Brexit Preparations

Ceisteanna (27)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

27. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the date by which the necessary Brexit infrastructure at ports is expected to be completed by the Office of Public Works; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46898/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

As a consequence of Brexit, physical infrastructure will be required for customs, SPS and health checks and controls at Dublin Port and Rosslare Europort.  Preparations have been taking place at both of these ports for two scenarios:  if a withdrawal agreement is reached; and if there is a no-deal Brexit. 

In the event of a no-deal Brexit, interim infrastructure will be required immediately pending the completion of the permanent infrastructure required for the longer term.

Detailed work has been underway across Government for more than a year involving the Office of Public Works; the Revenue Commissioners; the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine; the Department of Health; and the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport.

At the end of October Brexit deadline the following infrastructure was in place in Dublin Port;

• 27 loading bays to carry out customs, SPS and health checks

• 205 HGV parking spaces

• 120 additional desk spaces

• Live Animal BCP

• An Export Office

At the end of October Brexit deadline the following infrastructure was in place in Rosslare Europort;

• 4 loading bays to carry out customs, SPS and health checks

• 38 HGV parking spaces

• 110 additional desk spaces

• A Live Animal BCP

• An Export Office

The Office of Public Works is continuing to work with the relevant State agencies on the development of the permanent infrastructure required for the longer term.

Office of Public Works Projects

Ceisteanna (28)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

28. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the timeline to publish a report on the consultation process of the strategic review of the Phoenix Park by the Office of Public Works; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46859/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Phoenix Park Visitor Experience Strategic Review is a non-statutory report prepared for the OPW to examine the current state of the visitor facilities and visitor experience within the Phoenix Park.

Over fifteen hundred observations were received following an extensive period of public observation which ran from 19th March 2019 until 31st May 2019.  The Draft review received considerable attention from the public, media and elected representatives and OPW warmly welcomes all those who engaged with the document and provided their valuable opinions and insights for our consideration.

Project Ireland 2040 identifies Phoenix Park Investment Strategy as a key deliverable within the National Planning Framework to 2040 and the National Development Plan 2018 -2027.

In 2018, Failte Ireland and OPW invested €400K in the development of a strategic review and plan for the future development of the visitor experience at the Phoenix Park. The core objective was to review the visitor experience and identify key areas, which needed enhancement to transform their experience of the Park.

The Review set out 29 distinct recommendations for the Park including the provision for conservation of the Magazine Fort, improved visitor facilities in the Visitor Centre, way finding, interpretation and the commission of a mobility study.

The ‘Draft Phoenix Park Visitor Experience Strategic Review’ also examined five distinct zones in the Park and considers themes of welcome, history and heritage, activity and wellbeing, identity, biodiversity and connectivity with the city to assess the current and future potential visitor experience at the Phoenix Park.

It ought to be appreciated that the draft review is not a formal development plan or strategy for the Phoenix Park. It is not a formal statutory document of any kind or part of a statutory public consultation process.

OPW remains open to, and indeed welcomes, any further observations and comments from any party. The Office of Public Works aims at conserving and enhancing the Park’s unique environments with creative policies to encourage access and opportunities for enjoyment, education and healthy recreation.

The OPW have engaged in a detailed process of reviewing all of these comments and observations and is finalising its report and analysis on all the submissions received regarding this Review. 

OPW plans to make this report available by the end of November. In this regard OPW hopes to meet with local TD’s and elected representatives to outline our shared aspirations for the Phoenix Park Visitor Experience and will contact all representatives shortly to arrange this.

The OPW will also publish this report on the Phoenix Park website (www.phoenixpark.ie) and make it available to the public.

Any proposed future conservation projects or enhancements to facilities will only be advanced with reference to the Phoenix Park Conservation Management Plan and the relevant statutory planning process to ensure the essential character of the Park is maintained. Such proposals will only be considered if they are consistent with existing management practices and if they support existing policy in relation to the management and operations of the Park.

Garda Station Refurbishment

Ceisteanna (29)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

29. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the timeline for works on Rush Garda station; the date the station is scheduled to be reopened by; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46889/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

Following completion of the tender process at the end June 2019, works to re-open Rush Garda Station commenced and are now virtually completed. Minor snagging is underway and connection to the electricity service supplier is awaited. Once these are finalised over the coming weeks the building will be handed over to An Garda Síochána. 

It will be an operational matter for An Garda Síochána as to when the Station will be reopened.

