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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 217-231
 Header Item Departmental Staff Data
 Header Item Appointments to State Boards
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Ministerial Adviser Appointments
 Header Item Consultancy Contracts Issues
 Header Item Ministerial Expenditure
 Header Item Ministerial Transport
 Header Item Departmental Reports
 Header Item Financial Services Regulation

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 774 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 162 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 217-231

Departmental Staff Data

 217. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the number of press officers in his Department; the number of press officers in each agency under his auspices; the total cost of press officers in his Department and in agencies under his auspices; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37341/12]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan My Department employs one press officer who is a civil servant and is currently in receipt of a salary of €71,359 per annum.

Appointments to State Boards

 218. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the total number of board appointments he has made since he came to office; the names, salaries and expenses of each appointee; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37357/12]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan The information requested by the Deputy is contained in the following table.

Name of Body Name of appointee Date appointed/ reappointed Remuneration Received
Disabled Drivers Medical of Appeal Dr Angela McNamara Re-appointed on 07 Nov 2011 Dr McNamara is entitled to a session rate of €607.20 when attending each appeal Board sitting.
*Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC) Mr Roger McGreal

Mr Oliver Ellingham
15th Nov 2011

14th Oct 2011
€73.600 p.a.

€73,600 p.a
Fiscal Advisory Council

(established June 2011)
Professor John McHale (Chair)

Mr. Sebastian Barnes

Professor Alan Barrett

Dr. Donal Donovan,

Dr Roisin O’Sullivan
7th July 2011 With effect from 1 July 2012, the fees payable to Council Members are based on those payable to Directors of Category 2 Non-Commercial State-Sponsored Bodies, which are set from time to time by the Dept. of Public Expenditure and Reform. The relevant fees are €20,520 for the Chair and €11,970 for Members. The fees, which are being paid on a pro-rata basis in 2012, are payable to the employer of the Chair or Members if the employer comes within the Irish public sector or is an international organization of which Ireland is a Member and whose budget it contributes to. This applies in relation to Prof. McHale, Mr Barnes and Prof. Barrett. In the first half of 2012, an annual stipend of €5,000 (pro-rata) was payable to Members unless they were employed in the Irish public sector.


* The Directors of the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation were appointed by the board of the bank with my approval.

Credit Union Restructuring Board (Rebo)

  As recommended in the Report of the Commission on Credit Unions published on 18 April 2012, the ReBo is being established on a time-bound basis to facilitate and support the restructuring of Credit Unions.   On 31st August 2012, the Minister for Finance appointed thirteen (13) members to the Rebo. They are:

Mr. Robert (Bobby) McVeigh – Chairman

Mr. Eoin McGettigan

Mr. Tom Kavanagh

Mr. Brendan Burke

Ms Kathleen Prendergast

Mr. Stephen O’Donovan

Mr. Joe O’Toole

Mr. Pat Fay – Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU)

Mr. Jimmy Johnstone – Irish League of Credit Unions (ILCU)

Mr. Tim Molan – Credit Union Managers Association (CUMA)

Mr. Kevin Johnson – Credit Union Development Association (CUDA)

Mr. Neil Ryan – Assistant Secretary, Financial Services Division, Department of Finance

Ms Elaine Byrne – Deputy Head, Registrar of Credit Unions

Fees are €11,970 per annum to the Chair and €7,695 per annum to ordinary members.

The Rebo has not yet met and no expenses have yet been paid. It is intended that expenses will be paid in accordance with standard public guidelines and procedures.

*The Minister does not make appointments to the Board of IBRC. While the Minister as sole shareholder has an “approval” role and may nominate persons to the Board, the Board actually makes the appointments. Two new Directors are due to be appointed this month whose fees, we expect, will be in the region of €73k PA. I am not aware at this point if either new appointee will take up a position as chair of any of the various committees.

Departmental Expenditure

 219. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan if he will detail, in tabular form, the total photography costs for his Department since coming to office inclusive of costs incurred from use of the ministerial allowance; the occasions for which photographers were booked; the photographers used; the breakdown of costs associated with each occasion that a photographer was used; if there is a policy regarding the booking of photographers within his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37373/12]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan In response to the Deputy’s Question details of the occasions on which photographers were used since coming to office are contained in the following table.

   Use of Photographer

Company used Details Cost €
Maxwell Photography Ltd Brian Lenihan - photo required for Minster’s Conference -  Engaged on 30th March 2011 €424.41
Maxwell Photography Ltd Signing of Taxation agreement with Germany –Engaged on 31st March 2011 €400.21
Maxwell Photography Ltd Signing ceremony for Double Taxation Agreement with Switzerland – Minister of State Hayes & Swiss Ambassador- Engaged 26th January 2012 €285.05
Maxwell Photography Ltd Signing ceremony for Double Taxation Agreement with Uzbekistan  Attended by Minister of State Hayes 11th July 2012 €147.60

Departmental Expenditure

 220. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan if he will detail, in tabular form, the total cost of providing entertainment for his Department since coming to office inclusive of costs incurred from use of the ministerial allowance; the occasions for which entertainment was provided; the entertainers used; the breakdown of costs associated with each occasion; if there is a policy regarding the booking of entertainers within his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37445/12]

 221. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the amount spent on food and drink by his Department; if he will provide a breakdown of what this involved; the occasions on which food and drink was provided; those present; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37461/12]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I propose to take Questions Nos. 220 and 221 together.

