Departmental Expenditure

Ceisteanna (2595)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

2595. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs the expenditure by her Department on social media advertising and promotional material within the past year in tabular form. [34607/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Children)

The information requested in respect of the expenditure incurred by my Department on advertising, including social media advertising and promotional material, since January 2018 is set out in the following table.

Year

Amount

2018

€146,496

2019

€31,179

The Deputy might note that in 2018 my Department launched a media campaign seeking expressions of interest to participate in a Collaborative Forum of former residents of Mother and Baby Homes and those with comparable experience in a County Home. In addition, my Department engaged in an advertising campaign to bring sectoral and public awareness to the new School Aged Childcare regulations which commenced on 18th February 2019.

The overall objective is to keep costs of this nature to a minimum and these services are only used when deemed necessary in the course of Departmental activity.

Climate Change Adaptation Plans

Ceisteanna (2596)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

2596. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the progress made on providing increased training to community stakeholders relating to low carbon initiatives; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32074/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment is responsible for the all-of-Government plan for climate change action, which was published in June 2019. All Departments will have a role to play in supporting my colleague, Minister Bruton in the implementation of the plan, through the actions, initiatives and targets it sets out.

Ensuring a just transition that fairly disperses the burdens of climate action is crucial to the success of the plan, and to assist with buy-in to the changes in behaviour required, and to highlight emerging opportunities, it will be important to support communities, particularly those in rural areas during the transition. Engagement with communities will be key to delivery of climate change targets and my Department will work to make this happen within existing community structures such as the Local Community Development Committees.

The forthcoming Government strategy to support the Community and Voluntary sector contains a number of actions to support communities to link with the Climate Action Plan. The strategy contains specific actions to support communities and their representative organisations to engage with climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies at a local level.

The implementation of these actions will ensure increased capacity in the Community and Voluntary Sector to proactively engage with, and fully consider climate action in their work at a local level. I will publish the strategy shortly and work will begin on the implementation of actions in the coming months.

In addition, my Department will work together with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment to ensure full engagement with communities on climate change and appropriate consideration of climate change in all community development programmes and initiatives.

Library Services Provision

Ceisteanna (2597)

Jan O'Sullivan

Ceist:

2597. Deputy Jan O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development when a new library facility will be established in Laytown and Bettystown, County Meath; the overall cost of the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32345/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

My Department funds a Libraries Capital Programme that will invest around €29m in 19 projects, as well as the My Open Library service, between 2016 and 2022. The programme is currently fully committed and there is no scope to include new projects at this time.

However, my department continues to accept and assess local authority proposals on an ongoing basis as part of the Department's Four Stage Capital Works Management process, with funding for new projects considered as additional funds become available. Local authorities can also submit library development proposals as elements of broader regeneration plans under the Rural and Urban Regeneration and Development Funds. Indeed, a call for Category 1 applications under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund, managed by my Department, is now open.

Provision of premises and facilities for the public library service is primarily a matter for local authorities in their capacity as library authorities under the Local Government Act 2001. Accordingly, the development of a new library in Laytown and Bettystown is a matter for Meath County Council in the first instance.

CLÁR Programme

Ceisteanna (2598)

John Brady

Ceist:

2598. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if a school (details supplied) has been successful in its application for CLÁR funding. [33091/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I can confirm that an application has been received under the CLAR programme in respect of the school referred to by the Deputy.

Almost 500 applications were received by my Department under the programme, across three different funding measures. My officials have been assessing all of the applications received on a measure-by-measure basis. I hope to be in a position to announce the successful projects in respect of the measure relevant to the application in question in the coming weeks.

Local Improvement Scheme Administration

Ceisteanna (2599)

Danny Healy-Rae

Ceist:

2599. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development when funding will be provided for the over 800 local improvement scheme applications in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33469/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I reintroduced the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) in September 2017, after a number of years when no ring-fenced funding was available for the scheme. Since then, I have allocated over €48 million to Local Authorities under the scheme for improvement works on non-public roads.

The number and location of roads to benefit from improvement works under the LIS is a matter for the Local Authorities.

