

The outcome of the review is that the person concerned has been awarded full rate CA with effect from 4 October 2018.

Arrears of allowance from 4 October 2018 to 16 January 2019 will issue shortly.

The person concerned was notified on 12 January 2019 of this outcome, the reason for it and of her right of review and appeal.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Social Welfare Appeals

Ceisteanna (246)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

246. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a decision has been made on a carer's support grant appeal in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1915/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I am advised by the Social Welfare Appeals Office that an appeal was registered on the 17th October 2018 and, in accordance with the statutory requirements, the Appeals Office had contacted the appellant and asked her to set out the complete grounds of her appeal.

I am informed that these grounds of appeal were received in the Social Welfare Appeals Office on the 7th November 2018. It is a statutory requirement of the appeals process that the relevant Departmental papers and comments by the Deciding Officer on the grounds of appeal be sought. When these papers have been received back from the Department the case in question will be referred to an Appeals Officer who will make a summary decision on the appeal based on the documentary evidence presented or, if required, hold an oral appeal hearing.

The Social Welfare Appeals Office functions independently of the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection and of the Department and is responsible for determining appeals against decisions in relation to social welfare entitlements.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Rural Social Scheme Eligibility

Ceisteanna (247)

Declan Breathnach

Ceist:

247. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason the rural social scheme is not available to those in receipt of a blind pension in view of the fact that it is available to those in receipt of disability allowance; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1917/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Rural Social scheme (RSS) provides part-time employment opportunities in the community and voluntary organisations for low-income farmers and fishermen/women in receipt of certain social welfare payments who are actively farming /fishing and underemployed in their primary occupation. It also gives participants an opportunity to develop new skills.

The blind pension is not currently a qualifying payment for RSS. A person in receipt of the blind pension may qualify for participation on Community Employment (CE) scheme provided they satisfy the eligibility criteria pertaining to the scheme.

I will ask my Department officials to give consideration to the possibility of extending the eligibility criteria for RSS to include recipients of the blind pension.

Invalidity Pension Applications

Ceisteanna (248)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

248. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of an application for invalidity benefit by a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1927/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Invalidity pension (IP) is a payment for people who are permanently incapable of work because of illness or incapacity and who satisfy the pay related social insurance (PRSI) contribution conditions.

The department received a claim for IP from the lady referred to on 08 November 2018. Her claim was disallowed on the grounds that the medical conditions for the scheme were not satisfied. She was notified on the 11 January 2019 of this decision, the reasons for it and of her right of review and appeal.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Brexit Issues

Ceisteanna (249)

John Brady

Ceist:

249. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will publish the analysis being undertaken examining all scenarios of Brexit on the reciprocal arrangements in place between Ireland and the United Kingdom in relation to social security payments; when she will publish same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1933/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Government and the EU remain committed to securing a negotiated Brexit outcome. We have been planning for all Brexit scenarios but in light of uncertainties in London and the Brexit deadline of 29 March, the Government decided at its meeting of 11 December that immediate priority must now be given to preparations for a no deal Brexit and that Government Departments and state agencies should urgently take forward work on that basis.

The Contingency Action Plan which the Government published on 19 December sets out in comprehensive terms, the challenges to be faced and the actions taken and planned by the Government across key sectors in the event of a no deal Brexit scenario.

My key area of interest is the impact of Brexit on the current reciprocal arrangements for social insurance schemes, social assistance schemes and child benefit between Ireland and the UK, including Northern Ireland. I met with the then UK Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the Right Honourable Esther McVey, on 23April 2018. We agreed on our objective in ensuring that the reciprocity of social welfare rights and entitlements, which currently exist for Irish and UK citizens moving within Ireland and between Ireland and Britain under the Common Travel Area, are safeguarded and maintained.

During the passage of the Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registration Bill 2018 through the Oireachtas I gave a commitment to share the analysis being conducted by my Department on the impact of Brexit on the reciprocal arrangements for social insurance schemes, social assistance schemes and child benefit between Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. I will do that at the appropriate time.

