Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (132)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

132. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the estimated amount it would cost in a full year if two additional passport printing machines were purchased; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33349/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

Passport printing and the personalisation of each passport requires highly specialised machinery, auxiliary equipment and a temperature-controlled environment.

The Passport Service operates three passport printing machines, two of which are located in our main production facility in Balbriggan, Co. Dublin, and one located in the Passport Office on Mount Street, Dublin.  All applications are processed through the centralised Automated Passport Service (APS).  This means that all production facilities can print a passport irrespective of what channel the application was processed.  This printing system allows for flexibility between printing machines if any one machine has reached capacity.

The current three printing machines are meeting the Passport Service's printing demands and have additional capacity. Each Passport Printer has a printing capacity of 250 passports per hour and the printing requirements of the Passport Office in Cork are met by the machines in Balbriggan and Mount Street, without difficulty.

The purchase cost of a new passport printing machine alone is in excess of €1.7 million. This does not include the cost of security, maintenance, technical, fit-out, staffing and rental costs. Such auxiliary costs may vary considerably depending on the location where the machine would be housed and whether the machine would be added to an existing production site or a new production site.