Departmental Shareholdings

Ceisteanna (318)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

318. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he will provide details of all entities in which he or his Department hold shares; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30176/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The information requested by the Deputy is available at the following link:

Information on shares held

Departmental Contracts Data

Ceisteanna (319)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

319. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the contracts his Department and agencies under his remit are engaged in for the provision of security services; the name of each contractor; the procurement process involved; the duration of each contract; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30234/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Security services for the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, including opening and closing of buildings and alarm activation call outs, are usually provided by Service Officers who are Civil Servants in each building. However, in some instances, where there are no Service Officers in a building, additional security services are needed. Details of companies contracted directly by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine are outlined below. In some cases, a tender document is at an advanced stage of preparation while others are under review.

Name of Provider

Procurement Process Undertaken

Duration of Contract

Comments

G4S Cash Solutions

Three quotations sought

2 years with 2 possible extensions of 12 months each

Cash in Transit Service

Key Guard Security

OGP procured contract

2 years with 2 possible extensions of 12 months each

RVO Tipperary Town

Key Guard Security

Three quotations sought

1 year with 2 possible extensions of 12 months each

Relief security Cavan

Key Guard Security

Three quotations sought

6 months with 2 possible extensions of 1 month each

Temporary Open/Close Portlaoise

Group 4 Securicor

Preparation for tender through OGP is at an advanced stage

To be determined shortly

RVO Limerick

Quirke Security

Preparation for tender through OGP is at an advanced stage

To be determined shortly

RVO Tralee

Rapid Response Security

Preparation for tender through OGP is at an advanced stage

To be determined shortly

Navan

Synergy Security

Preparation for tender through OGP is at an advanced stage

To be determined shortly

Cork RVL and RVO

Dan Hartnett

Direct Invitation / 3 quotes Aug 2017

12 months subject to annual review. Will be included in OGP tender process shortly.

National Seafood Centre, Clonakilty

Mid West Alarms

Preparation for tender through OGP is at an advanced stage

To be determined shortly as part of OGP process

Limerick RVL

Sentry Security

Preparation for tender through OGP is at an advanced stage

To be determined shortlyas part of OGP process

Kilkenny RVL

Alarm Control 24

Preparation for tender through OGP is at an advanced stage

To be determined shortly as part of OGP process

Athlone RVL

Power Right

Preparation for tender through OGP is at an advanced stage

To be determined shortly as part of OGP process

Sligo RVL

Force 10

Preparation for tender through OGP is at an advanced stage

To be determined shortly as part of OGP process

Sandyford Store

As regards the twelve State Bodies under the aegis of my Department, the information requested is an operational matter for the State Bodies themselves. I have referred the Deputy’s question to the Agencies and have requested that a response should issue within 10 days.

* Facilities Management Services are also provided at Backweston Campus and at Drumshanbo, which include security services, by Apleona and Aramark

Greyhound Industry

Ceisteanna (320)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

320. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the commencement order for the Greyhound Racing Act 2019 has been signed; if not, the reason; and when it will be signed. [30261/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Bord na gCon is a commercial state body, established under the Greyhound Industry Act, 1958 chiefly to control greyhound racing and to improve and develop the greyhound industry. Bord na gCon is a body corporate and a separate legal entity to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The Greyhound Racing Act 2019 was signed by the President on 28th May 2019. Appropriate statutory instruments will be required to commence various sections of the Act and these will be drawn up by Bord na gCon in consultation with my Department.

Bord na gCon is engaged in a detailed analysis of the transitional arrangements needed to give effect to the new provisions in the Act so that their statutory functions can continue in an effective and efficient manner and will make the necessary commencement orders as soon as possible once this work is completed.

Bovine Disease Controls

Ceisteanna (321, 322, 323)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

321. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the amount spent on the examination of tissue samples as part of the BVD screening programme in each of the years 2013 to 2018, in tabular form. [30384/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

322. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of tissue samples examined as part of the BVD screening programme in each of the years 2013 to 2018, in tabular form. [30385/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

323. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the number of laboratories contracted or approved by his Department to carry out analysis of tissue samples as part of the BVD screening programme in each of the years 2013 to 2018, in tabular form; and the number of these laboratories that carry out tissue sample analysis operations here and outside of the State, respectively. [30386/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 321, 322 and 323 together.

The BVD Eradication programme is an Animal Health Ireland-led collaborative programme with representation from various industry stakeholders. BVD testing is compulsory for all cattle born on or after 1st January 2013.

The primary method of BVD testing is through the detection of BVD viral antigen on ear notch samples collected by the animal keeper during calf tagging. The tissue sample is submitted to a designated laboratory of their choice.

The programme results indicate very significant progress has been made in reducing the prevalence of this disease – with the Persistently Infected (PI) birth rate falling from 0.66% in 2013 (the first year of the Compulsory Programme) to 0.06% in 2018. Indeed, the number of positive herds has reduced considerably from 11.27% (9,485) of breeding herds in 2013 to 1.11% (839) herds in 2018 . The programme benefits to farmers amounted to approx €85 million in 2018.

My Department do not have information on the costs of these tests as that is a commercial matter for the herd owners and the laboratories concerned.

