Ministerial Transport

Ceisteanna (156)

Michael McGrath

Ceist:

156. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the members of the Thirty-second Dáil Éireann and Twenty-fifth Seanad Éireann that have drivers paid for by the Exchequer in each year since 2016, in tabular form; the number of drivers employed for this purpose; the salary costs; the amount claimed by way of mileage by the member concerned in circumstances in which their own vehicle is being used; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49697/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Houses of the Oireachtas Commission has primary responsibility for overseeing the expenditure of the Houses, which includes paying all salaries and expenses for members of Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann.

Since 2011, Ministers, except for the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and the Minister for Justice and Equality, no longer have access to state cars or Garda drivers and use their own cars and claim mileage instead.

Under the instructions to Personnel Officers on Ministerial Appointments for the 32nd Dáil, which were issued by my Department in 2016, Ministers and Ministers of State may appoint two Civilian Drivers. The selection of these appointees is a matter for each individual Minister or Minister of State.

The current salary for Civilian Drivers effective from 1 September 2019 is €675.62 per week. Civilian drivers who are members of the Single Pension Scheme are paid the Personal Pension Contribution rate of €710.13 per week. Travel and subsistence payments are made at the appropriate Civil Service rates in respect of certified official travel and subject to the usual Civil Service regulations which apply in relation to travel and subsistence.

The information sought by the Deputy in respect of each Department should be the subject of separate questions to the relevant Ministers. In terms of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, both Minister of State O’Donovan and I have appointed two civilian drivers in line with the aforementioned instructions to Personnel Officers.

The mileage claimed by the relevant Ministers at this Department where personal vehicles were used for certified official travel since the appointment of the Government in 2016 are set out in the following table.

Year

Amount

Deputy

2016

€3,343.00

Paschal Donohoe, T.D.

€1,148.81

Eoghan Murphy, T.D.

2017

€9,171.26

Paschal Donohoe, T.D.

€7,009.74

Patrick O’Donovan, T.D.

€5,569.37

Eoghan Murphy, T.D.

2018

€10,126.00

Paschal Donohoe, T.D.

€18,021.34

Patrick O’Donovan, T.D.

2019 (to date)

€10,060.24

Paschal Donohoe, T.D.

€15,707.77

Patrick O’Donovan, T.D.

Telephone Call Charges

Ceisteanna (157)

Paul Murphy

Ceist:

157. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to abolish the daily telephone allowance for travel inside the European Union in view of the fact that roaming charges have been abolished. [49736/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

While roaming charges no longer apply in the European Union, individual members may incur charges while travelling, depending on the contract which applies for that member. Members are required to formally claim for such telephone expenses incurred through the normal procedures applying in the Houses of the Oireachtas. I understand that it is the practice that members when claiming are advised as to the position on roaming and related charges.

Oireachtas Members' Expenses

Ceisteanna (158)

Paul Murphy

Ceist:

158. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the reason Deputies and Senators continue to be paid enhanced subsistence rates for overseas travel. [49737/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Oireachtas Service pays travel and subsistence expenses to members travelling abroad on official business in line with civil service norms. Enhanced rates of subsistence are only paid to members attending meetings of international parliamentary assemblies, as follows:

- Inter-Parliamentary Union General Assembly – meets twice a year and is attended by up to 5 members;

- Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe - OSCE - meets 3 times per year and is attended by up to 6 members;

- British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly – meets twice a year (1 in Ireland) and is attended by up to 25 members;

- Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe - PACE - meets in plenary session 4 times per year and attended by up 8 members. Members also attend meetings of PACE committee (1 member per Committee) – there were 19 such meetings in 2018

The enhanced arrangements for attendance at these meetings are based on sanctions granted by the Department of Finance in July 1959, March 1961 and May 1968.

There have been no changes in policy in this area under the current Government.

Office of Public Works Data

Ceisteanna (159)

Tom Neville

Ceist:

159. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the income raised in each of the past ten years from tickets sales to Office of Public Works heritage sites by heritage site. [49829/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

Admissions to OPW-managed Visitor Heritage sites are categorised in a number of different ways including individual visitors, Tour Operators and various complimentary categories including School Tours, persons with disabilities etc.

Records for the past 10 years are being compiled in tabular form for all of the Guided visitor sites operated by the OPW during this period and will be forwarded separately to the Deputy.

Office of Public Works Projects

Ceisteanna (160)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

160. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the position in relation to conciliation between OPW and a company (details supplied) in respect of Kevin Street Garda station; if the matter is being mediated; if legal proceedings have commenced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49850/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

Under the contract signed between the parties the prescribed process for dispute resolution is described as conciliation, under this process both parties are brought together to mediate an agreement.

The conciliation process is not yet finalised and both the OPW and the Contractor continue to engage with the appointed Conciliator.

Legal proceedings have not been initiated in connection with this issue.

Departmental Reports

Ceisteanna (161)

Shane Cassells

Ceist:

161. Deputy Shane Cassells asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of external consultant reports commissioned by his Department in each year from March 2011 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the cost of each report; the company involved; and the title and publication date by report in tabular form. [49909/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The information requested by the Deputy from March 2011 to date in 2019 is set out in the following table.

Report Title

Company

Publication date

Cost

2011

Banking services for central government – review of market

PWC

Internal Report

€44,526

Independent verification of savings arising under the Public Service Agreement

MKO Partners

June 2011

35,819

2012

Report on Reasons Behind Voter Behaviour in the Oireachtas Inquiry Referendum 2011

Red C Research and Marketing Ltd.

January 2012

€41,043

Independent verification of savings arising under the Public Service Agreement

Grant Thornton

13 June 2012

€31,586

Capacity and Capability Review of Central Procurement Function

Accenture

6 September 2012

€30,750

IT Capability Maturity Framework Executive Assessment

Innovation Value Institute, NUIM

November 2012

€30,750

2013

Independent verification of savings arising under the Public Service Agreement

Grant Thornton

3 July 2013

€24,206

Report of a Consultation with Civil Society Representatives and Citizens on Ireland’s Participation in the Open Government Partnership

Transparency International, Ireland

2 October 2013

€25,735

2014

Debt Management – Final Report

BearingPoint

24 July 2014

€135,514

Open Data project (Best Practice Handbook; Data Audit Report; Roadmap for Open Data; Evaluation Framework; Open Data Publication Handbook)

Insight Centre for Data Analytics, NUI Galway

July 2014

€19,188

Value for Money Report of Dublin Castle's Conference Facilities

Newmarket Consulting

Qtr. 3, 2014

€4,674

Fund Structuring Services Agreement for Social Housing and Energy Efficiency in Ireland

European Investment Bank

5 November 2014

€26,767

Baseline Report Single Pension Scheme

Mr Seamus O’Dwyer

9 December 2014

€24,900

OGP Development of Training and Organisation Development

Baker Tilly Ryan Glennon

Internal Report

€22,900

Irish Security Services Market Report

OVE Arup & Partners Ireland t/a ARUP

Internal Report

€16,304

Cleaning Services Market Report

OVE Arup & Partners Ireland t/a ARUP

Internal Report

€22,866

2015

Civil Service Disciplinary Code Review

Byrne Wallace

March 2015

€30,750

Civil Service Disciplinary Code Review

Clarion Consulting

May 2015

€23,985

Recommendations to DPER for Clare River (Claregalway) Flood Relief Scheme

JBA Consulting

November 2015

€23,917

NSSO Continuous Improvement Report

Ernst & Young

November 2015

€36,900

Comparative Report on European National Identification Numbers

Hans Graux of time.lex CVBA

Publication pending the completion of the work of the PPSN Review Group

€37,500

Provision of legal expertise to assist and advise the Department in the preparation of Guidance to Public Bodies under section 21(3) of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014

Lauren Kierans BL

Provision of legal expertise only. Not for publication.