Since 2017, I have allocated a total of €2,875,498 to Kerry County Council for the completion of works on over 120 LIS roads. This includes a 2019 allocation of €669,930, which still remains to be drawn down.

I am monitoring expenditure on the LIS on an on-going basis and any future allocations will be considered as part of the annual Estimates process.

Local Improvement Scheme Funding

Ceisteanna (2600)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

2600. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development his plans to provide specific funding in 2020 to local authorities for the local improvement scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33965/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

Since I reintroduced the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) in September 2017, I have allocated over €48 million to Local Authorities for improvement works on non-public roads in rural areas.

Over 2,000 roads have benefited from this funding, which has led to improved access for landowners and residents along the roads in question.

It is clear that there is a continuing demand for LIS funding in rural communities across Ireland. However, the level of funding available for the scheme in any year is determined as part of the annual Estimates process. I will consider the situation regarding funding for LIS roads in 2020 as part of the forthcoming Estimates process, having regard to the overall level of funding which may be available to my Department for next year.

Legislative Programme

Ceisteanna (2601)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

2601. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the primary legislation enacted since May 2016; and if the legislation in each case placed additional regulatory burdens on small and medium enterprises. [31488/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I can confirm that my Department has not enacted any primary legislation since it was established in July 2017.

Legislative Programme

Ceisteanna (2602)

Pat Deering

Ceist:

2602. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the secondary legislation enacted since 1 January 2018; and if the legislation in each case placed additional regulatory burdens on small and medium enterprises. [31496/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

My Department was established on 19 July 2017. The table below provides details of the secondary legislation enacted since 1 January 2018 for my Department. In each case, this secondary legislation did not place additional regulatory burdens on small and medium enterprises.

Statutory Instrument Number (SI)

Secondary legislation enacted since 1 January 2018 for the Department of Rural and Community Development.

S.I No. 305 of 2018

Appointment of Special Adviser (Minister for Rural and Community Development) Order 2018.

S.I No. 511 of 2018

Rural and Community Development (Delegation of Ministerial Functions) Order 2018.

S.I No. 483 of 2018

Ethics in Public Office (Designated Positions in Public Bodies) (Amendment) Regulations 2018.

S.I. No. 209 of 2018

Charity Appeals Tribunal (Charities Act 2009) Rules 2018.

S.I. No. 54 of 2019

Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2012 (Commencement of Certain Provisions).

S.I. No. 55 of 2019

Water Safety Ireland (Transfer of Assets and Liabilities).

S.I. No. 56 of 2019

Water Safety Ireland (Establishment).

CLÁR Programme

Ceisteanna (2603)

Dara Calleary

Ceist:

2603. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if there are supports available under the CLÁR programme for a rurally based school with expanding numbers to acquire neighbouring land to develop playing pitches and a car set-down area which will ease road safety concerns in the area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31578/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The CLÁR programme provides funding for small scale infrastructural projects in disadvantaged rural areas that have experienced significant levels of de-population.

The 2019 CLÁR programme was launched in February this year and invited applications for funding under three separate measures:

Measure 1- School and Community Safety Measures,

Measure 2 - Play Areas and Multi-Use Games Areas, and

Measure 3 - Community Wellbeing Support.

Measure 1 provides support for interventions that make the environs of schools and other community facilities safer for children and adults using those facilities. Car parking improvements is one of the interventions allowable under Measure 1, while Measure 2 provides funding for the enhancement of existing School or Community Play areas, or the development of new play areas.

However, the purchase of land is not covered under the CLÁR programme.

Further information on the CLÁR programme is available at: https://www.gov.ie/en/policy-information/91ba52-clar/.

Departmental Functions

Ceisteanna (2604)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

2604. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the degree to which he continues to meet the obligations of his Department and mission statement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31585/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The Mission Statement of my Department, as set out in its Statement of Strategy published at the beginning of 2018, is: “To promote rural and community development and to support vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities throughout Ireland."