Flood Relief Schemes Funding

Ceisteanna (30)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

30. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the funding allocated in 2019 for local authorities to carry out low-cost flood relief schemes; the projected drawdown of the funding at year end; the funding allocated for the schemes in 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46844/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

My Office provides funding to local authorities under the Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme to undertake minor flood mitigation works or studies to address localised fluvial flooding and coastal protection problems within their administrative areas.  I am advised that under this Scheme, over 530 Minor Works projects have been completed to the end of 2018, providing local flooding solutions to almost 6,800 properties with expenditure amounting to €34.7m over the same period.  This year to date, 37 projects amounting to €3.29m have been approved and notified to local authorities.  

Funding amounting to €1.9m has already been drawn down by local authorities this year, and it is anticipated that by the end of 2019, a total of €3m will be expended under the Scheme. Based on projects approved but funding as yet not drawn down, it is expected that expenditure will again be in the region of €3m in 2020.

The allocation of funding for the scheme is included in the overall allocation for flood risk management investment included under Vote 13 (Office of Public Works) in the Revised Estimates for Public Services for 2019.

In addition to the above-mentioned Minor Works Scheme, the allocation will also allow the OPW, in collaboration with Local Authorities, to continue implementation of its comprehensive programme of investment in flood relief schemes nationally, as I announced in May 2018 at the launch of the Flood Risk Management Plans under the CFRAM Programme.  This programme amounts to approximately €1 billion and includes over 150 individual flood relief projects.  Included in this are over 30 smaller projects (each estimated to cost below €1m), which I and the Government are committed to implementing within the timeframe of the National Development Plan, with a combined preliminary cost estimate of over EUR14 million. All local authorities were contacted at the end of 2018 in respect of these Small Projects, and the necessary funding and administrative arrangements have been put in place in order to progress these Schemes.

Public Sector Staff Recruitment

Ceisteanna (31)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

31. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the steps he plans to take to ensure that persons from minority backgrounds are better represented in recruitment to the Civil Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46026/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Civil Service is currently developing a new, forward looking and progressive Diversity and Inclusion Policy that will help address our public sector duty to promote equality, eliminate discrimination and protect the human rights of all civil servants. 

I understand that the Public Appointments Service (PAS) identified the need to attract more diverse applicant pools in their Statement of Strategy 2017 – 2019, including the use of a range of appropriate channels, networks and media technologies to reach new and diverse audiences.

In 2019 there have also been a number of targeted engagements, including workshops with Pavee Point Traveller and Roma Centre and the Business in the Community EPIC Programme for people from immigrant communities, and participation and input at the citizenship ceremony in Killarney to over 3,000 people who were receiving Irish citizenship. PAS has also had a stand at some targeted recruitment fairs, including one organised by the Central Bank targeting people living in north east inner city Dublin.  

As part of its commitment to diversity and inclusion, a Diversity and Inclusion Lead was appointed to the Public Appointments Service in April 2019 to develop a Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and lead a team in the support of this aim.  This strategy is under development following a rigorous and extensive consultation process with representative groups pertaining to ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and other interests from civil society.  This included representatives from the Immigrant Council of Ireland, National Disability Authority, the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, the Irish Refugee Council, Pavee Point, Rehab, Ahead, Dyslexia Ireland, Wheel, St. Stephens Green Trust, the Higher Education Authority, Pobal, An Garda Síochána, the Property Registration Authority of Ireland, WALK, Empowering People in Care, Irish Prison Service, Ruhama, the Women's Council, the Arts Council, Science Foundation Ireland, the Central Bank, Government Departments and county councils. 

The Diversity and Inclusion Strategy aligns with the Civil Service Renewal Plan and the People Strategy for the Civil Service (2017 – 2020) which seek to achieve greater diversity and build a Civil Service that reflects the society in which it works and the communities it serves.  It also takes account of national strategies such as the Migrant Integration Strategy, the National Traveller and Roma Integration Strategy, the Comprehensive Employment Strategy for People with Disabilities and others.

Public Procurement Contracts Social Clauses

Ceisteanna (32)

Joan Burton

Ceist:

32. Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will report on the work of the Office of Government Procurement and the cross-departmental Social Considerations Advisory Group towards incorporating social and environmental considerations in public procurement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46860/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton TD, the Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, Patrick O’Donovan TD, and I launched the publication of Circular 20/2019: Promoting the use of Environmental and Social Considerations in Public Procurement in October.

 The Climate Action Plan will require every public body to have a climate mandate. A key element of such a mandate will be using public procurement to deliver change. This circular demonstrates the Government’s priority in promoting Green Public Procurement by asking Departments and Offices to consider the inclusion of green criteria in their procurements in the context of its wider commitments under the Climate Action Plan. 

