Departmental Reviews

Ceisteanna (328)

Violet-Anne Wynne

Ceist:

328. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if his Department is carrying out a review into company (details supplied); and if so, if this review is separate from that of the Department of Transport; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26752/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

My Department is not carrying out a review of a company (details supplied). The Department of Transport is currently carrying out a review of the company with the assistance of NewERA and I understand the Minister for Transport will consider the findings once the report is finalised.

Civil Service

Ceisteanna (329)

Louise O'Reilly

Ceist:

329. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if civil servants especially those in lower ranks who are expected to work from home will be provided with the necessary information technology equipment to discharge their duties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26766/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

My Department developed guidance for civil service organisations - Working from Home during COVID-19 Guidance for Civil Service Organisations - in response to the requirement by Government for employees to work from home where possible during COVID.

https://hr.per.gov.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Working-from-Home-Guidelines-Final-version-26-June.pdf

The purpose of this guidance, which issued to civil service employers in June, was to support the health and well-being of employees; to ensure good practice has been followed by employees when working from home during COVID; and to support the regular and effective delivery of service.

Technology to support home working has been a priority for civil service organisations since March when working from home became widespread for public health reasons.  Access to and availability of technology has increased significantly across the sector since then.

My Department is now, as a matter of priority, working with employers across the civil service to develop the longer term approach to remote working in the sector - rather than as a necessity during COVID. Access to equipment for employees who are remote working will be addressed in that context.

Flood Relief Schemes

Ceisteanna (330)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

330. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the number of flood relief projects nationwide by county including the Morell river drainage scheme Naas, County Kildare, those already approved in respect of which funding has been allocated, those still awaiting funding, those planned in respect of the areas most recently affected by flooding; the extent to which he expects to be in a position to allocate sufficient funds to meet the planned programme in the short and medium term; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26778/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Office of Public Works (OPW) in partnership with the Local Authorities, is progressing 151 flood relief projects nationwide. Approximately 90 of these are either at construction or at other stages of design or consultant appointment, while the remainder will be progressed as part of the National Development Plan 2018-2027. 119 of these projects were identified in the National Flood Risk Management Plans launched in 2018 which were in addition to projects already underway at the time. These schemes will, together with the 46 already complete, mean that 95% of at risk properties in the State will be protected by Flood Relief Schemes. 

The Lower Morell Scheme has just commenced construction works in the last few weeks which brings to ten the number of schemes currently at construction, with the expectation that many more will reach this stage in the next twelve months or so. The Government has committed almost €1Billion for the implementation of these projects to the end of 2027, by which time all of these projects are expected to be progressed. During this period, OPW will continue to support Local Authorities through funding under the Minor Flood Mitigation and Coastal Protection Works Scheme, which has already funded over 580 local scale projects to protect over 7,100 properties since the Scheme commenced in 2009. 

The table below sets out the number of flood relief projects in the National Development Plan for each county and those that have already been initiated.

County

Number of projects

Projects initiated

Carlow

2

1

Cavan

1

1

Clare

8

8

Cork

21

12

Donegal

16

10

Dublin

15

10

Galway

5

4

Kerry

9

4

Kildare

7

4

Kilkenny

6

2

Laois

4

3

Leitrim

4

3

Limerick

9

5

Longford

1

1

Louth

5

5

Mayo

3

3

Meath

2

2

Monaghan

3

0

Offaly

2

1

Roscommon

3

0

Sligo

1

1

Tipperary

12

5

Waterford

3

2

Westmeath

1

1

Wexford

2

2

Wicklow

6

2

Flood Relief Schemes

Ceisteanna (331, 332)

Brian Stanley

Ceist:

331. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the consideration that has been given to flood relief on the Shannon Callows, County Offaly. [25967/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brian Stanley

Ceist:

332. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the consideration that has been given to establishing a single authority with responsibility for flood relief on the Shannon Callows, County Offaly. [25968/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 331 and 332 together. 

As part of the Catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management (CFRAM) Programme, the flood risk of 67 communities along the Shannon River was assessed. The Shannon CFRAM involved extensive public consultation so that local knowledge and opinions have informed its output.

The output of the CFRAM Programme was the Flood Risk Management Plans (FRMPs) that include 34 new flood relief schemes to protect towns in the Shannon River Basin District, as part of the Government’s €1bn investment in flood relief over the decade to the year 2027.  These new schemes will be subject to a public consultation process and are additional to 13 schemes already completed or under construction.  Together, these will protect 95% of properties against their significant risk from flooding.  Overall, work is now complete or underway to protect 80% of at risk properties.  Details of these schemes are available on www.floodinfo.ie.

The CFRAM Programme and the FRMPs has informed the work of the Shannon Flood Risk State Co-ordination Working Group, established by the Government in 2016 to support the CFRAM and FRMPs and to enhance the ongoing co-operation of all State Agencies involved with the River Shannon. 

On its establishment, a priority for the Group was to develop a Work Programme that was informed through public consultation days. The Programme together with local knowledge demonstrated the extensive range of activities and co-ordination by all State Agencies already underway to jointly and proactively address flood risk along the Shannon. The Group’s Annual Work Programmes are available at www.opw.ie

The Group has taken a number of significant decisions since its establishment including:

- Targeted maintenance at a number of locations on the River Shannon.

- A study to examine the removal of constrictions resulting in lower summer water levels through the Shannon Callows, to help address the summer flooding in this area while maintaining the appropriate navigation requirements.

- A study to examine the cause, degree and rate of restriction downstream of Parteen Weir in the Lower Shannon.

- A pilot to lower the lake levels in Lough Allen to help alleviate any significant flooding that may occur.

- A preliminary assessment of the potential for strategic maintenance on the River Shannon.

In October 2019, the Group agreed to a €7 million strategic programme of maintenance works and the removal of constrictions or ‘pinch points’ on the bed of the River Shannon between Athlone and Meelick Weir to improve the conveyancing of the River Shannon. The decision to undertake these works was noted by the Government in December 2019.  Public consultation will be required and progression will be subject to full environmental assessment and planning permission.  Waterways Ireland has advised that it has commenced work on advancing the various interventions for these works with implementation expected to commence in 2021.

Garda Stations

Ceisteanna (333)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

333. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if funding will be provided for works (details supplied); and if so, when the works will commence. [26827/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I can confirm that the Office of Public Works has not been made aware of any requirement to remove the existing doors to the public/front office of Coolock Garda Station, Dublin 5 and replace them with automatic doors.

Office of Public Works

Ceisteanna (334)

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin

Ceist:

334. Deputy Aodhán Ó Ríordáin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if his attention has been drawn to the condition of the green space in the ownership of the OPW at Casino Park, Donnycarney, Dublin 5; the timeframe for the area to be upgraded; his plans for the space to be made accessible to the local community; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26871/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The area to which the Deputy is referring is in the ownership of Dublin City Council (DCC). The Office of Public Works has been in contact with the Parks department of DCC in relation to the presentation of this area.

The main parkland at the demesne immediately surrounding the monument itself is in the care of the OPW and is maintained and managed in line with OPW landscape practice across all National Historic Property sites.

The parkland is managed for biodiversity and in recent years OPW has implemented a reduced mowing regime to support the natural biodiversity of the site. In line with these practices, the parkland will receive a final mow and final landscape works for the year will be completed in October of this year. This parkland area continues to be fully accessible to the public for access to walk and enjoy seven days a week from 7am to 6.45pm. This parkland has been much used during the COVID19 restrictions and is frequented on a daily basis by the local community.

Separately, the OPW is in ongoing discussions with DCC to agree a possible transfer of lands surrounding the Casino, including the area identified by the Deputy, from DCC to OPW, in order to facilitate the development of a new visitor facilities on site and to reinstate a heritage landscape at Casino Marino.  As part of a strategic partnership between OPW, Fáilte Ireland and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, for capital investment in visitor infrastructure at heritage sites, funding has been approved for a project to improve facilities through provision of a new visitor welcome facility (including café and interpretive space) additional visitor car parking and improvements to the landscape. 

This project has significant potential to impact on the tourism attractiveness of Marino and this part of the City. The reinstatement of the heritage landscape and provision of new visitor facilities will improve accessibility to this unique and important monument. The project will also address the issues the deputy has identified by improving the wider landscape and public realm surrounding the Casino resulting in improved facilities for the local community to access and enjoy. 

Local Authority Services

Ceisteanna (335)

Marian Harkin

Ceist:

335. Deputy Marian Harkin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the plans in place and the timeframe for same to reimburse Leitrim County Council for the cost of a report being undertaken to investigate the causes of the recent landslide on Shass Mountain, Drumkeerin, County Leitrim; if he will examine the next immediate steps necessary to deal with this catastrophic event; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26982/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage is chairing a Group to review the recent landslide on Shass Mountain, Drumkeerin, County Leitrim.