The Department of Rural and Community Development was established in 2017 to facilitate the achievement of this mission through:

- creating conditions to support increased economic opportunities and local employment in all areas of the country

- delivering schemes and programmes that support the revitalisation of towns and villages

- improving access to services and social networks that ensure a high quality of life

- enabling communities disadvantaged by location or social issues to reach their full potential

- supporting communities to have a voice to shape their own future

The establishment of my Department was an important step in strengthening Government support for communities. Project Ireland 2040 has built further on that support. It recognises the economic and social importance of rural Ireland and it also recognises the critical role of our communities in ensuring a good quality of life for all.

Strengthening rural economies and our communities is one of the core objectives of Project Ireland 2040, and the provision of €1 billion through the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund ensures that the funding is there to deliver on that objective in the coming years. The aim of this fund is to support ambitious projects that can drive the economic and social development of rural towns, villages and their surrounding areas. The first call to the Fund saw €86 million approved for 84 projects across the country and the second call is currently open to applications.

In addition to the Fund and other schemes and programmes being delivered, my Department is also working with our colleagues across Government to drive the rural and community agenda and to deliver policies and initiatives that consider the needs of all communities, regardless of location or demographics.

Last week, I published Ireland’s first National Policy on Social Enterprise and a five-year strategy to support the community and voluntary sectors in Ireland is currently at an advanced stage of development. The Department is also in the process of developing a national strategy on volunteering, in consultation with all stakeholders.

The current Action Plan for Rural Development, a comprehensive cross-Government plan to support economic and social development in Ireland’s rural areas, runs to the end of 2019. A key deliverable for my Department during 2019 will be the development of a rural development policy to follow on from the Action Plan.

I am confident that the work of my Department is having a significant impact on communities and delivering on our mission statement. I am determined that this will continue to be the case and that available funding continues to deliver benefits for all of our communities.

Programme for Government Implementation

Ceisteanna (2605)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

2605. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the extent to which he continues to meet the parameters for the programme for partnership Government; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31586/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

There are a total of 20 commitments in the Programme for Partnership Government that are relevant to the work of my Department, with two of these commitments shared with colleagues in other Departments.

One of these was the establishment of my Department, which took place in July 2017, and since then much progress has been made on the other significant commitments. Many of these commitments have been seen through to completion, while on others good progress continues to be made.

For example, I launched the new Town and Village Renewal Scheme, which has provided funding of €53 million to 675 projects since 2016, while investment in the Seniors Alert Scheme which has seen almost 30,000 participants approved since the start of 2018. Funding for the Walks Scheme has increased.

An implementation plan for the Framework Policy for Local and Community Development in Ireland is at an advanced stage of development, and we are continuing to work on facilitating the development of the Atlantic Economic Corridor.

Details of progress in respect of all commitments in the Programme for Partnership Government can be found in the 2018 Programme for Partnership Government Annual Report, which was published by the Department of the Taoiseach and can be found on the Government's website, Gov.ie.

Legislative Reviews

Ceisteanna (2606)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

2606. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the number of reviews carried out by his Department pursuant to Standing Order No. 164A of Dáil Éireann; the pieces of legislation to which each review refers; the number and title of each piece of legislation in respect of which a review pursuant to Standing Order 164A has not been undertaken; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31636/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

My Department, which was established in July 2017, has not carried out any reviews pursuant to Standing Order No. 164A of Dáil Éireann.

LEADER Programmes Administration

Ceisteanna (2607)

Noel Grealish

Ceist:

2607. Deputy Noel Grealish asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the funds available in each of the years 2019 to 2021 for which a company can apply for grant aid for the provision of recreational tourist infrastructure in rural areas; the rules and restrictions attached to same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31953/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

Funding may be available through the LEADER Programme for the type of project referred to by the Deputy.

LEADER is a multi-annual programme covering the period 2014-2020 which is delivered through Local Action Groups (LAGs) in each of the 28 LEADER sub-regional areas around the country. The total budget for the LEADER programme is €250 million. To date, 2,170 projects have been approved under the current LEADER programme, for funding of €77.5 million.

Funding can be provided under a broad range of themes and sub-themes, including Rural Tourism. The Rural Tourism sub-theme focuses on providing support for actions that have the potential to make an area more attractive for local, national and foreign visitors. In that context, support for the works outlined by the Deputy could potentially be considered eligible for LEADER funding.

In order for a project to be eligible for funding, it must be compatible with the actions outlined in the approved Local Development Strategy for the relevant LEADER area, and it must comply with the Operating Rules and EU Regulations in place for the programme.

The decision to approve a project, or otherwise, is a matter for the LAG which administers the programme in each LEADER area. Interested applicants should, in the first instance, contact the relevant LAG through its Implementing Partners to discuss the funding that may be available.

The list of Local Action Groups, their Implementing Partners and their contact details is available on the Gov.ie website at the following link: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/c45498-local-action-groups/ .

My Department also provides funding for recreational infrastructure through the Outdoor Recreational Infrastructure Scheme. However, this funding is available only for projects submitted by Local Authorities or State agencies and is not available to commercial enterprises.

Community Services Programme

Ceisteanna (2608)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

2608. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the status of the community services programme; when it is expected to open; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32001/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The Community Services Programme (CSP) supports around 400 community organisations to provide local services through a social enterprise model, with funding provided as a contribution to the cost of a manager and an agreed number of full-time equivalent (FTE) positions. More than €46 million is available through the programme in 2019.

The CSP currently co-funds the salaries of some 1,660 FTEs and 300 manager posts in community organisations. Between part-time and full-time positions, the CSP will support around 3,000 people this year.

My Department commenced a review of the CSP earlier this year. The review is examining how the programme fits with overall Government priorities, as well as with my Department’s other community programmes and policy objectives, and will help inform decisions on the future shape and structure of the programme. The review is being carried out by an independent review body, Indecon Consultants. It will take six months to complete and a final report is expected in early Autumn 2019.

In the meantime, my Department continues to accept expressions of interest from organisations, with funding for new organisations considered in light of available budgets during the year.

Rural Regeneration and Development Fund

Ceisteanna (2609)

Pat the Cope Gallagher

Ceist:

2609. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the funding allocated to County Donegal under the rural regeneration fund to date; the amount of the funding drawn down to date; if further allocations are being considered for County Donegal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32167/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The Rural Regeneration and Development Fund seeks to support ambitious and strategic projects which have the potential to transform rural economies and communities. The Government has committed €1 billion over 10 years to the Fund and €315 million is allocated to the Fund for the period 2019-2022.

Following the conclusion of the first call under the Fund in February 2019, a total of 84 successful projects had been announced, with funding of €86m provided from the Fund to support projects worth a total of €117m.

Of the 84 successful projects, five projects are located in Co Donegal. Total funding of €4.2 million was approved for the five projects.

Following the announcement of the successful projects, my Department engaged with each lead party to complete due diligence requirements. Contractual arrangements were also drawn up with the release of funding based on the achievement of key milestones in the projects.

I am satisfied that significant progress is already being made on the implementation of successful projects in Donegal and elsewhere. While, as of the present date, none of the five Donegal projects has yet reached their first milestone and been in a position to draw down funding, a number of other projects have done so and to date a total of €1,722,043 has been drawn down from the Fund. I expect that payments from the Fund will significantly accelerate over the coming weeks and months as further milestones are achieved across all the 84 projects.

I announced the second call for Category 1 applications - those with full planning and consents in place - in April 2019, with a closing date for applications at noon on Tuesday, 6th August 2019. Category 2 applications, relating to projects which need further development to be ready for Category 1 status, will be sought later in the year.

CLÁR Programme

Ceisteanna (2610)

Pat the Cope Gallagher

Ceist:

2610. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the position regarding the CLÁR programme; the number of applications from County Donegal made to the scheme to date; when he will make the necessary allocations under the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32169/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The CLÁR programme provides funding for small scale infrastructural projects in disadvantaged rural areas that have experienced significant levels of de-population. Since I relaunched the programme in 2016, more than 1,200 projects have been approved funding of almost €27 million.

I launched the 2019 CLÁR programme on 28th February last, with applications invited under three separate measures:

Measure 1: Support for "School and Community Safety Measures",

Measure 2: Support for "Play Areas and Multi-Use Games Areas", and

Measure 3: Funding for "Community Wellbeing Support" .