€12,500

Options for the next National Lottery licence

Davy Corporate Finance

Internal Report

€615

Building Strategic HR in the Civil Service

McGrath Associates

Internal Report

€8,000

PeoplePoint: Optimal Resourcing Review reflecting present and future organisational requirements

Equita Consulting

Internal Report

€49,200

Baseline Research 2015 – Usage, Resourcing and costs of ICT across selected Public Service Bodies

PWC

Internal Report

€148,781

Service delivery model for Government ICT Shared Services

Accenture

Internal Report

€339,188

Laundry Services Research Report

OVE Arup & Partners Ireland t/a ARUP

Internal Report

€22,866

Document Management Services Research Report

OVE Arup & Partners Ireland t/a ARUP

Internal Report

€22,866

Business Case Shared Model for Learning and Development in the Irish Civil Service

Knowledge Pool as part of Capita Consulting

Internal Report

€106,063

2016

River Ilen (Skibbereen) drainage scheme: environmental impact statement recommendations to DPER

Ryan Hanley Consulting Engineers

January 2016

€12,417

Analysis of Business Processes for European Structural and Investment Funds and Development of a Detailed Specification for EU Structural Funds 2014-20

Dovetail

4 March 2016

€46,371

Review of environmental impact statement of the Bandon River (Bandon) drainage scheme

CAAS Limited

March 2016

€7,196

Research and recommendation on a fit for purpose HR model / structure for the NSSO

Sile O’Donnell

April 2016

€21,000

Payroll Shared Services operational review

Deloitte

June 2016

€44,280

A critical review of the applicability of the performance related remuneration approach to the Irish Public Service

Institute of Public Administration

July 2016

€15,375

Public Service Spend and Tendering Analysis for 2014

Accenture

September 2016

€98,400

Environmental Impact Statement of the River Mall Templemore Drainage Scheme

CAAS Limited

December 2016

€7,196

Gov.ie – The government Digital Services gateway

Red C Research and Marketing Limited

December 2016

€28,290

OGP ICT Category Strategies (8 in total)

Accenture

Internal Report

€153,000

OGP Strategic Market Assessment – Phase 1

Deloitte

Internal Report

€200,010

OGP Strategic Market Assessment – Phase 2

Deloitte

Internal Report

€484,450

OGP Strategic Market Assessment – Phase 3

Deloitte

Internal Report

€196,333

eInvoicing Recommendation Report

KPMG

Internal Report

€160,327

Business case – shared model for Learning and Development in the Irish Civil Service

Knowledge Pool as part of Capita Consulting

Internal Report

€106,063

Appropriate HR model for OGP

John O’Hehir Consulting Ltd.

Internal Report

€17,589

Economic assessment of issues raised in relation to the tendering process for the supply of printing devices

Peter Bacon & Associates Economic Consultants

Internal Report

€37,597

OGP Audit of Methodologies for 2013 Spend Data Analysis

KOSI Corporation Ltd.

Internal Report

€13,550

eCatalogue Readiness Assessment Report

Science Warehouse

Internal Report

€17,454

Review to investigate the possible approaches for data centre hosting of Government cloud and other infrastructure

KPMG

Internal Report

€223,632

Review, redesign and implementation of an organisational restructure of the ICT Service Delivery Unit

BearingPoint

Internal Report

€89,037

Provision of Internal & External Market Research – Break Fix services

Clearview Group Procurement Solutions

Internal Report

€30,443

Market Research: ICT Peripherals and Scanners Research Report

Business Change Management Limited

Internal Report

€25,343

2017

National Data Infrastructure – A Comparative Analysis

Accenture

Q1 2017

€106,925

Public Service Pay Commission – Review of Actuarial Submissions

Milliman

8 May 2017

€22,755

River Feagle (Clonakilty) Drainage Scheme: environmental impact statement review recommendations to DPER

Ryan Hanley Consulting Engineers

August 2017

€6,285

OGCIO – Government Cloud Platform (Build to Share) – PoC Security Design Review Report

Ward Solutions

Internal Report

€14,944

OGCIO BTS – Business Case for the delivery of common ICT Services

BearingPoint

Internal Report

€43,050

Advisory services for the delivery of business cases for the Build to Share applications and the Build to Share infrastructure

KPMG

Internal Report

€92,250

Sourcing Strategy for Mobile Voice and Data Services

Analysis Mason

Internal Report

€25,323

Business Process Automation Process scoping report

Accenture

Internal Report

€13,214

2018

Analysis, options and recommendations on implementing a Unique Business Identifier

Accenture

Q1 2018

€51,660

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform Diversity and Inclusion Diagnostic Report

EY

Internal Report

€28,905

Reports of Review of Flood Risk Management Plan; Environmental Reports; Strategic Environmental Assessment Statement and; Natura Impact Statement