  In response to the Deputy’s question since coming to office €337.56 has been spent by me on official entertainment. A breakdown of the expenditure is contained in the following table:

Date Amount paid € Details
25/11/2011 63.00 Lunch with guests Merrion Hotel
17/01/2012 148.00 Dinner with guests Hibernian Hotel St Stephens Green
27/01/2012 126.56 Dinner with guests Dunraven Arms Hotel Adare Manor Limerick


  In the same period senior officials in my Department spent €2,146.54 on official entertainment. A breakdown of this expenditure is contained in the following table.
Date Amount paid € Details
23/06/2011 261.25 Dinner for 6 people with World Bank Officials
30/06/2011 174.45 Official Lunch for 7 people – Organisation for European Cooperation and Development.
04/07/2011 69.58 Official lunch for 2 with European Commission representative
12/11/2011 308.51 Official Banking SLO Team Lunch for 9 people
30/01/2012 83.70 Official Lunch for 4 persons
23/03/2012 155.00 Official lunch for 8 persons including representatives from the European Commission and Revenue Commissioners.
29/03/2012 110.00 Official lunch for 4 persons including Ms Micheline Aucion Executive Director of Asian Development Bank
23/04/2012 75.65 Official Lunch for 7 persons -lunch with Northern Ireland Officials .
15/05/2012 72.60 Lunch for 4 Persons- Meeting with UK Treasury on VAT issues
07/06/2012 485.50 Official dinner for 7 persons - visit of World Bank Managing Director to Dublin
15/06/2012 350.30 Dinner for 5 persons on the occasion of the visit of Executive Director of World Bank Ms Lucie Morin to Dublin.

Departmental Expenditure

 222. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the amount spent on hair and make-up by his Department since he came to office; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37477/12]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan The total amount of money spent by the Department of Finance on make-up since February 2011 was €50.

Ministerial Adviser Appointments

 223. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the number and names of all special advisers, special press advisers, or any other type of ministerial adviser in his Department; the name of the Minister or Minister of State to whom he or she reports; the salary of each adviser now; the salary of each adviser at the time he or she was appointed; if any salary increase was asked for; if it was granted; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37493/12]

 228. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the political activities of each special adviser, special press advisers, or any other type of ministerial adviser in his Department; if any of them were members of a political party; if so, the parties to which they belonged; if any of them are or have been elected local authority members; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37574/12]

 353. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the names of special advisers for whom salary increases have been requested; the amount requested; the details of those granted increases and the amount by which they were increased; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [40021/12]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I propose to take Questions Nos. 223, 228 and 353 together.

  In my Department, I have appointed Mary Kenny and Eoin Dorgan as special advisors. The salary for both special advisors is €86,604 and €83,337 respectively per annum. The Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour (September 2004) sets out the terms and conditions of service, including the engagement in political activity, of all civil servants including Ministerial appointees. Section 5.4 of the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour excludes staff holding temporary unestablished positions and whose tenure is coterminous with that of the relevant Minister from the restrictions on engaging in political activity as set out in section 5 of the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour.

Consultancy Contracts Issues

 224. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan if he will provide detail, in tabular form, of the names of all external public relations and consultancy persons and organisations used by his Department for the years 2011 and 2010; the amount paid to each; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37509/12]

 226. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan if he will detail, in tabular form, the amount paid on external public relations and communications consultants since February 2011; the reason for the payment; the name of each organisation used; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37542/12]

 227. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan if he will detail, in tabular form, the amount paid to consultants since February 2011; the name of each organisation used; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37558/12]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan I propose to take Questions Nos. 224, 226 and 227 together.

  The following table sets out the information requested. Every effort is made to minimize costs in this area but, from time to time, certain specialist skills and expertise are required. Our ongoing contract with Arthur Cox is necessary because the unfolding financial issues of relevance to the stabilization and regulation of the Banking/Financial Services sector.

Year Person/Organisation Payment
2012 Arthur Cox & Company 1,587,518
2012 Deloitte & Touche 61,553
2012 Mazars 60,885
2012 Price Waterhouse Coopers 42,743
2012 Thomas J. Foley 59,040
2012 Brindley Advertising 14,255
2011 Arthur Cox & Company 1,373,060
2011 Charles Rivers Associates 60,500
2011 Aram International Partners LLC 121,000
2011 Mazars 52,454
2011 Niamh Hyland 24,657
2011 David Barniville 36,402
2011 Carr Communications* 3,500
2010 PriceWaterhouse Coopers 118,580
2010 Arthur Cox & Company 4,804,884
2010 Carr Communications* 11,392
*The payments to the public relations and communications consultants related to the provision of senior management and interview board training.