The table below reports the number of calves tested for BVD for each year of the programme and the number of laboratories engaged in testing

Year

Number of Calves Tested

Number of Laboratories engaged in testing

Number of Laboratories within the State

Number of Laboratories outside the State

2013

2,095, 951

11

8

3

2014

2,132, 051

13

9

4

2015

2,265,032

13

9

4

2016

2,325,310

13

9

4

2017

2,347,253

13

9

4

2018

2,342,904

13

9

4

Haulage Industry

Ceisteanna (324)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Ceist:

324. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if the EU recognised a body (details supplied) as a body in its role for certification of the haulage sector. [30402/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Trade Assurance Scheme for Combinable Crops (TASCC) is a voluntary scheme developed, owned and implemented by the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC), which is UK-based. My Department, therefore, has no role in the operation of this Scheme.

Accordingly, the requirement by certain feed businesses for their hauliers to hold TASCC certification is an operational decision for the companies concerned.

Haulage Industry

Ceisteanna (325)

Kevin O'Keeffe

Ceist:

325. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine further to Parliamentary Question No. 1188 of 8 May 2019, the way in which holders of a TASCC certificate will be able to comply in the event of Brexit considering that feed and grain merchants currently require hauliers of grain and feed ingredients to be holders of TASCC certification. [30403/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The role of my Department as the competent authority for official controls along the animal feed chain is to ensure the implementation and enforcement of EU and National feed legislation, including those requirements relating to hauliers and the transport of feed.

The Trade Assurance Scheme for Combinable Crops (TASCC) is a voluntary scheme developed, owned and implemented by the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC), which is UK-based. My Department, therefore, has no role in the operation of this Scheme.

Abbey Theatre

Ceisteanna (326)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

326. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the additional projected yield in 2020 from a one cent increase in the National Oil Reserve Agency levy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30300/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The current rate of the NORA levy is 2 cent per litre, payable when oil is placed on the market. The levy was set at this rate in 2009. In 2018 the total NORA levy amounted to €134m. A one cent increase in the levy would, other things being equal, result in an increase of approximately €65m in the total annual amount.

Abbey Theatre

Ceisteanna (327)

Brendan Ryan

Ceist:

327. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment further to Parliamentary Question No. 546 of 21 May 2019, if a shortlist of candidates has been invited to tender for the project; the closing date for receipt of tenders; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30095/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

In December 2018, Kildare County Council, the contracting authority, invited tenders for expressions of interest in the remediation of Kerdiffstown landfill. The closing date for submissions was extended until 14 February 2019 on foot of requests for more time made on the eTenders procurement website. This process of evaluation is at an advanced stage and is being managed by Kildare County Council in accordance with the Office of Public Procurement guidelines and regulatory framework.

Abbey Theatre

Ceisteanna (328)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

328. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the details of the current Bord Na Móna redundancy scheme; and if there is a maximum age at which employees are eligible for inclusion on the scheme. [30116/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Voluntary Redundancy Scheme is an operational matter for the Board and management of Bord na Móna and not one in which I, as Minister, have a statutory function.

Departmental Shareholdings

Ceisteanna (329)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

329. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will provide details of all entities in which he or his Department hold shares; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30179/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

Shares are held, either directly by me as Minister or by my Department on my behalf, in the following entities:-

- An Post;

- Bord na Móna;

- EirGrid;

- ESB;

- National Oil Reserves Agency (NORA); and

- Irish National Petroleum Corporation (INPC).

Abbey Theatre

Ceisteanna (330)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

330. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if an audit of the number of carparking and bicycle spaces available to Civil Service staff as part of the Climate Action Plan 2019 has been carried out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30193/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I published the Government's Climate Action Plan on 17 June. The Plan sets out, for the first time, how Ireland can reach its 2030 targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and also puts Ireland on the right trajectory towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Plan commits to reducing public sector emissions by 30% and improving public sector energy efficiency by 50% by 2030.

The Plan also includes a commitment to require each public body to adopt a Climate Action Mandate. The mandate will involve a core group of requirements that every public body will have to meet, and a wider set that should be pursued by larger organisations. The core requirements will have specific timelines for their introduction, be clearly measureable against a set of key performance indicators, and may include measures such as the following:

- facilitating employees in adopting lower carbon lifestyles

- every public building with public access to display an up-to-date Display Energy Certificate

- collaborating with suppliers and service providers in joint decarbonisation initiatives, including working with clients to adopt low carbon approaches such as the development of clusters

In addition, large public bodies may be required to commit to other measures such as:

- achieving formal environmental accreditation, such as EMAS or ISO 14001, and ISO 50001

- a proportion of energy to come from certified renewable sources and/or onsite renewables

- active management of equipment containing refrigerant gases, including maintenance and disposal planning

A decision as to whether to undertake specific audits is a matter for senior management to consider when developing Climate Action Mandates for their respective Government Department, Office or Agency.