Legislative Process

Ceisteanna (250)

John Brady

Ceist:

250. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the stage plans are at to move the Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registration Bill 2017 to Committee Stage; the timeframe for same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [1963/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Social Welfare, Pensions and Civil Registration Bill 2017 proposes a number of amendments to the Social Welfare Acts, the Pensions Act 1990 and the Civil Registration Act 2004.

The amendments to the Pensions Act contain a number of key measures relating to Defined Benefit pension schemes. It is intended that these measures will act to support existing provisions in the Pensions Act by providing for further protection for scheme members’ benefits and enhancing employer responsibilities for their schemes. These provisions in particular are very technical and involve complex policy issues. In order to achieve a resilient solution it has been necessary to consult in detail with other Government Departments and obtain numerous legal advices from the Office of the Attorney General on various aspects of the provisions. When these matters have been resolved and amendments approved by Government, an early date for Committee Stage will be requested.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Back to Work Family Dividend Scheme Data

Ceisteanna (251)

John Brady

Ceist:

251. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of persons in receipt of the back to work enterprise allowance and the short-term enterprise allowance as of the end of 2018. [2003/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The back to work enterprise allowance (BTWEA) is designed to provide a monetary incentive for people who are in receipt of social welfare payments to enter self-employment and develop a business while allowing them to retain a reducing proportion of their qualifying social welfare payment over two years - 100% in year 1 and 75% in year 2. The BTWEA is generally available to persons who are on a qualifying social welfare payment, such as jobseekers allowance/benefit, for 9 months or longer.

The short term enterprise allowance (STEA) provides immediate support to those who qualify for jobseekers benefit wishing to set up a business. Payment under the scheme is at the same rate and for the same duration as their entitlement to jobseekers benefit

The information requested by the Deputy in respect of people who are in receipt of BTWEA and STEA as of the 31st of December 2018 is detailed in the following table:

Scheme

Recipients December 2018

BTWEA

6,666

STEA

335

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Planning Issues

Ceisteanna (252)

Martin Ferris

Ceist:

252. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the measures an individual can take to remove an association between them and planning applications made in their name without their knowledge. [1832/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Any person who has reason to believe a planning application has been made in their name without their consent should immediately bring the matter to the attention of the relevant planning authority, who will decide what course of action is appropriate.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, section 34(13) of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended (the 2000 Act), provides that a person shall not be entitled solely by reason of a permission granted under that section to carry out any development. The legal interest of an applicant for planning permission in the land or structure concerned has to be stated in the completed planning application form. Where the applicant is not the owner of the land or structure, the name and address of the owner has to be stated on the planning application form, and the written consent of the owner to the making of the planning application must also be submitted as part of the application.

Furthermore, an applicant for planning permission or an agent acting on behalf of the applicant is required to sign a declaration as part of the planning application form, stating that to the best of their knowledge and belief, the information provided on the completed form is correct and accurate and fully compliant with the 2000 Act and Regulations made thereunder.

In considering a planning application, it is a matter for the planning authority to decide if the information it receives is correct, accurate and fully compliant with planning legislation. A planning authority may invalidate an application if it does not comply with the relevant requirements under the Planning and Development Regulations 2001-2018 (the 2001 Regulations). These requirements include the need to publish a newspaper notice and erect a site notice in respect of a proposed development before submitting a planning application to the planning authority.

In addition and where considered necessary, a planning authority may request further information in relation to a planning application, and also further request clarification of that information, under the 2001 Regulations. Such a request may include the submission of any information from the applicant concerning any estate or interest in or right over land, which the authority considers necessary to enable it to deal with the application, or any evidence, which the authority may reasonably require, to verify any particulars or information given in, or in relation to, a planning application.

Building Energy Rating Compliance

Ceisteanna (253)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

253. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will provide a progress report on the efforts to meet near zero energy building requirements in 2018; if all public buildings, whether owned or leased by the State, are now fully compliant with the relevant EU directive; if not, the level of compliance; when full compliance will be achieved; the measures implemented and that will be implemented to ensure compliance with the directive's targets for 2020; the method for tracking the reduction in carbon energy consumption in residential and commercial properties; and if there are interim targets for the reduction in carbon emissions from residential and commercial buildings from the current level of approximately 30% of all carbon emission. [1841/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive sets requirements at an EU level for Member States to improve the energy performance of buildings and to make an important contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Article 9(1) of the Directive requires Member States to ensure that:-

- by 31 December 2020, all new buildings are nearly zero-energy buildings; and

- after 31 December 2018, new buildings occupied and owned by public authorities are nearly zero-energy buildings.

