Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (312)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

312. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation if her attention has been drawn to cost overruns on contracts within her Department with a value in excess of €10 million that came in more than 10% over budget in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019; if so, the details of same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8416/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

It is important to point out to the Deputy that the majority of the capital expenditure under my Department’s vote is not project focussed but rather is mainly by way of grants to support the multi-annual programmes of our enterprise development and innovation agencies.

The Enterprise Development supports are mainly by way of grants to our Enterprise Agencies such as the IDA to enable them to attract Foreign Direct Investment and to EI, the Local Enterprise Offices and Intertrade Ireland to enable them to support local indigenous and cross border businesses to start, scale and export. My Department’s Jobs and Enterprise Development Programme also supports a number of specific initiatives in the area of access to finance for SMEs and other indigenous businesses.

The Innovation supports are mainly to research focussed bodies such as SFI, Enterprise Ireland, the Tyndall Institute, and supporting Ireland’s membership of International Research Organisations such as the European Space Agency, the European Southern Observatory and other Research focussed Agencies.

The Deputy will appreciate, therefore, that the nature of my Department’s capital expenditure is programme rather than project focused.

The capital allocations to my Department for the years referred to in the Deputy’s question are set out in the following Table:

Year

Capital Allocation

2016

€503m

2017

€555m

2018

€555m

2019

€620m

While my Department did not incur an excess on its capital allocations in any of the years in question, the Department has had Supplementary Estimates in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The Supplementary Estimates in 2017 and 2018 were technical in their nature and essentially permitted the redistribution of savings within our Vote to other priorities/new initiatives. The 2016 Supplementary Estimate also permitted the Department to redistribute savings from within our Vote but also provided the Department with an additional €35m in Savings on other Votes in that year. Again, this allowed funding to be provided to priority/new initiatives in 2016. Some of the priority/new initiatives funded through the aforementioned redistributions included providing a further tranche of funding to Microfinance Ireland in 2016, funding the launch of the Brexit Loan Scheme in 2017 and funding the launch of the first phase of the Future Growth Loan Scheme in 2018.