Assistance in the form of emergency funding to deal with the aftermath of these type of events has, in the recent past, generally come from Government to the relevant local authority through the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, allowing the local authority to procure contractors to undertake the necessary reports, studies, clean up and remedial works.

Offshore Islands

Ceisteanna (336)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

336. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans for the 2021 season in respect of Skellig Mhichil, County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27030/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

As indicated in the review of the closure of Skellig Michael announced in late July which confirmed the decision to stay closed for the remainder of the 2020 season, the Office of Public Works are now focussed on working to reopen the Island to visitors in 2021.   This will require significant planning and engagement with OPW site staff and local stakeholders, including principally the Boatmen who bring visitors to the Island.   The successful reopening of Skellig Michael to visitors will also obviously depend on the position in regard to any Covid restrictions that may be in force next year and with which the OPW will obviously have to fully comply at that time. 

Ministerial Advisers

Ceisteanna (337)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

337. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if a schedule of advisers and special advisers appointed and or recruited by him since his appointment will be provided; the roles and responsibilities attributed to each; and the salary for each appointee in tabular form. [27059/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I wish to inform the Deputy that Ministerial appointments in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform are made in line with the approved Guidelines on Ministerial Appointments for the 33rd Dáil. This document includes “Guidelines on staffing of Ministerial offices” issued by my Department in July 2020.

The details requested by the Deputy on Special Advisers in my Department are shown in the table below.

Special Adviser  

Salary Scale

 Start Date

Grant Sweetnam

Principal Officer Standard Scale PCC

€87,325 - €90,920 - €94,487 - €98,082 - €101,114

      

 07 July 2020

Kevin Barrett 

Principal Officer Standard Scale PCC

€87,325 - €90,920 - €94,487 - €98,082 - €101,114

 21 September 2020

Special Advisers are appointed under Section 11 of the Public Service Management Act 1997. A Special Adviser to a Minister or to a Minister of State, as in the case may be, shall

(a) assist the Minister or Minister of State, as the case may be, by –

(i) providing advice,

(ii) monitoring, facilitating and securing the achievement of the Government objectives that relate to the Department, as requested by the Minister or the Minister of State, as the case may be, and

(iii) performing such other functions as may be directed by the Minister or the Minister of State, as the case may be that are not otherwise provided for in this Act and do not involve the exercise of any specific powers conferred on the Minister or the Minister of State as the case may be or any other office holder by or under any other Act.

Heritage Sites

Ceisteanna (338)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

338. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he will investigate the possibility of keeping a set of flags on Cahir Castle similar to those currently at the site as part of the filming of a film (details supplied) after filming ceases in view of the fact it adds to the colour, history and heritage of the popular tourist town; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27242/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

The flags in question at Cahir Castle are a temporary installation created solely for the purposes of the film currently being shot there and are the property of the film company.   

Currently the OPW have no plans to install flagpoles as a permanent fixture at this location; however the matter will be considered in the light of the suitability of the site and the requirement to seek Ministerial Consent under the National Monuments Acts for any such works.

Legislative Measures

Ceisteanna (339)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

339. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which he has achieved or plans to achieve closure on the issue of FEMPI in 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27255/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

As the Deputy is aware under section 12 of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest Act 2013 (No. 18 of 2013) obliges me to submit a written report of the operation, effectiveness and impact of the FEMPI Acts of 2009, No.2 of 2009, 2010 and 2013 to the Oireachtas and as part of that report, to consider whether or not any of the provisions of the relevant Acts continue to be necessary having regard to the purposes of those Acts, the revenues of the State and State commitments in respect of public service pay and pensions. My report was submitted in June this year and highlights:

- the economic circumstances of the State,

- the budgetary outlook,

- debt,

- returns from taxation,

- BREXIT and preparedness for other economic shocks.

It concluded, on the basis of the prevailing economic and fiscal outlook, that the timetable for pay and pensions restoration up to July 2022 continued to be appropriate and necessary.

The report references the Public Service Pay and Pension Act 2017. This Act provides for the restoration of reductions made to public service pay and pensions by the FEMPI Acts 2010-2013.

In that regard, on 1st October 2020, public servants will receive a 2% pay increase. This will complete pay restoration for public servants earning up to €70,000 per annum. Also on 1st October, reductions of between 5% and 8% made to certain allowances in 2010 will cease.

In addition to pay the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017 provides that by end 2020, an order is made to restore,  at a date to be decided, reductions made to certain public service pensions.

Taking the above into account, very substantial progress will be made in completing the FEMPI restoration process by end 2020.