The Directive defines a Nearly Zero Energy Building (NZEB) as a building that has a very high energy performance and that the nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should be covered to a very significant extent by energy from renewable sources, including energy from renewable sources produced on-site or nearby. This definition was incorporated into the Building Regulations in January 2017.

The NZEB performance requirements are based on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive cost optimal calculations which were issued in 2013 and 2015. Cost-optimal levels are defined as “the energy performance level which leads to the lowest cost during the estimated economic lifecycle". The NZEB performance for new dwellings represents an improvement in energy and carbon dioxide emissions performance of 70% over 2005 standards and requires renewables on all new dwellings. This is typically equivalent to a Building Energy Rating (BER) of “A2” and is recognised internationally as a very advanced performance requirement. The Part L performance requirements of the Building Regulations have been advanced incrementally since 2007, and the final improvement to move from the current standard of 60% better than 2005 standards or a typical BER of “A3”, to a performance of 70% better than 2005 standards or an “A2” BER, can be more easily achieved as a result of these incremental improvements. The draft regulations and accompanying technical guidance to implement this have completed public consultation and the regulations are expected to be signed into law shortly. These regulations will also require that where Major Renovations take place which are greater than 25% of the surface area of the dwelling, the dwelling should achieve a cost optimal performance where feasible. This is equivalent to a B2 building energy rating for a typical dwelling.

For buildings other than dwellings (non-residential), the requirement to carry out a maximum permitted energy performance calculation and a maximum permitted carbon dioxide emissions performance calculation was introduced into Part L of the Building Regulations in 2008. The 2013 cost optimal calculations showed the potential for improvement in energy performance and carbon dioxide emissions performance in the order of 60% in these regulations.

This improvement in performance in the order of 60% along with a requirement for renewables on all new buildings was introduced into Part L Conservation of Fuel and Energy in Buildings in November 2017, and applies to all new Buildings other than Dwellings commencing construction from 1 Jan 2019, subject to transition arrangements. These regulations also require that existing buildings other than Dwellings will achieve cost optimal performance when undergoing major renovations affecting more than 25% of the surface area of the building envelope.

With regards to new buildings owned and occupied by Public Authorities, in December 2016 my Department issued a circular to all public service bodies advising them of the requirement for all new buildings owned and occupied by public authorities to achieve NZEB performance after 31st December 2018. It was accompanied by specifications and guidelines on how this could be achieved in practice, and to apply to all buildings owned and occupied by public authorities commencing design from 1 January 2017.

My Department has worked closely with the Department of Education and Skills, the Office of Public Works and Health Services bodies, as well as many Construction Industry bodies, to develop, elaborate and introduce the regulations and guidance.

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive requires that a Building Energy Rating is issued when a new building is offered for sale or rent or prior to occupation. The Central Statistics Office analyses all BERs and issues a report on this analyses including the BERs issued for new buildings on a quarterly basis. Currently, based on CSO statistics, 98% of all new dwellings are built to an A3 rated BER standard.

Under the Building Control Acts 1990 to 2014, primary responsibility for compliance of works with the requirements of the Building Regulations, rests with the owners, designers and builders of buildings. Enforcement of the Building Regulations is a matter for the 31 local building control authorities, who have extensive powers of inspection and enforcement under the Acts and who are independent in the use of their statutory powers.

My Department has responsibility for improvement in the energy and carbon emissions performance of buildings through building regulations. My colleague, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment has responsibility for improving the energy performance of existing buildings more generally including those which are not undergoing works which are subject to building regulations. Together the policy measures from both our Departments will improve the performance of the building stock.

The Building Regulations measures will contribute to emissions reductions from 1 January 2021 and are key actions in contributing to Ireland’s National Low Carbon Transition and Mitigation Plan and the National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP). It is under these policies that reductions in carbon emissions will be tracked and reported on by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment.