Ministerial Meetings

Ceisteanna (178)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

178. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the dates, times, minutes and personnel present for all meetings between him and the Chief Medical Officer in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019. [6133/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Chief Medical Officer is a member of the Department of Health’s Management Board. The Management Board provides strategic leadership, direction and oversight in achieving the Department's corporate goals. It adheres to the principles of shared participation and personal and corporate responsibility for the operational success of the Department in supporting the Ministers and Secretary General in the fulfilment of their statutory roles. Formal meetings of the Management Board members and the Minister and Ministers of State are scheduled on a monthly basis.

Most engagements between the Chief Medical Officer and the Minister are not formal minuted meetings. The Chief Medical Officer meets with the Minister on an ongoing and frequent basis as a matter of course in relation to the working business of the Department of Health to discuss specific issues and to support the Minister’s parliamentary work and related legislative programme.

Should the Deputy require details of any particular meeting, please contact my private office who will be happy to liaise with the relevant officials to obtain the information required.

Departmental Meetings

Ceisteanna (179)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

179. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the dates, times, minutes and personnel present for all meetings between a person (details supplied) and the Chief Medical Officer in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019. [6134/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Chief Medical Officer and the Secretary General are members of the Department of Health’s Management Board. They interact on a daily basis.

While formal meetings involving other parties are recorded, it would not be practical to record daily interactions between the Chief Medical Officer and the Secretary General.

Should the Deputy require details of any particular meeting, please contact my private office who will be happy to liaise with the relevant officials to obtain the information required.

Mental Health Services Staff

Ceisteanna (180)

James Browne

Ceist:

180. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Health if psychology graduates are being hired without pay to provide mental health services to patients including children with disabilities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6135/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I have asked the HSE to respond directly to the Deputy on this.

Medicinal Products

Ceisteanna (181)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

181. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Health the suite of treatments available for persons who suffer from cystinosis; and the research carried out into the side effects of cysteamine as a treatment for the condition. [6158/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

Cystinosis is a rare inherited condition characterised by accumulation of the amino acid cystine within cells. Excess cystine damages cells and often forms crystals that can build up and cause problems in many organs and tissues. The kidneys and eyes are especially vulnerable to damage; the muscles, thyroid, pancreas, and testes may also be affected. There are a number of medicines authorised for the treatment of cystinosis. These medicines are subject to routine pharmacovigilance follow-up. 1. Cystagon 50 and 150 mg capsules contain the active substance mercaptamine (also known as cysteamine). The medication is authorised for use in patients who have nephropathic (kidney) cystinosis. This medication should be initiated under the supervision of a physician experienced in the treatment of cystinosis.

Cystagon is contra-indicated during breast-feeding and should not be used during pregnancy, particularly during the first trimester, unless clearly necessary. It is contraindicated in patients who have developed hypersensitivity to penicillamine, and in patients who are hypersensitive to mercaptamine or to any of the excipients. Monitoring of blood cell count is recommended on a regular basis. Cases of Ehlers-Danlos like syndrome and vascular disorders on elbows have been reported in children treated with high doses of different cysteamine preparations. It is therefore recommended to monitor regularly skin and to consider X-ray examinations of the bone as necessary2. Procysbi (mercaptamine) 25 and 75 mg capsules are also indicated for the treatment of nephropathic cystinosis. This medication should be initiated under the supervision of a physician experienced in the treatment of cystinosis.3. Cystadrops (mercaptamine) is an eye medicine used in patients from 2 years of age who have cystinosis. This medication should be initiated under the supervision of a physician experienced in the treatment of cystinosis.Cystagon is contra-indicated in patients who are hypersensitive to mercaptamine or to any of the excipients.

All medications carry the potential risk of side effects. There is a legal framework for the provision of detailed side-effect information, including specific warnings if required, for medicines across the European Union which provides for the format and content of this information as part of a medicine's authorisation process. Such information is then published as a Summary of Product Characteristics (SmPC) document as well as a Patient Information Leaflet (PIL). The SmPC contains information for the healthcare professionals and the package leaflet for patients, both of which are reviewed and approved as an intrinsic part of the licensing of a medicine, and continuously updated to reflect the current state of knowledge of the medicine and the risks associated with its use. As such, it is considered important for healthcare professionals and patients, as well as their carers, to regularly read and review these documents in full to support safe and appropriate use of medicines.

Regarding other treatments available, it would not be appropriate for me as Minister for Health to comment in this manner on the range or details of possible treatment options available for any individual patient or condition as this is remains a purely clinical matter.

It is important to note that any decision to consider or undertake any course of treatment is solely the decision of a treating doctor, in conjunction with their patient.