I would highlight that the elements set out above relate to the thousands of public servants who have been at the frontline in delivering key services in the current pandemic. These services are critical across health, education, justice, welfare and business support sectors to name but a few. They have ensured that this Government continues to deliver a comprehensive national response to the COVID 19 pandemic.

Public Expenditure Policy

Ceisteanna (340, 342, 343, 344, 348)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

340. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which he expects to rely on the principle of reform to meet various spending targets in 2020 and subsequently; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27256/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

342. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which he expects increases in public expenditure to be necessitated in 2021 and subsequently in respect of current expenditure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27261/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

343. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which current and capital expenditure have evolved in the course of the past 12 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27262/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

344. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform if he foresees an increased reliance on borrowing to meet current expenditure costs over the next five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27263/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

348. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform his plans to allow greater expenditure than anticipated by some Departments in order to offset the negative impacts of Covid-19 and Brexit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27267/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 340, 342 to 344, inclusive, and 348 together.

The fiscal position entering the Covid-19 crisis was reasonably positive. A General Government surplus of 0.4% of GDP was recorded in 2019, a balanced budget in structural terms was delivered, and debt to GDP ratio of 59%.

From an expenditure perspective the initial response to the Covid-19 crisis was swift, with emergency measures introduced to support and protect households and enterprises. In total, it is estimated that additional Covid-19 related expenditure supports of approximately €16 billion are to be provided this year, a significant investment that equates to 9% of GNI*. These additional expenditures would bring gross voted expenditure for 2020 to over €86 billion, an increase of over €19 billion or almost 30% relative to last year.

In July, Dáil Éireann approved additional Covid-19 health expenditure in the Health Revised Estimate. This Estimate included a €2 billion increase relative to the Health allocation set out in the REV published in December last year. Further resources have also been recently agreed by Government in relation to the 2020/2021 Winter Initiative and officials in my Department are actively engaging with their counterparts in the Department of Health and the HSE on the scale of additional funding that will be required over the rest of this year.

The labour market has borne a significant brunt of the impact of the crisis so far. In light of this, the Government has taken significant steps to cushion, where possible, the impact on households and businesses. Taking into account expenditure on the Pandemic Unemployment Payment and the Wage Subsidy Scheme, Social Protection expenditure will be over €30 billion this year, an increase of over €9 billion relative to REV 2020. In addition €1 ½ billion of Exchequer funding has been made available for liquidity measures, restart grants and commercial rates waivers to support business. Further to this, additional resources have also been made available to support the significant efforts undertaken to ensure the safe reopening of our Education systems.

Looking forward, the overall Budgetary Strategy for 2021 will focus on prioritising crisis management measures to address the challenges posed by Covid-19 and Brexit while preserving and maintaining existing levels of service within core expenditure programmes. Work is ongoing in assessing the impact of Covid-19 costs in 2021 and further details will be set out in the 2021 Expenditure Report.

The Government will need to continue to run a deficit next year to address the challenges posed by Covid-19 and Brexit. The State will borrow to cover this deficit. We are in a position to borrow this money because of the actions of the European Central Bank and the credibility of our public finances. Taking a longer-term view, it is important that, as the economy returns to growth and employment is restored, the deficit is reduced year-on-year to underpin the sustainability of the public finances and to ensure the funding for our key public services.

In support of this process, the Programme for Government commits to continuing reform and improvement of the Budgetary process and proposes that each Minister will be required to produce service improvement and reform plans in conjunction with my Department, within an overall context of an enhanced focus across Government on issues of well-being.  In implementing this reform, my Department will look to build on the budgetary reforms already in place and the significant work on public service reform already completed.

Adopting this approach will ensure stronger dialogue in this House on key elements of budgetary policy and will help to facilitate the continued development of budgetary decisions, consistent with the maintenance of stable public finances.

Capital Expenditure Programme

Questions Nos. 342 to 344, inclusive, answered with Question No. 340.

Ceisteanna (341)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

341. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the degree to which he expects to be in a position to meet in full the expenditure anticipated in 2020 and subsequent years in the National Capital Programme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27257/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I expect to be in a position to meet in full the expenditure anticipated in 2020 and subsequent years in the Public Capital Programme.

The gross voted capital allocations for 2020 were set out in the Revised Estimates Volume, published in December 2019, the allocations amounting to almost €8.2 billion represented a 15% increase over the 2019 outturn and was deemed sufficient, at that time, to meet Department’s commitments for 2020. 

In addition, the jobs stimulus plan announced in July contained a €500 million package for accelerated capital works and other capital supports across a range of areas in support of employment-intensive economic activity in 2020, €100 million of which will be drawn down in 2021. 