Community Wellbeing Support covers the provision of equipment and vehicles for voluntary first-response organisations, as well as the provision of specialist vehicles to bring people to cancer-care centres and other community-care services. The measure may also provide funding for sensory gardens.

The closing date for the 2019 CLÁR programme was 30th April, and almost 500 applications were received by my Department. A total of 31 applications were received from Donegal.

I recently announced the following funding allocations for Co. Donegal under the CLÁR programme:

- Measure 3a: First Response Support - €54,498 for 5 groups.

- Measure 3b: Mobility and Cancer Care Transport - €44,506 for 1 group.

Details of the successful projects can be found at: https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/f9051a-clar-funding-2019/.

I hope to make further funding announcements in respect of the 2019 CLÁR programme shortly.

Recreational Facilities Provision

Ceisteanna (2611)

Pat the Cope Gallagher

Ceist:

2611. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the position regarding the walks scheme funded through his Department; if new applications under the scheme have been received from County Donegal; if existing participants under the scheme will be automatically rolled over onto the new funding programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32170/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The Walks Scheme currently covers 39 trails, with payments made to approximately 1,960 private land-holders to maintain those trails.

The Programme for a Partnership Government includes a commitment to increase the number of walks covered by the scheme. In line with this commitment, funding for the scheme was doubled in Budget 2019 - from €2 million to €4 million - to allow this expansion to proceed. Existing participants will remain on the current scheme during this expansion.

In February of this year, I invited Expressions of Interest for inclusion in the scheme of additional trails that meet specific qualifying criteria.

Interested trail management committees, community groups and other relevant bodies were invited to make contact with their Local Authority or Local Development Company to commence the process. To date, 15 Local Development Companies have submitted 47 Expressions of Interest to my Department. None of these are in respect of trails in Co. Donegal.

There is no closing date for Expressions of Interest at this time, and interested parties can continue to submit proposals for additional trails to be included in the Walks Scheme, through their Local Authority or Local Development Company.

Local Improvement Scheme Administration

Ceisteanna (2612)

Pat the Cope Gallagher

Ceist:

2612. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development his plans to make further allocations of funding for local improvement schemes in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32171/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

I reintroduced the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) in September 2017 and allocated over €17 million to Local Authorities for improvement works to non-public roads under the scheme in 2017. In 2018, I allocated over €20 million for LIS roads in two phases.

On 7th February last, I launched the 2019 Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) and allocated a sum of €10 million to Local Authorities under the scheme. The allocations on a county-by-county basis are available on the Gov.ie website at the following link: https://www.gov.ie/en/policy-information/d309ea-local-improvement-scheme/.

I am closely monitoring expenditure on the scheme and I will make decisions regarding any further funding allocations for the LIS in due course.

Consultancy Contracts Data

Ceisteanna (2613)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

2613. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the number of external consultant reports commissioned by his Department in each of the years March 2011 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the cost of same; the company involved; and the title and publication date by report in tabular form. [32254/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

My Department was established on 19 July 2017. I have listed in the table below the external consultants commissioned to undertake work on behalf of my Department from that date, to-date.

In each case the reports/material produced were for internal or stakeholder use only, and not for external publication with the exception of the report on a review of the Community Services Programme due to be published by the end of this year and the Local Digital Strategies which will be published by each individual Local Authority.

-

Title

Company

Cost €

Date Published

1

Provision of Technical Support for the development of Shared Telecoms Infrastructure by Local Authorities

4SITE

€19,767.00 (Incl. VAT)

Final technical drawings were received 9 November 2018. 4Site documents were for internal use only and were not published externally.

2

Provision of Cost Analysis Report for the development of Shared Telecoms Infrastructure by Local Authorities

4SITE

€4176.00 (Incl. VAT)

Cost analysis piece was received by the Department in January 2019. Intended for use by Broadband Officers in Local Authorities.

3

Provision of Development of Local Digital Strategies for all Local Authorities

INDECON International Economic Consultants

€149,246.97 (Incl. VAT)

Final guidelines for development of strategies issued on 25 September 2018. Local Digital Strategies are being prepared by each individual local authority and will be externally published.

