Animal Welfare

Ceisteanna (487)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

487. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his attention has been drawn to media reports (details supplied) regarding the killing of dairy bull calves; his views on same; the protections put in place to prevent such killings; the fines in place as a deterrent; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51507/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

There are very specific provisions contained in the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013 as regards the welfare of animals and penalties in respect of breaches of these obligations are set out in section 52 of the Act.

My Department conducts on-going engagement with all stakeholders in the livestock sector and undertakes inspections to ensure the welfare of animals is protected all along the production cycle. A specific study into on-farm deaths in 2018, following the difficult winter/spring weather conditions, showed a death rate of 2.5% of all calves on Irish farms before they reached 6 weeks of age. From available comparative data, only Sweden reports better calf health outcomes.

The figures relating to male dairy calf disposal at knackeries show a decrease from 2018 to 2019. Data relating to this cohort of male dairy calves in 2018 show that 13,747 under six weeks of age died and were disposed of to knackeries. Data for 2019 to date shows that 11,696 male dairy calves less than 6 weeks of age have died.

I would encourage anyone who has evidence of a breach of animal welfare to report it to the Animal Welfare Hotline operated by my Department. The phone numbers of the hotline are as follows:

Call Save: 076 1064408

Phone: 01 6072379

Details of suspected breaches of animal welfare can also be emailed to animalwelfare@agriculture.gov.ie.

Employment Rights

Ceisteanna (488)

Declan Breathnach

Ceist:

488. Deputy Declan Breathnach asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if his attention has been drawn to the fact that the atypical workers scheme in relation to the fishing industry does not provide for effectively preventing and combating trafficking in persons for the purpose of forced labour and labour exploitation in the fishing industry; the steps he is taking in conjunction with other Departments to monitor the situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51590/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The Scheme for the employment of non-EEA fishers in parts of the Irish commercial sea-fishing fleet was launched on 15th February 2016. The Scheme is an extension of the Atypical Working Scheme, administered by the Department of Justice & Equality (Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service), and was introduced based on a series of recommendations made by the Government Task Force on Non-EEA workers in the Irish Fishing Fleet in December 2015. This Task Force was established following reports of alleged abuses of migrant workers on board Irish fishing vessels.

The granting of permissions to work in the State, under this Scheme, is a matter for decision by the Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service. My Department’s role in the Department of Justice and Equality Scheme is limited to hosting the Central Depository, which facilitates applications for Pre-Approvals to the Scheme, and chairing the Oversight Committee established to monitor the Scheme and ensure that it is operating as intended.

The Scheme provided for the first time a structured and transparent framework for the employment of non-EEA workers within defined segments of the Irish fishing fleet. The Scheme sets down minimum terms and conditions of employment applicable to non-EEA fishers which are in line with the general statutory terms and conditions applicable to workers more generally in the State. The Scheme was welcomed as a solution to the risk of exploitation and to guarantee employment rights and protections to non-EEA fishers availing of the Scheme.

In April 2019, following proceedings taken by the International Transport Workers’ Federation against the relevant Government Departments in relation to the Scheme, a mediation agreement was reached and signed by all parties. The Agreement contained 21 individual commitments focused on enhancing the terms and conditions of non-EEA fishers under the Atypical Scheme. Actions to meet all of the agreed settlement commitments have been undertaken. Of the 21 commitments, 18 have been completed in full with the remaining 3 in progress. The 3 “in progress” commitments relate to issues of a regulatory/legislative nature which are outside of the control of the Oversight Committee. I am happy to report that there are no commitments entered into by the relevant Departments where no action has taken place.

Additionally, the Oversight Committee, chaired by my Department, agreed as part of the settlement to meet on a two monthly basis for the first six months post the Agreement and quarterly thereafter. To date, the Oversight Committee has met on four occasions, with the next meeting scheduled for February 2020. Prior to these meetings taking place, all interested parties are supplied with details of the topics for discussion and invited to make submissions. The minutes of the Oversight Committee meetings are published on the Department's website www.agriculture.ie.

A recent communication received by the Oversight Committee via the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation indicated that the Sectoral Policies Department of the International Labour Organisation perceives the Irish model for addressing the employment protection issues of migrant fishers as a useful example to assist other countries make the necessary changes in this area.

Live Exports

Ceisteanna (489, 490)

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

489. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his plans to review live exports of cattle to third countries by ship; and his further plans to introduce a moratorium on same in view of a recent disaster (details supplied). [51669/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

490. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the contingency plans in place in cases in which a live transport disaster such as recently occurred in Romania befalls a ship carrying live Irish cattle in view of the fact that the use of ships to transport live cattle is covered by Council Regulation (EC) No. 1/2005 within and outside the EU for the full extent of the journey. [51670/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 489 and 490 together.

The relevant conditions of both Council Regulation 1/2005 and S.I. 256 of 2016 were met by Ireland in the issuing of the temporary certificate of approval in 2018 for the vessel mentioned. This temporary certificate issued on 15th February 2018 for a six month period and therefore covered the journeys in question.

The episode off the coast of Romania referred to by the Deputy was indeed distressing and no doubt will be fully investigated by the relevant authorities to establish its cause. My Department implements the most stringent system of controls on the welfare of animals being exported. In addition to meeting the provisions of Council Regulation 1/2005, Ireland implements a comprehensive legislative framework relating to the transport of animals by sea (The Carriage of Livestock by Sea Regulations 2016 (S.I. 356 of 2016). This legislation goes above and beyond the requirements of the EU Council Regulation.

In relation to safety issues, this legislation ensures that Ireland's standards are recognised as among the most comprehensive in the world. The status, organisation and operating companies involved are subjected to examination. In turn, the vessels are subject to stringent checks by expert veterinary officials and marine surveyors. Stability calculations are undertaken for every voyage and clear instructions on acceptable weather conditions are issued prior to allowing the vessels to depart.

Greyhound Industry

Ceisteanna (491)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

491. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when a report (details supplied) on the greyhound industry will be available; and the reason for the delay in its publication. [51673/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

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

On December 6th, 2019, Bord na gCon released an independent report undertaken by Indecon Economic Consultants, which reviewed the future needs of its 16 licensed stadia and made recommendations regarding the industry’s footprint into the future. Following the public release of this report, a consultation process is now in place.

Basic Payment Scheme Appeals

Ceisteanna (492)

Pat Breen

Ceist:

492. Deputy Pat Breen asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of an application by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51686/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The person named submitted applications for consideration under the Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) on 28 April 2017 for scheme year 2017, on 9 May 2018 for scheme year 2018 and on 13 May 2019 for scheme year 2019.

The person named has submitted an appeal to the independent Agriculture Appeals Office and has requested an oral hearing. The case will now be considered by that Office.

GLAS Payments

Ceisteanna (493)

Aindrias Moynihan

Ceist:

493. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine when the outstanding balances for 2019 GLAS payments will be finalised and issued. [51699/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

In accordance with the EU regulatory requirements, GLAS balancing payments can only commence when the Member State has verified that all on-farm inspections required have been carried out.

GLAS advance payments at the rate of 85% of the full annual payment commenced on 4 November 2019 and continue to issue on a weekly basis as cases clear all validation checks. It is currently anticipated that GLAS balancing payments at the rate of 15% will commence before the end of May 2020.

Animal Welfare

Ceisteanna (494)

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

494. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine his views on reports that officials from his Department have recently removed approximately 25 feral goats from the herd in the Scalp area of Kiltiernan, County Dublin; his plans to manage the population of the herd; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51771/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

In mid 2018, my Department's animal welfare hotline was contacted regarding concerns for a group of goats in the Scalp area. Veterinary officers from my Department visited the site and, over a number of subsequent visits, conducted an operation to remove a number of goats from the location.

Since the successful completion of this operation almost 18 months ago, no further reports in relation to goats in the area have been received.

Forestry Management

Ceisteanna (495, 496)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

495. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the findings of the strategic environmental assessment of the Forestry Programme 2014 – 2020 (details supplied). [51784/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

496. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the existing safeguards built into measures in addition to best practice measures adopted by the Forest Service for the strategic environmental assessment of the Forestry Programme 2014-2020 with regard to the impact on Natura 2000 sites. [51785/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 495 and 496 together.

The SEA environmental report concluded that, with the adoption of the listed mitigation measures, it was anticipated that none of the effects identified as adverse in the detailed matrix assessment will be of greater than negligible significance and ensure that, even without adoption of enhancement measures, the overall effect of the Forestry Programme is strongly positive.