Fehily, Timoney & Co

April 2018

€58,850

Data Protection Audit Report for BTS Applications

Cygnus Consulting

1 June 2018

€5,707

Pay and Benefits for Nurses, Non-Consultant Hospital Doctors and Consultants – International Data

Treacy Consulting / Willis Towers Watson

4 September 2018

€75,786

Engage to Change – A Collaborative Study on Recruitment and Retention of Nurses, Midwives and Doctors

Research Matters

4 September 2018

€113,482

Independent Review of the Tender Advisory Service

Research Matters

November 2018

€23,979

Research into Experience of Engagement with the OGP among client Public Sector Bodies

Coyne Research Associations Ltd

Internal Report

€36,300

Tender Submission Financial Analysis Report

Anne Brady McQuillans DFK

Internal Report

€1,722

Civil Service Renewal

Deloitte

Internal Report

€17,958

Strategic Review of the HCM and Payroll technologies for the Irish Civil Service

Bearing Point

Internal Report

€44,773

Workforce Planning and training review

CMC Business

Internal Report

£18,850 *

OECD Report on Financial Reporting in Ireland (2019)

OECD

12 June 2019

Funded by EU Structural Reform Support Programme

Review of eCohesion IT System, final report on Designation Assessment

Astron Consulting

21 September 2018

€33,210

Enabling Digital Ireland research exploring citizens’ use of, appetite for and access to online Government services

IPSOS MRBI

Internal Report

€113,250

Public Service Innovation Network (Research and Implementation Option) Report

Deloitte

Internal Report

€30,135

Review of Data for Non-Profit Sector

Indecon

Internal Report

€43,813

2019

Review of Structures for Management of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Programmes in Ireland

Crowe Ireland

10 December 2019

€100,322

Review of International Practices in Government Communications

Edelman

13 June 2019

€28,511

Workforce Planning in the Irish Public Service

IPA

July 2019

€5,000

Economic Analysis of Productivity in the Irish Construction Sector

KPMG

Q4 2019

€176,382

Digital Postbox Consultation

Coyne Research

Internal Report

€8,979

A review or certain Bills of Quantities prepared using ARM4 for Public Works Contracts PW-CF5

Levins Associates Quantity Surveyors

30 November 2019

€52,521.00

Public Sector Insurance Market Research

Crowe Ireland

Internal Report

€48,431

Evaluation of SPS & PO Executive Leadership Programme

NUIG

January 2020

€15,150

* Denotes Pounds Sterling

OGP = Office of Government Procurement

OGCIO = Office of the Government Chief Information Officer

Public Procurement Regulations

Ceisteanna (162, 164)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

162. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on the recommendations in a report (details supplied) with regard to improving SME access to public procurement contracts; if his officials examined the proposal; and the findings of same. [50027/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Robert Troy

Ceist:

164. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on the recommendations in a report (details supplied) with regard to improving SME access to public procurement contracts; if his officials examined the proposal; and the findings of same. [50029/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 162 and 164 together.

Public procurement is governed by EU and national rules, the aim of which is to ensure that procurement transactions and decisions are open and transparent, fair, equitable and achieve value for money. Similarly, good governance results in more efficient use of resources and promotes better informed decision making. Contracting authorities have a responsibility to implement good corporate governance, of which a Corporate Procurement Plan is an important component. Completion of these plans will assist contracting authorities in this and in managing their public procurement activities.

It is a matter for individual contracting authorities to ensure that their public procurement activities are discharged in line with procurement rules and procedures. The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) supports contracting authorities in this regard by making them aware of their legal and policy obligations in respect to public procurement. In January 2019, OGP published an Information Note on Corporate Procurement Plans. The note is an initiative under the National Public Procurement Policy Framework which sets out the overarching policy framework for public procurement in Ireland. For contracting authorities that are already producing Corporate Procurement Plans the information note will help in the development of future iterations of these.

The European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) plays a crucial role in the digital transformation of public procurement and makes it easier to participate in this market. All public bodies must now issue and accept the ESPD form for all procurement exercises above the EU (OJEU) threshold. It is optional for contracting authorities to use the ESPD service for below threshold competitions. Under EU public procurement directives, ESPD should be provided exclusively in electronic form (eESPD).