4

Provision of Information Sessions for all participating Local Authorities on developing Local Digital Strategies

INDECON International Economic Consultants

€37,604.79 (Incl. VAT)

Sessions are currently being rolled out to participating local authorities with a view to having all sessions delivered before end Q3 2019. Information sessions for Local Authorities and are not published externally.

5

Preparation of guidance & delivery of training for local authorities & industry on environmental screening/appropriate assessment of works in relation to rollout of telecommunications infrastructure, primarily related to the rollout the National Broadband Plan. The Environmental screening piece will also be only for internal/local authority use and will not be published externally.

RPS Group

€79, 089 (Incl. VAT)

Due Q3 2019

Will not be published externally

6

Internal report to assist in developing our HR strategy

Athrú Consulting

€9,840 (Incl. VAT)

An internal report to assist in developing our HR strategy at an estimated cost of €15,000 work completed January 2019. Report not published externally.

7

Project Management Assistance KOSI Corporation Ltd

KOSI Corporation

€12,822.75 (Incl. vat)

Project Management Assistance, a report was not published externally.

8

Review of the Community Services Programme

Indecon International Economic Consultants

€112,422 (Incl. vat)

The report on the review will help inform decisions on the future shape and structure of the programme. This report will not be published. The Department will publish a consultation report on the review separately by end 2019.

Departmental Expenditure

Ceisteanna (2614)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

2614. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the photography costs for his Department in each year since March 2011 including costs incurred from use of the ministerial allowance; the occasions for which photographers were booked; the photographers used; the costs associated with each occasion that a photographer was used in tabular form; if there is a policy regarding the booking of photographers within his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32271/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The details requested by the Deputy are set out in the following tables. As my Department was established on 19th July 2017, the information provided includes expenditure from the remainder of 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019.

2019 Photography Costs (to date)

Photographer used

Occasion

Cost

CLIVE WASSON PHOTOGRAPHY

Project Ireland 2040 event in Donegal

€393.60

MICHAEL MCLAUGHLIN STUDIOS LTD

Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme launch in Turlough

€340.50

MAXWELL PHOTOGRAPHY LTD

Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce event

€319.80

2018 Photography Costs

Photographer used

Occasion

Cost

MAXWELL PHOTOGRAPHY LTD

LEADER Food Initiative launch

€522.75

MAXWELL PHOTOGRAPHY LTD

Southill Area Centre event

€885.60

MAXWELL PHOTOGRAPHY LTD

Greenway/Local Improvement Scheme event

€836.40

MAXWELL PHOTOGRAPHY LTD

Rural Broadband event

€559.65

MAXWELL PHOTOGRAPHY LTD

Lourdes day-care centre event

€393.60

MAXWELL PHOTOGRAPHY LTD

Public Participation Networks event

€190.65

MAXWELL PHOTOGRAPHY LTD

Men's Shed funding event

€528.90

MAXWELL PHOTOGRAPHY LTD

Dormant Accounts Fund Action Plan event

€356.70

MAXWELL PHOTOGRAPHY LTD

Project Ireland 2040 event

€1,180.80

MAXWELL PHOTOGRAPHY LTD

National Library Strategy launch at Tallaght Library

€492.00

PICSELL8 LTD

Project Ireland 2040 Sligo event

€283.88

OLLY GALLAGHER VIDEOS

2018 PPN Conference

€1,200.00

AOIFE HERRIOTT PHOTOGRAPHY

Ministerial event in Tullycross and Letterfrack

€250.00

Total photography costs for 2018

€7,680.93

2017 Photography Costs

Photographer used

Occasion

Cost

Maxwell Photography LTD

Tidy Towns Competition

€602.70

Julien Behal Photography

Seniors Alert System Launch

€676.50

Total photography costs for 2017

€1,279.20

Currently my Department books photographers on an as needs basis. All photography services are procured according to Office of Government Procurement procedures.

Legal Costs

Ceisteanna (2615)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

2615. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the expenditure incurred in respect of external legal fees in each year since March 2011, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32288/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

My Department was established on 19 July 2017. Since that date it has incurred expenditure totalling €2,655 in respect of legal fees.