In keeping with the obligations arising under Article 10 of DIRECTIVE 2001/42/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL (the SEA Directive), the Department undertakes monitoring in relation to the implementation of the Forestry Programme 2014 – 2020 in relation to all sites and not just those designated as Natura 2000 areas. This monitoring is carried out inter alia in order to be able to identify at an early stage any unforeseen adverse effects and to be able to undertake appropriate remedial action.

The monitoring programme involves the use of:

a. Information collated specifically in relation to projects approved under the programme; and

b. Information available from other sources, i.e. from other existing monitoring and reporting arrangements arising from EU legislation other than the SEA Directive and from national legislation or policies, and which can be indirectly used for purpose of monitoring for significant environmental effects arising from the implementation of the programme.

Reporting on matters related to the implementation of the programme, such as land use change arising through afforestation, total area of forest by cover type, the impact of forest management operations, forest production and carbon sequestration, and forest protection and health, is also undertaken inter alia through the publication of:

- Annual Forest Sector Statistics reports

- National Forest Inventory reports

In terms of revisions to the Forestry Programme and other independent reports on the implementation of the programme with relevance to protection of the environment, the following are relevant:

a. With regard to protecting and enhancing water quality, the Environmental Requirements for Afforestation document published in December 2016 after a public consultation.

b. With regard to the assessment of the economic, social and environmental impacts of land use change to forestry in County Leitrim, the independent study commissioned by the Department from UCD which was published in August of this year.

c. With regard to new measures to support forestry biodiversity in Ireland, the Mid Term Review of the Programme which gave rise to three new measures announced in January 2019 designed to further enhance the sustainability of Irish forestry by supporting key biodiversity initiatives, namely –

- A new scheme to support ‘Continuous Cover Forestry’, (CCF), which allows for the production of commercial timber while retaining forest cover at all times.

- A new Deer Tree Shelter and Deer/Hare Fencing Scheme which aims to support land owners who wish to plant broadleaves in areas where there is a risk of deer damage.

- Changes to the Woodland Improvement Scheme (WIS) to introduce grant aid to carry out a second thinning intervention for broadleaf forests.

- The introduction of the Woodland Environmental Fund, which provides an access point for individual businesses to help expand Ireland’s native woodland resource by providing additional incentives to encourage landowners to plant new native woodlands.

Afforestation Programme

Ceisteanna (497)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

497. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if current policy does not permit afforestation within hen harrier SPAs pending the formulation of the threat response plan for the species led by the NPWS. [51786/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

Issues concerning the designation of Special Protection Areas (or SPAs) and the setting of conservation objectives are a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. As previously outlined by Minister Madigan, the issue of afforestation within SPAs important to breeding hen harrier is an ongoing issue, and a previous protocol on the issue was discontinued as the European Commission considered it non-compliant with the EU Birds Directive.

The Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has prepared a draft Hen Harrier Threat Response Plan in cooperation with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, and with my own Department. The draft Threat Response Plan must also undergo public consultation. Until the Threat Response Plan is completed, my Department will not be in a position to approve afforestation projects within the SPAs.

Afforestation Programme

Ceisteanna (498)

Jackie Cahill

Ceist:

498. Deputy Jackie Cahill asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the location and size in hectares of each site designated as Natura 2000 pursuant to the habitats and birds directives in which afforestation has been permitted that is consistent with the conservation objectives of the sites by county in tabular form. [51787/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is the competent authority for the designation of Natura sites, including Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas.

Article 6(3) of the Habitats Directive sets out the requirement for Appropriate Assessment (AA) in relation to Natura sites. It reads:

Any plan or project not directly connected with or necessary to the management of the site but likely to have a significant effect thereon, either individually or in combination with other plans or projects, shall be subject to appropriate assessment of its implications for the site in view of the site's conservation objectives. In light of the conclusions of the assessment of the implications for the site and subject to the provisions of paragraph 4, the competent national authorities shall agree to the plan or project only after having ascertained that it will not adversely affect the integrity of the site concerned and, if appropriate, after having obtained the opinion of the general public.

This requirement is transposed into Irish law mainly through S.I. No. 477/2011 (Section 5). Recent rulings from the European Court of Justice and Irish courts have clarified various aspects of Article 6(3), and consenting authorities must conform to these rulings.

Any application for a forestry licence under the Forestry Act, 2014 is regarded as a “project”. The area where the proposed activity (and ancillary operations) is to take place, is the “project area”. My Department is the competent authority in the assessment of forestry licence applications and must be sure that the project meets the exacting requirements set out under Article 6(3).