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, this Government has increased the overall 2020 capital expenditure allocations by an additional €1.5 billion, bringing total capital investment in 2020 to above €9.7 billion.  This is the highest ever investment in capital projects and programmes in the history of the State.

Government is committed to delivering capital expenditure levels of €9.1 billion for 2021.  This is almost €1 billion or 12% higher than the original sum budgeted for 2020.  The precise configuration and prioritisation of the overall 2021 capital allocation, including the remaining unallocated reserve, will be specified further and more comprehensively in the context of Budget 2021. 

In line with Programme for Government commitments and in my capacity as Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform I recently brought proposals to the Government regarding the launch of a structured, in-depth review of the National Development Plan (NDP) in order to advance the priorities identified in the Programme for Government including climate change, housing policy, transport policy, implementation of Sláintecare and balanced regional development, aligned also with the associated multi-annual resourcing requirements. I expect to be in a position to set out next steps in this regard once the important work of Budget 2021 has been completed.

Questions Nos. 342 to 344, inclusive, answered with Question No. 340.

Public Sector Staff

Ceisteanna (345)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

345. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which recruitment in vital areas throughout the public sector is being provided for and monitored by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27264/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

As the Deputy will be aware from previous replies, in my role as Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, I have overarching responsibility for workforce planning in, and recruitment to, the Civil Service.

The Public Appointments Service (PAS) are the independent recruiter for the Civil Service and through its Client Relations Management structures the PAS ensures that they are informed of the resourcing needs of its clients (hiring government offices/departments) and maintain an ongoing programme of recruitment competitions. Vacancies are filled, as and when, required by employing Departments. The number of assignments, in any year,  depends on the demand from Departments/Offices and that demand is subject to their pay and numbers allocation.

PAS has assigned over 2,800 people to roles across the Civil Service to date this year.   Panels of candidates are available to fill vacancies across a range of general service grades.  In 2020 PAS advertised recruitment competitions for CO, EO, and AP grades and propose to advertise an AO competition in early October.  Competitions are in progress to select candidates for appointment to roles in ICT at EO and HEO level.

Public Procurement Contracts

Ceisteanna (346)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

346. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the extent to which public procurement has been refined to ensure strict compliance with the rules while at the same time allowing a smooth flow of activity; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27265/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

Public Procurement is governed by EU legislation and National rules and guidelines. The aim of these rules is to promote an open, competitive and non-discriminatory public procurement regime that delivers best value for money.

The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) has responsibility for the National Public Procurement Policy Framework which sets the overarching policy framework for public procurement in Ireland.  This framework enables a more consistent approach to public procurement across the public sector.

The OGP facilitates a smooth flow of procurement activity by providing procurement solutions, advice, guidance and systems for public bodies, promoting good practice and proactive engagement with our sourcing partners in the Health, Education, Defence and Local Government Sectors through the Procurement Executive.

The OGP’s Public Procurement Guidelines for Goods and Services provide a comprehensive interpretation of the public procurement directives designed to improve consistency and promote best practice in the application of the public procurement rules. In addition, the OGP's Key Account Managers are in regular contact with Procurement Officers in Government departments and public bodies to assist, support and remind them of their obligations in relation to public procurement.

In relation to compliance, public procurement practices are subject to audit and scrutiny under the Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act 1993, and the Local Government Reform Act 2014. Individual Accounting Officers are responsible for ensuring that their public procurement functions are discharged in line with the standard accounting and procurement rules and procedures and are publicly accountable for expenditure incurred. Individual contracting authorities are responsible for establishing arrangements for ensuring the proper conduct of their affairs, including conformance to standards of good governance and accountability with regard to procurement.

Departmental Data

Ceisteanna (347)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

347. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the degree to which all Departments and bodies under their aegis in terms of public expenditure and reform continue to meet the guidelines set down by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27266/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Public)

I wish to advise the Deputy that the Annual Report of my Department sets out extensive information on the progress that the Department has made in pursuing its two strategic goals which are:

- To manage public expenditure at sustainable levels in a planned, rational and balanced manner in support of Ireland’s economic development and social progress; and

- To have public management and governance structures that are effective and responsive to the citizen, transparent and accountable, and which thereby improve the effectiveness of public expenditure.

This report, including a useful overview in the Executive Summary, is available at the following link: https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/da1589-dper-annual-reports-2013-16/ 

If the Deputy wishes to submit a question in respect of a specific policy area, initiative or guidelines for which my Department is responsible, I will be happy to provide him with further detail on that area.