The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment have been working collaboratively on developing this initiative. The procurement of goods and services by Government departments and bodies, in line with the Government’s own policies, will underpin the credibility of the national policy objectives themselves and enhance Ireland’s image as a green economy.  

Green public procurement (GPP) is about leveraging the State’s purchasing power to choose more environmentally friendly goods, services and works and help contribute to more sustainable consumption and production.  It has a key role to play in the EU's efforts to become a more resource-efficient economy. To be effective, GPP requires the inclusion of clear and verifiable environmental criteria for products and services in the public procurement process. 

The circular highlights the Government's priority in promoting green public procurement in the context of the wider commitments under the Climate Action Plan.  The circular instructs Departments/Offices to consider the inclusion of green criteria in their procurements.  The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment is developing this criteria which will support the effective implementation of this initiative.  There will be a phased introduction of green criteria across Government and Public Sectors targeting priority products and services as well as building appropriate green criteria into OGP frameworks as they arise and providing support and guidance to procurers. 

Social Considerations Advisory Group

The Social Considerations Advisory Group was established earlier this year and had its inaugural meeting in March. Managed and chaired by OGP, the group’s membership is drawn from across Government departments and OGP’s sector partners in Education, Health, Local Government and Defence. 

The purpose of the group is to promote and facilitate the incorporation of social considerations (which include environmental considerations) into public procurement projects. The group meets quarterly and has met three times to date. The group is currently considering what social policy objectives could be advanced through public procurement, matching these with suitable procurement opportunities, which could be trialled on a pilot basis. This approach will ensure a consistent and co-ordinated approach to the incorporation of social considerations into public procurement procedures.

Information Note on Incorporating Social Considerations

The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) is keen to explore the opportunity for the inclusion of social considerations in public contracts where they are suited to the objective of the contract and would have the greatest impact. In this regard, in December 2018, it published an Information Note on Social Considerations. 

The purpose of the note is to help policy makers and practitioners understand how procurement can be used to facilitate the advancement of existing social policy objectives as well as the wider context and implications of including them in particular procurement projects. It sets out the ‘how’ in procurement process but the ‘what’ is a matter for policy Departments. 

The range of policy areas which come under the heading of social considerations is wide and includes, for example, environmental sustainability, disability access, training for young or disadvantaged people, labour standards etc. 

OGP, as a central purchasing body, cannot decide for other contracting authorities or at a whole-of-Government level what social considerations should be included in the frameworks and contracts that it puts in place on their behalf. However, it can help facilitate the process of incorporating those objectives, once agreed, into planned procurement projects.

Carbon Tax Yield

Ceisteanna (33)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

33. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform when the legislation will be introduced to ring-fence the increase in carbon tax in 2020; the assurances that can be given that the correct funding will be allocated to expenditure on climate change and fuel poverty initiatives in 2020 and onwards; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46827/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

On Budget Day 2020 I announced that I was increasing carbon tax by €6 per tonne as a first step towards the 2030 target of €80 per tonne. I also announced that this measure will raise €90 million in 2020, all of which will be ring-fenced to fund new climate action measures.

Details of the specific measures to receive funding were published on Budget Day. These are increases that would not have taken place in the absence of an increase to the carbon tax and the increased funding is additional to that provided for in the National Development Plan.

Further detail on the measures receiving this funding will be detailed in a table in the Revised Estimates Volume for Public Services 2020. This will be published in December 2019. The Revised Estimates Volume is referred to the Oireachtas on an annual basis and is approved by the various Dáil Select Committees responsible for each vote, ensuring that there is democratic oversight on the use of Exchequer funds.

Approval of the Revised Estimates Volume requires Departments to use the funding allocated for the specific purpose of its allocation. This will also be confirmed in the capital sanction that each Department will receive in 2020.  In the event of any underspend of these carbon tax proceeds in 2020, the remaining balance will be given priority over other Departmental savings for the purposes of capital carryover arrangements in 2020, so that they can be allocated to future climate-related expenditure.  Collectively, these arrangements guarantee that all funds raised by the carbon tax increase in 2020 will go towards expenditure on climate action measures as committed to in Budget 2020.

Estimates Process

Ceisteanna (34)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

34. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the current position and Estimates with regard to expenditures under Supplementary Estimates which may be presented to Dáil Éireann before the end of 2019; if future developments on Brexit post 12 December 2019 next may influence such Estimates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46788/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

Due to the scale of Government expenditure and the cash basis of Government accounting, the need for Supplementary Estimates can arise for a number of reasons, including policy decisions, timing issues and overspends. Supplementary Estimates are an important element of our expenditure management toolkit, allowing for the proper alignment of resources with allocations.