All forestry licence applications undergo Appropriate Assessment screening, which takes account of the conservation objectives of any Natura site proximate to the project. As a prescribed body, NPWS is asked to provide their comments on a forestry licence application that falls within or is near to a Natura site. Their comments are considered as part of the assessment of that application.

It has not been possible to compile the information requested in the short time available. The data will be forwarded to the Deputy as soon as possible.

GLAS Payments

Ceisteanna (499)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

499. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if a GLAS payment will be expedited for a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51877/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Agriculture)

The person named was approved into the GLAS 1 scheme with a contract commencement date of 1 October 2015 and has received payments for scheme years 2016 - 2018.

Processing of the 2019 Advance is currently at an advanced stage and it is expected the payment will issue shortly.

Electric Vehicle Grants

Ceisteanna (500, 501, 502)

Jonathan O'Brien

Ceist:

500. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the estimated cost of increasing each grant level by €100, including the maximum grant for the purchase of privately purchased electric vehicles. [51087/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Jonathan O'Brien

Ceist:

501. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the estimated cost of doubling the grants, including the maximum grant available for the purchase of privately purchased electric vehicles. [51088/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Jonathan O'Brien

Ceist:

502. Deputy Jonathan O'Brien asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the estimated cost of increasing the electric vehicle home charger grant by €100. [51089/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 500 to 502, inclusive, together.

The electric vehicle purchase grant provides grant aid of up to €5,000 towards the private purchase of a new electric car. Based on supporting 5,600 privately purchased electric cars in 2020, the increased cost of doubling the purchase grant would be €28 million or €0.56 million if the grant was increased by €100.

The electric vehicle home charger grant supports the cost of installing a home charger up to a maximum of €600 for purchasers of both new and second-hand electric vehicles. An extra €100 per home charger grant based on an estimated 5,000 grants paid in 2020 would have an increased cost of €0.5 million.

National Broadband Plan Implementation

Ceisteanna (503)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

503. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the timescale for broadband roll-out in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51205/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The National Broadband Plan is the Government’s plan to rollout high speed broadband to the 1.1 million people living and working in the nearly 540,000 premises including almost 100,000 businesses and farms, along with 695 schools, where commercial operators will not commit to deliver the service.

Following the contract signing on 19 November, work has already begun and a deployment plan will be made available by NBI shortly. All counties will see premises passed in the first 2 years and over 90% of premises in the State will have access to high speed broadband within the next four years.

Approximately 300 Broadband Connections Points (BCPs), will be connected to high speed broadband during 2020, to enable communities to quickly get free public access to high speed broadband.

The BCPs have been specifically selected by the local authorities so that they can provide public Wi-Fi and other facilities to support mini digital/enterprise hubs to the local community in advance of the main NBP deployment. Broadband Officers in each Local Authority were tasked with consulting with local communities and business to find the appropriate mix of locations to reap the maximum benefits.

All BCPs will have a free public Wi-Fi connection, some will also have hot-desks, and some will be digital hub business centres where digital training, business information events and other SME supports are organised.9 BCPs are planned for deployment in Kildare and they are:

- Back Gate Lodge, Kilkea Demesne, Castledermot, Co. Kildare, R14Y006

- Bigstone Community Hall, Ballyraggan, Rathvilly, Co. Kildare, R93E956

- Clonfert Pet Farm, Clonfert South, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, W23PY05

- Crookstown Community Hall, Moyleabbey, Ballitore, Co. Kildare, R14HP80

- HSE, Kilcock Primary Care Centre, Commons West, Co. Kildare

- Lullymore Heritage Park, Lullymore East, Rathangan, Co. Kildare, R51E036

- Rathmore National School, Rathmore West, Naas, Co. Kildare, W91VK46

- Saint David's National School, Piper's Hill Campus, Killashee, Naas, Co. Kildare, W91AE26

- Stresslite Floors, Hempstown, Blessington, Co. Kildare, W91XW89

By the end of 2021, NBI plans to pass approximately 115,000 premises, with 70,000 - 100,000 passed each year thereafter until rollout is completed. NBI has indicated that the network rollout will take an estimated 7 years from the beginning of deployment.

The planned rollout will provide access to high speed broadband to 13,329 premises located in the Intervention Area in Co. Kildare. The NBP contract will ensure continued availability to those households, businesses and schools, of a future proofed high speed broadband network for the next 25 years, through investment of approximately €128m in Kildare.