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (182)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

182. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Health the reason requests by a person (details supplied) for a service have been denied; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6166/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

As the Deputy's question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Mental Health Services Provision

Ceisteanna (183)

Joe Carey

Ceist:

183. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 451 of 27 November 2018, the progress made on the recommendation that eight staff be made available for training over a two year programme with a commitment for a further two years; when the service will be available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6167/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter I have asked the Health Service Executive to respond directly to the Deputy as soon as possible.

HSE Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (184)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

184. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the number of children under 18 years of age on the speech and language therapy assessment waiting list in each LHO area; and the number waiting 0 to 12, 12 to 26, 26 to 52 and more than 52 weeks, respectively in tabular form. [6170/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.

HSE Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (185, 186)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

185. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the number of children under 18 years of age on the speech and language therapy initial treatment waiting list in each LHO area; and the number waiting 0 to 12, 12 to 26, 26 to 52 and more than 52 weeks, respectively in tabular form. [6171/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

186. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the number of children under 18 years of age on the speech and language therapy further treatment waiting list in each LHO area; and the number waiting 0 to 12, 12 to 26, 26 to 52 and more than 52 weeks, respectively in tabular form. [6172/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 185 and 186 together.

The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose, and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

As the Deputy's questions relate to service matters, I have arranged for the questions to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

HSE Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (187)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

187. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Health the number of children under 18 years of age on the occupational therapy first time assessment waiting list in each LHO area; and the number waiting 0 to 12, 12 to 26, 26 to 52 and more than 52 weeks, respectively in tabular form. [6173/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this question relates to service matters, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply.

Cancer Screening Programmes

Ceisteanna (188)

Marc MacSharry

Ceist:

188. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Health the number of private laboratories here capable of carrying out cervical cancer testing for smears; the details of same; the price per test; the turnaround time for the provision of results for each test from these laboratories; if none of these private laboratories are being used for cervical cancer smear testing; if so, the reason therefore; if he will engage some or all of these laboratories to deal with the backlog and improve turnaround time to be funded if necessary through the National Treatment Purchase Fund in view of the delays of six months plus in turnaround time for testing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6174/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The unprecedented demand for cervical screening in 2018 has undoubtedly put pressure on laboratory capacity and led to the long delays that are being experienced in smear test turnaround times.

This increased level of engagement with the programme is welcome. However, the increased demand has undoubtedly put pressure on lab capacity and the HSE has been working actively with the labs to manage this and to improve turnaround times for smear tests. The HSE reports that laboratories have agreed to undertake additional recruitment, provide for overtime and manage annual leave in an effort to minimise the backlog.

In addition the HSE is aiming to source additional screening capacity, which would improve the turnaround time of results. The HSE advises that sourcing capacity and resources is a serious global challenge as countries start to move to primary HPV screening, which vastly reduces the requirement for cytology screening staff and is resulting in staff understandably seeking opportunities in other fields. This has limited the HSE’s ability to source additional laboratory capacity and so improve turnaround times.

The provision of these out of cycle smears ceased on the 31st of December 2018. Stabilisation of the programme, and addressing the backlog, are key priorities, and particularly so in the context of the introduction of the HPV test as the primary screening test. However, we should be clear that this backlog will take some time to resolve.

The HSE is currently developing a capacity plan to take account of available capacity and expected demand, with the aim of bringing the programme into stabilisation this year. This is a priority concern for my Department and the HSE.

In relation to the detail requested by the Deputy, I have asked the HSE to respond directly to him.

Proposed Legislation

Ceisteanna (189)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

189. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Health the status of the human tissue Bill. [6194/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The General Scheme of a Human Tissue (Transplantation, Post-Mortem, Anatomical Examination and Public Display) Bill is being finalised at present and will be submitted to Government shortly.

Medical Card Applications

Ceisteanna (190)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

190. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health when a medical card will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6199/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Medical Card Applications

Ceisteanna (191)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

191. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health when a medical card will issue in the case of persons (details supplied); if the card will issue on an emergency basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6200/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Medical Card Applications

Ceisteanna (192)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

192. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health when a medical card will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6208/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Medical Card Applications

Ceisteanna (193)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

193. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Health when a medical card will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6213/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

As this is a service matter, it has been referred to the Health Service Executive for attention and direct reply to the Deputy.

Health Services Reports

Ceisteanna (194)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

194. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health the reason for the delay in publishing the Sláintecare implementation plan; if he received the plan before the end of 2018 as promised; and the timeframe he is working to. [6227/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Sláintecare Implementation Strategy was published on 8 September 2018 and provides the framework within which a system-wide reform programme will be advanced. It sets out four over-arching goals and ten high-level strategic actions which will be the key focus for the first three years of the reform programme. At its core, the strategy focuses on establishing the building blocks for a significant shift in the way in which health services are delivered in Ireland.