In January 2019, OGP published guidance for contracting authorities and suppliers, and an information note, on how ESPD is to be used. The integrated eESPD service, available on eTenders since 28 January 2019, allows buyers to issue an ESPD request form as part of an above threshold procedure and enables suppliers to submit an ESPD response in a fully digitised format.

Since the launch of the service, 73% of OJEU procedures published by Central Government Departments and their agencies have used an eESPD. For all public sector contracting authorities including semi-state and grant funded bodies, 51% of all OJEU procedures have used an eESPD. Suppliers have submitted 3,320 eESPD responses as part of their tender submission for OJEU procedures since January 2019.

Public Procurement Regulations

Question No. 164 answered with Question No. 162.

Ceisteanna (163)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

163. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on the recommendations in a report (details supplied) with regard to improving SME access to public procurement contracts; if his officials examined the proposal; and the findings of same. [50028/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Government recognises the importance of the SME sector and continues to enhance the already substantial measures to support SMEs in accessing the public procurement market. Significant work has been undertaken by the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) to ensure that public procurement is accessible by all businesses, including SMEs. Minister of State O’Donovan, in accordance with the Programme for Government, chairs quarterly meetings of the SME Advisory Group so that the voice of industry is heard at first hand by Government. The group comprises officials from OGP, DBEI, Enterprise Ireland, InterTrade Ireland, the CCPC, and representatives from Ibec, ISME, the Small Firms Association, the Construction Federation of Ireland and Chambers Ireland.

In June 2018, following consideration by the group of a proposal to raise the threshold for advertising on eTenders, it was decided that the current advertising threshold of €25,000 (excluding VAT) for goods and services be maintained. The proposal had been discussed at meetings of the group and members were invited to submit their views to the OGP with the majority opposed to increasing the advertising threshold at that time. The OGP also took account of analysis of data on eTenders into their findings and considered the fundamental procurement principles of openness and transparency.

This advertising threshold will be kept under review and OGP is continuing to monitor this issue in consultation with the SME Advisory Group. It is worth noting that the Public Service Spend and Tendering Analysis for 2017 report published by the OGP last week, indicates that of the €4.9 billion procurement addressable expenditure analysed, the majority of this spend is with the SME sector. This report is available on OGP's website, www.ogp.gov.ie.

Question No. 164 answered with Question No. 162.

Public Procurement Regulations

Ceisteanna (165)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

165. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on the recommendations in a report (details supplied) with regard to improving SME access to public procurement contracts; if his officials examined the proposal; and the findings of same. [50030/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) – an office within my department – has responsibility for developing and setting out the overarching policy framework for public procurement in Ireland. The OGP has undertaken a number of substantial measures to support SMEs in accessing the public procurement market which include:

- proportionate turnover requirements with turnover generally limited to twice the contract value,

- the division of large public contracts into smaller lots,

- encouraging SMEs to bid as part of a consortium in procurement procedures where they would not have the relevant experience or scale alone, and

- requiring public bodies to advertise contracts for goods and services valued above €25,000 (ex. VAT) and for works valued above €50,000 (ex. VAT) on the national eTenders portal.

In addition, the OGP is constantly striving to improve its processes and service delivery to make it easier for public sector bodies to procure the goods and services that they need and for businesses to partake in public procurement. As part of this process, the OGP developed a manual to guide contracting authorities through the set-up of a Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) and the administration of the process using eTenders.

A DPS is a completely electronic system which may be established by a contracting authority to purchase commonly used goods, works or services which are generally available on the market.

Irish public sector bodies have alerted the market to a number of procurement opportunities using a DPS process. The Deputy can find a list of these opportunities on eTenders via the Notice Search function.

For its part, the OGP has put in place a DPS to supply electricity to public sector bodies in Ireland. Prior to commencing this DPS, the OGP issued a Request for Information (RFI) to the market through eTenders. The objective of this sounding exercise was to gain a better understanding of the electricity supply landscape in Ireland and find out the extent to which suppliers could engage with the proposed DPS. The RFI also acted as a guidance tool for the market on the process involved in establishing the DPS.

On 15 November 2019, the OGP published on eTenders a Request for Application to Participate (RFATP) in a Dynamic Purchasing System for the Supply of Vans, Police-Specification Vans, and Minibuses to the Irish Public Sector.

The OGP will continue to proactively engage with business to enhance the significant measures and strategies already in place to support SME access to public procurement opportunities.