Expenditure Report 2020 outlined the requirement for Supplementary Estimates for a number of Votes in 2019, as a result of policy decisions - including in relation to the provision of a 100 per cent Christmas Bonus - and expenditure pressures, in particular in the Health sector. At that point, it was estimated that the aggregate amount required for Supplementary Estimates would be approximately €660 million.  

At this week’s Government meeting, eleven Supplementary Estimates were agreed. With the agreement of the Business Committee it is proposed that these Supplementary Estimates will be presented to Dáil Éireann next week for referral to the relevant Committees before returning to the Dáil to be voted on in December. Of these, eight are substantive Supplementary Estimates, relating to:

- Vote 6 – Chief State Solicitor’s Office;

- Vote 7 – Finance;

- Vote 20 – Garda Síochána;

- Vote 24 – Justice and Equality;

- Vote 31 – Transport, Tourism and Sport;

- Vote 35 – Army Pensions;

- Vote 37 – Employment Affairs and Social Protection; and

- Vote 40 – Children and Youth Affairs.

The remaining three are technical Supplementary Estimates, relating to:

- Vote 28 – Foreign Affairs and Trade

- Vote 29 – Communications, Climate Action and Environment; and

- Vote 32 – Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

The total amount being sought in these Supplementary Estimates is €204 million.

The Expenditure Report outlined that there would be a requirement for Supplementary Estimates in Health, Education and to fund Brexit-related expenditure to ensure that the relevant authorities would be in a position to carry out necessary compliance checks at the ports and Dublin Airport. The aggregate amount outlined in the Expenditure Report across these three headings was €450 million. It is planned to seek Government agreement for presentation of these Supplementary Estimates next week when the amounts required are finalised. In addition, any further Supplementary Estimates of a minor or technical nature would also be finalised for next week.

Although the risk of a disorderly Brexit in 2019 has receded, considerable uncertainty still remains as regards the final outcome.  Consequently, the Budget 2020 underlying assumption of a No Deal Brexit ensures the Government has the necessary resources at its disposal to meet the impact of this exceptional challenge, whilst preserving the longer-term sustainability of the public finances. This would allow the sectors and regions most effected by a disorderly Brexit to be supported through timely, temporary and targeted support measures. The contingency funding outlined in Budget 2020, which would need to be borrowed, would only be made available in the event of a No Deal Brexit and would be provided if required in 2020 either by way of Further Revised Estimate or Supplementary Estimate.

Office of Government Procurement

Ceisteanna (35)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

35. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to request an independent evaluation of the work of the Office of Government Procurement; the procedures for the publication and scheduling of contracts and frameworks agreements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46787/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The programme for public procurement reform commenced in 2013 as part of the overall public sector reform programme. A new public procurement model was established that resulted in a shift to a new more-centralised model of procurement for government's goods and services spend. The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) commenced operations in 2014 and, since then, has made significant progress in driving value-for-money, enabling compliance, promoting business participation, increasing communication and guidance, professionalising the service and promoting transparency.  Results from an independent survey of Government Departments and public bodies in 2018 recorded a high level of satisfaction with the services of the OGP.

Earlier this year, I wrote to Government Ministers asking for their views on the implementation of the procurement reform programme, in relation to good governance and compliance, and for their recommendations to refine the reform programme, based on the lessons learned to date. This review is in line with the commitments in the Programme for Government and the Ministers and Secretaries Act.  

Views of Government Ministers and their Departments, including bodies under the aegis, were sought on:

- Progress on the implementation of the procurement reform programme

- The experience of using central procurement arrangements put in place by the OGP and the Local Government, Defence, Health and Education sectors (framework agreements)

- Whether the central arrangements are meeting the Department’s procurement requirements

- The steps taken to promote good governance in relation to public procurement and eliminate bad practices

- Suggestions for improving and refining the public procurement model.

This review has also involved consultation with opposition spokespersons on procurement and members of the SME Advisory Group including industry representative bodies.  Responses are now being considered.

A full list of all the OGP Frameworks currently in place is available on the OGP website https://ogp.gov.ie/schedule-of-frameworks-and-contracts/.

Health Services Expenditure

Ceisteanna (36)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

36. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the saving measures recommended by the health budget oversight group and shared with his Department for the remainder of 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46894/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Health Budget Oversight Group of officials from my Department, the Department of Health and the HSE was established earlier this year. The overarching purpose of the Group is to monitor and oversee the effective control of Health expenditure and staffing in line with the Budget allocation and to act as an early warning mechanism for any deviations.  It also helps develop an understanding of the trends in health expenditure and the factors driving it which in turn help to inform budget-related and on-going policy discussions. 