In September, the Executive Director of the Sláintecare Programme Office commenced refining the Implementation Strategy into a detailed Action Plan for 2019. I can confirm that the Action Plan 2019 has been developed and, following the finalisation of the HSE's National Service Plan, Project Teams will also be established to drive delivery. The Action Plan will be presented to Sláintecare's High Level Delivery Board and will be published thereafter. This Plan will be overseen by the Implementation Advisory Council, chaired, as you know, by Dr Tom Keane.

The Sláintecare Programme Office is committed to transparency at all stages of the implementation of Sláintecare. The Programme Office will publish rolling plans annually and progress reports will be published on a biannual basis.

Services for People with Disabilities

Ceisteanna (195)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

195. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Health if a person (details supplied) received notice of discharge from the HSE and or a service provider; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6228/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Health)

The Government is committed to providing services and supports for people with disabilities which will empower them to live independent lives, provide greater independence in accessing the services they choose and enhance their ability to tailor the supports required to meet their needs and plan their lives. This commitment is outlined in the Programme for Partnership Government, which is guided by two principles: equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for people with disabilities.

As the Deputy's question relates to an individual case, I have arranged for the question to be referred to the Health Service Executive (HSE) for direct reply to the Deputy.

Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (196)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

196. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the breakdown of the €4,756,000 capital allocation in food safety, animal and plant health and animal welfare within his Department for 2019 by specific project; the projects that will be commenced and completed in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6033/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The main components of the capital allocation for the Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health and Animal Welfare ( DAFM Programme A) is shown in the following table.

Description

Allocation 2019

Information Management Technology & DAFM Laboratories

4,036,000

Sheep EID

720,000

This funding provides for ensuring that my Department continues to maintain a robust and responsive IT infrastructure to support Food Safety, Animal and Plant Health and Animal Welfare, and to assist my department in maintaining its certified ISO 27001 Information Security Standard and for the on-going maintenance and improvements works at the Departments laboratories.

I have also provided funding to support livestock marts and slaughter plants with the installation of facilities in connection with the Electronic Identification system for sheep in 2019.

Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (197)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

197. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the breakdown of the €159,845,000 capital allocation in farm sector supports and controls within his Department for 2019 by specific project; the projects that will be commenced and completed in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6034/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The main components of the €159,845,000 capital allocations for the Farm Sector Supports and Controls ( DAFM Programme B) for 2019 are set out in the following table.

Description

Allocation 2019

Forestry*

78,179,000 *

Targeted Agricultural Measures (TAMs)

69,493,280

Commercial Horticulture

6,000,000

Traditional Farm Buildings Capital

1,250,000

Information Management Technology ( Admin Budget)

1,236,000

Dev Organic Sect 2014-20

1,200,000

BEEP

1,150,000

* A further €22 million will be allocated from funds carried over from 2018 (subject to approval)

It can be seen that the vast majority of the funding is allocated to Forestry Programme schemes , including establishing new afforestation and the cost of annual premiums for existing forestry, and the Targeted Agricultural Measures (TAMS) which is co funded by the EU under the Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2014-2020. These schemes provide grant aid which part-fund many thousands of projects undertaken by individual operators. As they are demand led the precise number of individual projects, start dates etc. cannot be provided.

Furthermore, this allocation will provide assistance in the development of the Commercial Horticulture Sector by grant aiding capital investments in specialised buildings and equipment, as well as the provision of funding in the Organic Sector to support the development of the sector to respond to market demand for organically produced food. It also includes support for weighing equipment for the new Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) scheme.

The Administrative budget capital allocation for Programme B in 2019 provides for ensuring that my Department continues to maintain a robust and responsive IT infrastructure to support of the delivery of farmer payments and controls and to assist my department in maintaining its certified ISO 27001 Information Security Standard.

Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (198)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

198. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the breakdown of the €34,685,000 capital allocation in policy and strategy within his Department for 2019 by specific project; the projects that will be commenced and completed in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6035/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The main components of the €34,685,000 capital allocations for the Policy and Strategy (DAFM Programme C) for 2019 are shown in the following table.

Description

Allocation 2019

Horse &Greyhound Fund - Horse Racing Ireland-Capital

11,100,000

Food Sector Brexit Capital

8,630,000

National Food Innovation Hub Teagasc

6,000,000

Prepared Consumer Food Centre – Teagasc

5,000,000

Teagasc Capital Grant

3,150,000

Restoration of Johnstown Castle

520,000

Information Management Technology (Admin Budget)

241,000

H&G Fund Bord na gCon-Capital

44,000

The 2019 allocation for the Policy and Strategy includes the Brexit capital supports for the food sector, which were announced in Budget 2019. The grant schemes for food companies and artisan food producers are demand-led schemes, so the numbers of projects or their completion dates of are not yet known.