Public Procurement Regulations

Ceisteanna (166)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

166. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his views on the recommendations in a report (details supplied) with regard to improving SME access to public procurement contracts; if his officials examined the proposals; and the findings of same. [50031/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Government recognises the importance of the SME sector and continues to enhance the already substantial measures to support SMEs in accessing the public procurement market. Significant work has been undertaken by the Office of Government (OGP) in this regard including:

- proportionate turnover requirements with turnover generally limited to twice the contract value,

- the division of large public contracts into smaller lots,

- encouraging SMEs to bid as part of a consortium in procurement procedures where they would not have the relevant experience or scale alone, and

- requiring public bodies to advertise contracts for goods and services valued above €25,000 (ex. VAT) and for works valued above €50,000 (ex. VAT) on the national eTenders portal.

My colleague, Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan, chairs the SME Advisory Group which provides a forum for Government and SME representative bodies (including ISME, IBEC, SFA, Chambers Ireland, and CIF) to exchange information and collaborate on promoting SME participation in public procurement. One of the initiatives emanating from this group is the SME Communication Strategy sub-group, chaired by the OGP, which was established in 2017 as a joint venture with the industry representative bodies. This group further promotes awareness of potential opportunities and supports available for SMEs in tendering for public contracts. The OGP, working in partnership with the industry representative bodies and other government agencies, has developed a series of online videos and workshops to support smaller businesses build their awareness of procurement opportunities and to develop their capabilities to engage in tender competitions, whether those competitions are at home or abroad. A series of focused and targeted breakfast briefings have also taken place around the country in conjunction with Inter-Trade Ireland and the SME Advisory Group partners. In 2018, OGP representatives attended 50 external events to raise awareness of the public procurement model. This focus on proactive engagement has continued in 2019 with the OGP attending events around the Country including in Athlone, Kildare, Kilkenny, Killarney, Letterkenny and Wexford.

As alluded to by the Deputy, the OGP operates a dedicated Support Helpdesk (from 09.15-17.15 Monday to Friday) that provides advice to public sector bodies and suppliers on a wide range of queries.

Minister of State O’Donovan and I wrote to Government Ministers in January asking for their views on implementation of the public procurement reform programme to date and suggestions for improvements. Minister of State O’Donovan has also conducted a wider consultation process including with opposition spokespersons, our sectorial partners in Health, Education, Defence and Local Government and the SME Advisory Group. This consultation will inform the future direction and shape of public procurement and SME participation in public procurement will form a key element.

Office of Government Procurement

Ceisteanna (167)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

167. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the spend by the Office of Government Procurement and as a percentage of the annual value of procurement on certified procurement and tendering training and education for both suppliers and buyers in each of the years 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and the estimated cost of increasing the annual spend by proposal outlined (details supplied). [50032/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Government recognises the importance of the SME sector and continues to enhance the already substantial measures in place to support SMEs in accessing the public procurement market. Significant work has been undertaken by the Office of Government Procurement (OGP) to ensure that public procurement is accessible by all businesses, including SMEs.

Procurement and tendering training and education .

The OGP does not provide certified procurement or tendering training for suppliers and buyers. However, the OGP engages consistently in a range of stakeholder engagement events, aimed at fostering awareness and encouraging engagement with public procurement systems

The OGP also participates in seminars and conferences intended to disseminate information on public works procurement. The OGP have participated in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) seminars organised by the RIAI and Engineers Ireland on topics such as contract administration, public works procurement and dispute resolution over the past 4 years and also delivered lectures for DIT to their post-graduates and undergraduates.

The OGP has, on a pilot basis, set up a Commercial Skills Academy which aims to provide necessary commercial skills training for Public Service managers who are responsible for managing capital projects under the NDP to enhance awareness and understanding of commercial skills and best practice approaches to apply throughout the entire project lifecycle.

eTenders is the Irish Government’s electronic tendering platform administered by the Office of Government Procurement. The platform is a central facility for all public sector contracting authorities to advertise procurement opportunities and award notices. The OGP facilitates training on this system for government buyers (table 1 below).

As part of its drive to professionalise procurement and drive procurement reform across the public sector, the OGP has invested significantly in education for its staff. Since 2014, over 200 staff members have undergone certified procurement training.

OGP Certified Procurement training for staff.