Under its National Service Plan, the HSE identified €499.9m of savings measures to be achieved during the course of 2019. The HSE produces monthly ‘Savings Measures’ reports, which provide an update on the HSE’s Savings Measures Implementation Plan. These reports outline actual savings in the year to date, and compare them to a monthly savings profile, based on the total amount of savings deemed achievable by the HSE. These reports are shared with members of the Health Budget Oversight Group, which can examine and provide commentary on the savings performance.  The HSE are forecasting that by the end of 2019, €312m of the NSP target of €500m will have been achieved. This overall savings performance has contributed to an improved budgetary performance in 2019 within the Health sector, relative to the previous year, albeit the shortfall in the overall savings objective has contributed to the requirement for a supplementary estimate for the Health Vote in 2019.

Public Sector Staff Recruitment

Ceisteanna (37)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

37. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of persons recruited to date to the Civil Service on panels specifically reserved for those with a competency in Irish; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46027/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

As the Deputy will be aware, the Irish Language is an important area for the Government. 

The Public Appointments Service (PAS) is an independent, statutory body which provides professional recruitment and selection services to the civil and public service. 

 PAS is also responsible for the recruitment and selection of candidates with proficiency in Irish to meet the needs of clients, and providing such candidates in a timely manner.  PAS initially included Irish language proficiency as a separate stream for general service recruitment competitions. 

More recently, stand-alone competitions are being held to establish panels for entry grades; in these cases, all of the selection processes are conducted through Irish.  This included a Clerical Officer competition in 2018 and we are currently planning Executive Officer and Higher Executive Officer competitions for candidates with fluency in Irish. 

 General Service Grade Assignments to Irish Language Posts Since 2016 are set out in the table:

Grade

2016

2017

2018

2019

Totals

CO

0

20

0

15

35

EO

18

4

0

0

22

AO

0

4

0

0

4

HEO

0

1

0

0

1

AP

0

2

0

0

2

Totals

18

31

0

15

64

PAS also recruits Garda Trainees and have run numerous Recruitment Campaigns for the Garda Trainee position since 2013.   The statistics for the Irish element of these competitions are set out in the following table:  

YEAR

Number   Qualified

2013

35

2016

28

2017

4

2018

10

2019

6

 PAS also recruits for posts across the public service where the ability to communicate effectively in Irish is an essential requirement.  Since 2013 PAS has recruited for the following:   

Competition

Number Assigned

Príomh Oifigeach in Oifig an Choimisinéara Teanga

1

Aistritheoir Grád III  i dTithe an Oireachtas

2

Primary District Inspector in the Department of Education and Skills

8

Aistritheoir Grád III  i dTithe an Oireachtas

4

Aistritheoir Grád I dTithe an Oireachtas

3

Aistritheoir Grád III  i dTithe an Oireachtas

5

EAM with responsibility for Translation Services State Examination Commission

1

Communications and Media Manager Deprtment of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht

1

Parliamentary Reporter in the Houses of the Oireachtas

1

Primary District Inspector in the Dept of Education and Skills

TBC

Flood Risk Management

Ceisteanna (38)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

38. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the capital allocation for flooding projects from 2020 to 2025; if the projects have been identified; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46896/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The following table sets out the capital allocation for the flood risk management area for the period 2020 to 2025 as provided for in the National Development Plan 2018 - 2027.

Year

2020

2021

2022

2023

2024

2025

Allocation

€90m

€100m

€100m

€100m

€100m

€100m

   

The above allocations will allow the OPW in collaboration with Local Authorities to continue implementation of its comprehensive programme of investment in flood relief schemes nationally. This programme currently includes over 150 projects. 11 schemes are currently under construction, such as Clonakilty, Athlone, River Dodder and Templemore. 80 projects are at active design/planning stage including the 57 priority projects under the Flood Risk Management Plans launched in May 2018  while a further 62 projects will be advanced through design over the 10 year period of the National Development Plan 2018-2027.  In addition, over 550 localised projects nationwide have been completed by Local Authorities under the OPW's Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme. Overall, the Government's National Development Plan 2018-2027 provides for investment of up to €1 billion on flood risk management with the aim of providing protection to 95% of properties assessed to be at risk.  In addition to these projects the OPW will continue to fund Local Authorities to undertake local flood relief projects up to a limit of €750,000 under the Minor Works Scheme.