Warmer Homes Scheme

Ceisteanna (504)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

504. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his attention has been drawn to the delay in the provision of the warmer home grants due to increased demand; his views on whether the increased demand is due to a change in criteria; if funding will be allocated to meet the additional demand; if the case of a person (details supplied) will be reviewed; if the application will be expedited; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51296/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme is funded by my Department and administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The Scheme delivers a range of energy efficiency measures free of charge to low income households vulnerable to energy poverty, who meet the defined eligibility criteria.

As Minister, I have no function in relation to individual applications. However officials in my Department have contacted SEAI and I am informed that the homeowner the Deputy is referring to submitted an application to the Warmer Homes Scheme on 23rd October 2019. Due to the current high demand and waiting list, SEAI hope to schedule the home for a technical survey in Q2 of 2020. The duration between applying for the scheme and having works carried out is currently averaging at 18 months.

Budget 2020 announced a budget allocation for the scheme of €52.8 million. This represents the biggest ever budget for the Warmer Homes Scheme – more than double the initial allocation for 2019.

Notwithstanding this increased budget for the scheme, the current very high level of demand does directly impact waiting times. The Climate Action Plan includes a commitment to review ways to improve how current energy poverty schemes target those most in need, including how to reduce waiting times. This review is due to be completed shortly.

Air Quality

Ceisteanna (505, 513)

Seán Sherlock

Ceist:

505. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his attention has been drawn to the poor air quality recorded by an organisation (details supplied) in County Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51350/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

513. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will report on a recent report (details supplied) regarding air quality in Cork city; his views on same; his plans to address the issues; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51607/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 505 and 513 together.

Cork City is subject to the smoky coal ban introduced in 1995.

Local Authorities are primarily responsible for the enforcement of the “smoky coal” ban within their functional areas. The powers that Local Authorities have are extensive. For example:

i. local authority staff may undertake inspections of premises and vehicles being used for the sale and distribution of solid fuel as well as collect samples;

ii. a local authority may bring a prosecution under the Air Pollution Act for breaches of the Regulations

iii. a Local Authority may issue a Fixed Payment Notice (or ‘on the spot fine’) for alleged offences relating to the marketing, sale and distribution of prohibited fuels in Low Smoke Zones (LSZs), with a penalty range of €250 to €1000.

Further extension of the smoky coal ban in key locations would have a positive impact on air quality and public health, particularly in built up areas. Regarding the proposed national extension of the smoky coal ban, a number of coal firms have indicated that they would challenge the proposal to expand the smoky coal ban nationwide, and also challenge the existing ban on the basis that the State should also apply such a ban to the burning of other fossil fuels, including wood and peat products.

Advice has been received from the Attorney General on this issue. I are continuing to work with the Attorney General to finalise a legally robust plan, which will improve air quality by reducing air pollution, without jeopardising the existing ban. I expect to bring proposals to Government shortly on the matter.

My Department is not familiar with either the report or the organisation that produced it.

Departmental Expenditure

Ceisteanna (506)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

506. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment further to Parliamentary Question No. 485 of 3 December 2019, if he will provide a full and detailed breakdown of fees paid to a company (details supplied); the number of projects and or assignments the company was engaged on during the entire NBP process; if he will also provide a detailed schedule of the achievements by the company in respect of the €4 million fee in the table provided in the reply; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51379/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

Analysys Mason was contracted to provide technical advisory services under the contract ‘Technical Advisory Services in relation to the proposed State-Led intervention under the National Broadband Plan’.

The purpose of that contract was to ensure that the Department had available to it the breadth of technical expertise required by the Department in developing the strategy for the NBP intervention and designing and managing the procurement process through which the NBP entity was to be selected.

The technical advices provided by Analysys Mason spanned a number of different phases of the NBP project and related to a number of activities, including: development of the NBP Strategy; developing the procurement process and related documentation; implementation of the competitive dialogue process undertaken with bidders in the procurement; evaluation of submissions at different stages of the procurement including at final tender; implementation of the mapping exercise to define the target intervention area for the NBP measure; and supporting the development of the application seeking state aid approval.

The following table provides a breakdown of payments to made to Analysys Mason by year.

NBP Payments to Analysys Mason

Year

Amount Paid (incl VAT)

2015

€449,210.01

2016

€556,924.82

2017

€1,302,540.54

2018

€1,392,014.37

2019

€979,345.68

TOTAL

€4,680,035.42