Abbey Theatre

Ceisteanna (331)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

331. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he is examining the possibility of liquid fuelled heating appliances being adapted and used with biofuel; if he is examining proposals and strategies from stakeholders regarding the decarbonisation of homes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30223/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Biofuel Obligation Scheme, administered by the National Oil Reserves Agency, is the principal support for the uptake of biofuels in Ireland. The scheme was introduced in 2010 and requires suppliers of liquid road transport fuel to ensure that biofuels make up a certain percentage of annual fuel sales.

A public consultation on the development of the scheme is planned for later this year. This will include the potential inclusion of the heat sector in the Biofuel Obligation Scheme, based on the level of use and availability of suitable biofuels.

The Climate Action Plan has identified sectoral targets that will deliver the carbon abatement we need to achieve by 2030. For homes, the target identified is to retrofit 500,000 homes to a Building Energy Rating B2 and to replace 400,000 existing heating systems with heat pumps.

The Plan commits Government to developing a new retrofitting delivery model, which will group retrofits together to achieve economies of scale, leverage private finance, and ensure easy pay-back methods. Proposals are currently being developed and my Department will be examining successful policies and strategies from other jurisdictions and consulting with stakeholders during this development process.

The Climate Action Plan recognises that the National Dialogue on Climate Action will drive action at community level, including focusing on youth activities as well as facilitating reporting back to regional gatherings on initiatives undertaken locally. The Plan itself is to be seen as a rolling process for effective consultation and implementation of change an I am currently engaged in a series of consultative meetings to explain the approach taken, hear views and take on ideas.

Abbey Theatre

Ceisteanna (332)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

332. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the contracts his Department and agencies under his remit are engaged in for the provision of security services; the name of each contractor; the procurement process involved; the duration of each contract; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30237/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

My Department has a contract for the provision of security services for its Dublin and Cavan offices with Key Guard Security Limited. The contract duration is three years with an option of extending it for up to twelve months. The contract was awarded following a competitive tendering process under the Office of Government Procurement Security Services Framework Agreement.

The information sought by the Deputy regarding the public bodies under the aegis of my Department is an operational matter for each body. I will request the relevant bodies to reply directly to the Deputy with the information requested in respect of their organisation.

Abbey Theatre

Ceisteanna (333)

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

333. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the efforts being made to ensure that Travellers, those in rental accommodation and those in mortgage arrears, can access the better energy homes scheme for those on fuel allowance. [30400/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

Buildings constructed since 2006 are generally more energy efficient due to energy performance requirements in the Building Regulations. These Regulations have been progressively strengthened and new buildings must now meet a very high energy performance standard.

My Department funds a number of retrofit schemes that are primarily aimed at improving the energy efficiency of houses built before 2006. Grants are available to all house owners, including landlords, for insulation, heating controls, heat pumps and solar panels. These grants are not means tested and are available to any house owner whose property meets the required year of build.

100% Exchequer-funded upgrades are also available in certain circumstances. Again the house must have been built before 2006. Eligibility for this scheme is linked to a number of Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection payments.

I am aware of a recent report highlighting the prevalence of energy poverty among Travellers living in mobile homes and trailers. The Climate Action Plan commits to reviewing ways to improve how current energy poverty schemes can target those most in need.

My Department is also working to improve the energy efficiency of our rental sector. On average, these properties are less energy efficient than owner occupied homes. A cross-Departmental Advisory Group has been established to examine potential policy options and make recommendations aimed at addressing this issue. A public consultation on this matter is currently in development and will be published later in 2019.

Abbey Theatre

Ceisteanna (334, 335)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

334. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans for increasing the roads budget allocation for Galway County Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30112/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

335. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if applications have been made by Galway County Council for extra funding for roads; the percentage increase sought; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30113/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 334 and 335 together.

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of Galway County Council, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from the Council's own resources supplemented by State road grants. The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is also a matter for the Council.

Funding under my Department's main grant programmes are allocated taking the length of the road network in each local authority area into account with a view to ensuring as fair and equitable approach as possible for determining allocations. It is envisaged that grant allocations will continue to be determined on this basis.

The 2019 regional and local roads budget has been fully allocated and the Department is not in a position to provide additional funding this year. The years during the recession saw major cuts in State grants for roads and funding is still only recovering to the levels required for adequate maintenance and renewal of the road network. Having said that, 2019 has seen a welcome increase in grants and I am glad to note that Galway County Council has seen its overall roads allocation for 2019 rise to €28.8m, an increase of over 47% when compared to 2017.

It is a matter for Galway County Council to determine its priorities and decide its work programme for the year taking account of available grant funding and its own resources. Where additional costs arise on particular schemes and can be justified by reference to the requirements of the Public Spending Code, the Department may allow Councils to recoup extra costs from its grant allocation in the following year.

The final decision on grant allocations for 2020 will be determined as part of the Estimates process and will not be announced until early 2020.

Tax Yield

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A

Ceisteanna (336)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

336. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the estimated yield of a bed night tax or levy of €1 per night in a hotel or bed and breakfast in a full year for each local authority in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30301/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

No calculations have been made by my Department in relation to a bed night tax or levy. Fáilte Ireland compile a range of accommodation statistics and I have asked the agency to reply directly to the Deputy with any available statistics they have in relation to the number of bed nights in question. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A