In 2018, the Department was assigned a designated point of contact for the provision of legal advice through the Office of the Attorney General, and it is intended that this service will provide for our ongoing requirements in this regard.

Departmental Expenditure

Ceisteanna (2616)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

2616. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the expenditure incurred in external information technology costs in each year since March 2011, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32305/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

My Department was established in July 2017.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) services for my Department are provided by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform through the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer.

External ICT costs are, however, incurred by my Department in relation to the provision of hardware, software licenses and project development work. The following table sets out details of the external costs incurred since the Department's establishment in 2017.

External Costs:

Description:

2017:

2018:

2019 (Jan to June):

GENERAL

Computer Hardware

€264,700.00

€32,238.00

Computer Software

€13,767.00

€52,241.00

Computer Maintenance

€29,228.00

€8,662.00

PROJECTS

Changing Libraries Programme - Ask About Ireland Website

€60,000.00

€60,000.00

LEADER Programme - RDPIT System support costs

€38,007.00

€45,479.25

LEADER Programme - RDPIT System licences

€11,467.60

LEADER Programme - Development costs for new IT management system

€275,837.50

€128,534.85

Total

€335,837.50

€545,704.45

€138,620.25

Community Services Programme

Ceisteanna (2617)

Thomas Pringle

Ceist:

2617. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development if consideration will be given to providing funding for a project (details supplied) in County Donegal to help carry out operational costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32374/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

My Department delivers a wide range of programmes and schemes to rural and urban communities, one of which is the Community Services Programme (CSP).

The CSP currently supports more than 400 community organisations to provide local services through a social enterprise model. Funding is provided as a fixed annual contribution to the cost of a manager and an agreed number of full-time equivalent positions, with more than €46m available under the programme in 2019.

Qualifying organisations must be social enterprises capable of generating income from their activities. The CSP contribution does not meet the full salary cost of supported posts and must be co-funded by organisations from other sources, for example, from income received from the public use of facilities and services.

My Department accepts Expression of Interests (EOI) under the programme on an ongoing basis. The purpose of the EOI appraisal process is to identify organisations that are, or have the potential to be, eligible under the CSP. It ensures organisations that may be ineligible are not subjected unduly to a full business planning and application process. Funding for eligible organisations is considered upon completion of the business planning process and in light of available budgets each year.

If the organisation in question believes it might be a suitable fit under the CSP, it can download a CSP Expression of Interest form for submission to the Department via the following link

https://www.gov.ie/en/service/f8f93d-apply-for-community-service-programme.

Protected Disclosures Data

Ceisteanna (2618)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

2618. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the number of protected disclosures for which he has engaged an external consultancy and-or legal firm since 2014 to date; the name of the firms engaged; the year and the costs associated with engaging the consultancy and-or legal firms in respect of protected disclosures; the way in which persons are protected in cases in which an external consultancy firm is engaged in respect of protected disclosures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32405/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The Department of Rural and Community Development was established in July 2017. Since that time the Department has not received any protected disclosures and therefore has not required the services of any external firms in this regard.

Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme Administration

Ceisteanna (2619)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

2619. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the progress on changing the allocation of social inclusion and community activation programme, SICAP, funding under the definition disadvantaged areas to one that more accurately addresses the permeability of inequality with disadvantaged households across geography and within communities to better assist local development companies in the distribution of funding and create better reflected targets. [32821/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Rural)

The Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP) 2018-2022 allocates funding to different areas based on the level of disadvantage in those areas.

The geographic distribution and allocation of resources for SICAP is based on two key considerations - historic funding patterns and the Pobal HP Deprivation Index. This method is known as the SICAP Resource Allocation Model.

The Pobal HP Deprivation Index measures the relative affluence or disadvantage of a particular geographical area using data compiled from various censuses. The index is a key resource to enable a targeted approach towards tackling disadvantage, by providing local analysis of the most disadvantaged areas throughout the state.

My Department is satisfied that the current application of the SICAP Resource Allocation Model is a fair and equitable approach to allocating available funds to each area.