Innovation and product development is crucial to enhancing the resilience of the sector and to support this I have provided funding for the construction of the National Food Innovation Hub at Teagasc, Moorepark and the further enhancement of the Prepared Consumer Food Centre at Teagasc, Ashtown a project which commenced in 2018. I have also provided for the maintenance of Teagasc’s facilities and laboratories and the completion of the Johnstown Castle Restoration project. I have also provided for Horse Racing Ireland support for development projects at race courses, via the Horse and Greyhound Racing Fund.

The Administrative budget capital allocation for Programme C in 2019 provides for ensuring that my Department continues to maintain a robust and responsive IT infrastructure to support of the delivery of Policy and Strategy activities and to assist my department in maintaining its certified ISO 27001 Information Security Standard.

Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (199)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

199. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the breakdown of the €56,714,000 capital allocation in the seafood sector within his Department for 2019 by specific project; the projects that will be commenced and completed in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6036/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The main components of the €55,714,000 capital allocation for the seafood sector ( DAFM Programme D) for 2019 are shown in the following table.

Description

Allocation 2019

Development and Upgrading of Harbours for Fisheries

26,890,000

Marine Inst. Grant Capital

12,000,000

BIM Grant Capital

12,100,000

Remediation of Haulbowline Island

2,500,000

Seafood Development Programme Capital

1,300,000

SFPA Capital

400,000

Information Management Technology (Admin Budget)

287,000

The major Fisheries Harbour Centre development projects I have provided for are the Dinish Island pier project at Castletownbere which will be substantially completed this year and Smooth Point project at Killybegs which is planned for commencement in the second half of the year. I have also provided part-funding for a range of smaller projects at local authority owned piers.

The Haulbowline Island East-Tip remediation project was substantially completed in 2018 but funding is provided for residual costs.

Most for the funding I have allocated to BIM is to support a range of measures (co funded by the EU under the European Maritime & Fisheries Fund) to be undertaken by operators in various parts of the sector. In common with other demand led schemes it is not possible at this point to indicate the number of projects and completion dates. I have also provided for research programmes operated by the Marine Institute and for the design phase of a replacement for one of its fisheries research vessels. I have also provided for the maintenance of the facilities of Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Sea Fisheries Protection Authority and the Marine Institute.

The Administrative budget capital allocation for Programme D in 2019 provides for ensuring that my Department continues to maintain a robust and responsive IT infrastructure to support of the delivery of its Seafood sector activities and to assist my department in maintaining its certified ISO 27001 Information Security Standard.

Meat Processing Plant Inspections

Ceisteanna (200, 201, 202)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

200. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 224 of 30 January 2019, if the factories will be named that had to revert to manual grading when their mechanical classification systems were found to be working outside the legally defined tolerances in 2017 and 2018; the dates on which these instances occurred;; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6065/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

201. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 224 of 30 January 2019, the number of beef carcasses rechecked by Departmental staff on days on which the mechanical classification system of a processing plant was found to be working outside the legally defined tolerances in 2017 and 2018; the length of time factories were instructed to revert to manual grading when the mechanical systems were discovered to be out of sync; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6066/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

202. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of inspections of beef carcasses carried out by Departmental staff in processing factories in 2017 in relation to carcass presentation and carcass classification; if there were discrepancies in relation to the inspections; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6067/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 200 to 202, inclusive, together.

Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/1184 of 20 April 2017 governs the monitoring of carcass classification, carcass presentation and weighing.

In 2017, my Department conducted 628 unannounced, on-the-spot inspections in 32 factories on classification and carcass presentation. This is an average of 20 inspections per factory per year, which significantly exceeds the legal minimum requirement of 8 inspections per year. At each inspection an average of 85 carcasses were inspected for correct classification and carcass presentation. The legal requirement is 40 carcasses per inspection.

In 2017 there were 13 incidences where factories were instructed to revert to manual grading.

The unannounced check verifies the on-going accuracy of the automated beef grading methods by using a system of points and limits defined in EU legislation. At each inspection 100 carcasses are checked. If the machine is found to be working outside EU defined tolerances the factory is instructed to revert to manual grading straight away. The factory must then arrange for the machine to be serviced and a subsequent classification check will be conducted by Department officers to confirm it is within the legal tolerances before it is returned to mechanical classification mode. All manual classifiers are licensed by the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine.

In all cases where a machine is found to be working outside of tolerance, manual grading is instigated immediately and this is advised to farmers through their remittance dockets.

As with any mechanical system, grading machines can from time to time fall out of tolerance. Machines operating outside of tolerance are required to be serviced, and the calibration is checked by staff from my Department before mechanical grading recommences.