Ministerial Expenditure

 225. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the gross annual salary costs for his private and constituency offices at present; the same figures for this time last year; the same figures for any Ministers of State in his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37526/12]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan Since my appointment as Minister for Finance on 9 March 2011, the following staff have been appointed to my private office:

GRADE SALARY SCALE (per annum) Wholetime Equivalent
1 Private Secretary €33,247 - €58,294 1.00
2 Executive Officers (EO) €29,024 - €47,379 1.00
1 Clerical Officer (CO) €23,177- €37,341 1.00
2 Clerical Officers (CO) €23,042 - €36,267 1.00


  The following staff are assigned to work on constituency matters:
GRADE SALARY SCALE (per annum) Wholetime Equivalent
1 Personal Assistant €43,715 - €56,060 1.00
1 Executive Officer (EO) €30,516 - €47,975 1.00
1 Clerical Officer (CO) €19,814 - €31,963 1.00
1 Clerical Officer (CO) €23,042 - €36,267 0.40


  My colleague, Mr Brian Hayes, TD Minister of State for Public Service Reform and the Office of Public Works at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and Department of Finance has appointed the following staff to his office:
GRADE SALARY SCALE (per annum) Wholetime Equivalent
1 Staff Officer (SO) €33,070 - €43,906 1.00

  Questions Nos. 226 and 227 answered with Question No. 224.

  Question No. 228 answered with Question No. 223.

Ministerial Transport

 229. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the amount spent by his Department on drivers and ministerial transport since February 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37590/12]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan In relation to the use of my car for Ministerial travel, the total cost has been €173,434 for the period May 2011 to date in September 2012. This cost included mileage (which is to cover car related expenses), the salaries paid to civilian drivers, travel and subsistence paid to the drivers and Employer PRSI contributions in respect of the two drivers. This amount is significantly below the €280,000 average annual cost under the previous domestic Ministerial transport regime for each Minister.

Departmental Reports

 230. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the total amount spent since February 2011 on external reports commissioned by his Department, including payments from ministerial allowances, details of the consultants employed and costs of each; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37622/12]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan The following amounts have been incurred in respect of reports commissioned by my Department from external consultants in the period since February 2011: €52,454 – Mazars; €60,500 – Charles River Associates; €61,553 - Deloitte & Touche; €60,885 - Mazars.

With regard to Ministerial allowances, the Deputy will be aware that these are block payments which can, within certain guidelines laid down by the Standards in Public Office Commission, be used at the discretion of the Minister and my Department has no involvement in the disbursement of such allowances.

Financial Services Regulation

 231. Deputy Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Information on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan Zoom on Luke 'Ming' Flanagan asked the Minister for Finance Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan the reason the Central Bank of Ireland refuses to take action against a company (details supplied) that has claimed in a sworn affidavit in the High Court that the company acts as a 'mortgage lender' in the market within the meaning of the Consumer Credit Act 1995, but yet this company is not an authorised 'mortgage lender' as defined by the Central Bank and furthermore the company is not regulated by the Central Bank; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37634/12]

Minister for Finance (Deputy Michael Noonan): Information on Michael Noonan Zoom on Michael Noonan The Central Bank has informed me that the company referred to by the Deputy is not and never has been, authorised by the Central Bank. All instances of alleged unauthorised activity that come to the attention of the Central Bank are investigated in full and action is taken where necessary and appropriate. However, due to confidentiality provisions as set out in Section 33AK of the Central Bank Act, 1942, as amended, the Central Bank cannot disclose details, to a third party, of any individual investigation it may undertake.

The Consumer Credit Act, 1995, as amended, does not contain a provision for the authorisation or supervision by the Central Bank of a "mortgage lender". Certain firms which take deposits and which act as a "mortgage lender" require an authorisation from the Central Bank as a "retail credit firm" (non-deposit taking lender that provides credit in the form of cash loans to individuals in the State) pursuant to the provisions contained in Part V of the Central Bank Act, 1997, as amended. However, the regime for the authorisation and supervision of a "retail credit firm" only came into effect in Irish law on 1 February 2008. Prior to this date, firms which operated as a non-deposit taking lender did not require any authorisation.

There are a number of exclusions contained in the definition of a "retail credit firm" which certain firms may be in a position to avail of and, as such, certain firms are excluded from the requirement to become authorised as a "retail credit firm" by the Central Bank. The Central Bank has also informed me that the Bank has a number of roles and responsibilities with respect to the operation and enforcement of Part IX (Housing Loans made by Mortgage Lenders) of the Credit Consumer Act 1995. For example, the Central Bank authorises "mortgage intermediaries" for the purposes of that Act. In addition, the Bank is responsible for enforcing various provisions contained in that Part. The Consumer Credit Act 1995 is a "designated enactment" with the result that those "regulated financial service providers" for the purposes of the Central Bank Act 1942 with respect to Part IX of that Act may be subject to the Bank's administrative sanctions regime.


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