Year

Cost in total

2015

€81,850

2016

€166,768

2017

€52,534

2018

€113,105

2019

€162,410

Total

€494,817

Table 1. eTenders system Training 1 January 2015 to date

Date(s)

Incl. VAT

2016

€4,243.50

29-Jun-2017

€10,608.75

02-Oct-2018

€6,365.25

02-April-2019

€6,365.25

Total

€27,582.75

According to the Public Service Spend and Tendering Analysis report 2017, the State’s procurement expenditure with suppliers, excluding major capital projects, is of the order of €9bn.

The estimated cost of increasing the annual spend to 0.3 per cent of the annual value of procurement on certified procurement and tendering training and education for both suppliers and buyers, would be in the order of €27m.

Flood Relief Schemes Status

Ceisteanna (168)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

168. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of the third environmental impact assessment for the Glanmire flood relief scheme. [50050/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Office of Public Works, under the provisions of the Arterial Drainage Acts, has submitted the proposal for the Glashaboy Flood Relief Scheme, accompanied by an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIAR) and Natura Impact Statement (NIS), to the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform for formal Confirmation.

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform has made regulations entitled European Union (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Arterial Drainage) Regulations 2019. These were published in Iris Oifigiúl on 27 September 2019. On foot of these Regulations the Minister will undertake an environmental assessment of the proposed scheme in line with required legislative requirements, and this will involve an independent assessment of the EIAR / NIS and public consultation.

The procurement and appointment of a Contractor will be progressed for this scheme following formal Ministerial Confirmation. The flood relief scheme will be funded from within the allocated €1 billion for flood risk management over the period 2018-2027. Provision for the cost of the Scheme is included in the Office of Public Works' multi annual capital allocation.

OPW are committed to funding this project and attends monthly steering meetings to offer every assistance to Cork City Council to ensure a speedy progression of the process to engage a contractor and have works commence as soon as possible.

National Children's Hospital Expenditure

Ceisteanna (169)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

169. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform further to Parliamentary Question No. 314 of 26 November 2019, the estimated cost of the national children’s hospital in each of the years 2020 to 2022 that is additional to the amount allocated in the National Development Plan 2018-2027; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50118/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I am aware that my colleague, the Minister for Health, has provided the Deputy with the cost profile for this project.

While the NDP includes some indicative costing information on some projects, it does not allocate funding at project level. Funding of individual projects is a matter for the relevant Department or agency, in the first instance.

Schools Site Acquisitions

Ceisteanna (170)

Tony McLoughlin

Ceist:

170. Deputy Tony McLoughlin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of a proposed beneficial land swap involving a school (details supplied) and his Department; when a decision will be made on the proposal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50231/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Commissioner of Public Works have been approached by Summerhill College with regard to a land swap on lands adjacent to a site acquired by the Commissioners for the construction of a new Garda Divisional Headquarters at Caltragh, Sligo Town.

There are a number of issues for the Office of Public Works (OPW) to examine including complex title, rights of ways and planning before any decision can be reached.

I am advised by the Commissioners of Public Works that, on completion of this examination, they will then be able to finalise a decision on the matter.

State Properties Data

Ceisteanna (171)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

171. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of unoccupied State-owned properties; the cost associated with the maintenance and security of same; the number of properties rented by the State from private landlords; the cost of same by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50310/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The OPW actively manages a portfolio of some 2,500 properties throughout the country, that ranges from office accommodation to heritage properties, visitors centres to Garda stations, among others. At any given time, it is normal that a number of properties are vacant. In the case of the OPW portfolio, there are 98 properties currently vacant.

The majority of these are former Garda stations closed under the 2012/13 closure programme. As these stations were subject to examination under the recent policing review, the OPW was specifically requested not to dispose of them. Now that this review is completed, the future of the remaining stations will be determined.

The detailed breakdown including maintenance and security costs for the vacant properties by county is not readily available and is currently being collated. A detailed response will issue directly to the Deputy as soon as it is available.

The Commissioners of Public Works hold 437 leases on 369 buildings amounting to €96,379,395 per annum. A table with the breakdown for each county follows below.

