I propose to take Questions Nos. 152 and 153 together.
The Economic and Sustainability Impact Assessment of the EU-Mercosur Association Agreement was commissioned by my Department through an open competitive tender process. The Request for Tender was published on the eTenders website and in the Official Journal of the European Union in December 2019. Five bids were received for the tender and following evaluation by the selection committee from my Department and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the contract was awarded to Implement Consulting Group. The value of this contract is €199,500 plus VAT.
The Deputy will recall that this particular Economic and Sustainability Impact Assessment consists of two important and complementary components, namely a comprehensive analysis of the potential economic benefits as well as a robust sustainability impact assessment including social, human rights and environmental impacts that the Trade Agreement could have in Ireland and the Mercosur countries of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. As such, it is a considerable undertaking, which, unfortunately, has necessitated us running beyond the Q1 2021 deadline by which we had hoped to have the finalised report considered by Government and published.
As previously reported to the House, the detailed research and stakeholder consultations are concluded, and I have been informed that drafting of the actual Report itself is well advanced such that the Report is expected to be received by my Department in the coming weeks. It will be published as soon as possible after consideration by Government.