COUNTY

RENT PA

CARLOW

€561,659.28

CAVAN

€272,145.35

CLARE

€301,357.00

CORK

€3,319,113.71

DONEGAL

€340,579.72

DUBLIN

€76,620,554.55

GALWAY

€2,331,062.47

KERRY

€817,537.67

KILDARE

€851,491.95

KILKENNY

€46,818.20

LAOIS

€997,040.04

LEITRIM

€606,500.00

LIMERICK

€2,507,559.92

LONGFORD

€19,782.64

LOUTH

€522,832.00

MAYO

€499,597.30

MEATH

€1,656,329.20

MONAGHAN

€297,655.22

OFFALY

€395,764.80

ROSCOMMON

€15,807.06

SLIGO

€390,903.62

TIPPERARY

€866,858.96

WATERFORD

€334,007.42

WESTMEATH

€724,923.81

WEXFORD

€377,207.52

WICKLOW

€704,305.80

€96,379,395.21

Legislative Measures

Ceisteanna (172)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

172. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of Bills sponsored by his Department that have been enacted since November 2013, in tabular form. [50324/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The information requested by the Deputy in respect of 23 Acts is set out in the table below:

Title

Date of enactment

Appropriation Act 2013

20th December 2013

Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) (Amendment) Act 2013

24th December 2013

Oireachtas (Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices) (Amendment) Act 2013

12th April 2014

Protected Disclosures Act 2014

8th July 2014

Freedom of Information Act 2014

14th October 2014

Appropriation Act 2014

19th December 2014

Regulation of Lobbying Act 2015

11th March 2015

Valuation (Amendment) Act 2015

23rd April 2015

Statute Law Revision 2015

18th July 2015

Houses of the Oireachtas (Appointments to Certain Offices) Act 2015

15th October 2015

Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest (Amendment) Act 2015

27th November 2015

Appropriation Act 2015

16th December 2015

Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Act 2015

24th December 2015

Appropriation Act 2016

20th December 2016

Statute Law Revision 2016

26th December 2016

Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act 2017

19th July 2017

National Shared Services Office Act 2017

26th July 2017

Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017

16th December 2017

Appropriation Act 2017

18th December 2017

Appropriation Act 2018

20th December 2018

Public Service Superannuation (Age of Retirement) Act 2018

26th December 2018

Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Act 2018

27th December 2018

Data Sharing and Governance Act 2019

4th March 2019

Office of Government Procurement

Ceisteanna (173, 174, 175)

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

173. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the date on which the Office of Government Procurement ceased taking supplementary requests for tenders from framework clients of the multi-supplier framework for the provision of external workplace investigations services 2015 in advance of the commencement of the replacement framework for such investigations (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50329/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

174. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the date the last supplementary requests for tenders in regard to the multi-supplier framework for the provision of external workplace investigations services 2015 were received by the Office of Government Procurement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50330/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Michael Fitzmaurice

Ceist:

175. Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the date the last award was notified to the successful framework member under the multi-supplier framework for the provision of external workplace investigations services 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50331/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 173 to 175, inclusive, together.

The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) and its sector partners in Health, Education, Defence and Local Government, put in place central arrangements (Framework Agreements) through which public bodies (contracting authorities) can purchase common goods and services.

In relation to the subject matter of this question, the OGP carried out a competitive tender process for the establishment of a Framework Agreement for the provision of External Workplace Investigation Services for central government departments and other public bodies. The purpose of this particular framework agreement was to establish a panel of external professional investigators to conduct formal workplace investigation services. This framework went live on 27th March 2015 for a four year term with an expiry date of 26th March 2019. A new replacement framework of external professional investigators to conduct formal workplace investigation services was established on 30th April 2019.

The last supplementary requests for tenders processed by the Office of Government Procurement in advance of the commencement of the replacement framework for such investigations was received on 28th February 2019. The OGP ceased taking supplementary requests for tenders and facilitating further competitions from potential framework clients on 5th March 2019. The date the last award was notified to the successful framework member was 9th April 2019.

While the OGP facilitates competitions under this framework for both Central Government and non-Central Government, and acts in an advisory role in this respect, the individual public bodies are accountable and responsible for these competitions and any subsequent contracts. Furthermore, public bodies may tender for such services themselves in circumstances where their needs are not met by central arrangements or where they can secure better value in the marketplace. Any investigations conducted using the 2015 framework or the replacement framework are a matter for the relevant Contracting Authorities.