Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 592-607
 Header Item Ministerial Adviser Appointments
 Header Item Consultancy Contracts Issues
 Header Item Ministerial Staff
 Header Item Consultancy Contracts Issues
 Header Item Ministerial Adviser Code of Conduct
 Header Item Ministerial Transport
 Header Item Departmental Reports
 Header Item Job Creation
 Header Item Work Permit Applications
 Header Item Labour Court Recommendations
 Header Item Employment Rights Issues
 Header Item Departmental Agencies
 Header Item Departmental Staff Recruitment
 Header Item Enterprise Support Services Provision
 Header Item Enterprise Support Services Provision

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. 592-607

Ministerial Adviser Appointments

 592. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton 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 this was granted; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37496/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The following table outlines the names and salary details of the two Special Advisors appointed by me as Minister for Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation.   There are no further Ministerial advisers appointed in my Department.

Position Name Annual Salary
Special Adviser Mr. Ciaran Conlon €127,000
Press Adviser Mr. Conor Quinn €83,337
In line with the Guidelines for Ministerial Appointments, sanction for a higher rate of salary for Special Advisers may be granted by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, with the agreement of the Minister for Finance.

  In light of Mr. Conlon’s experience and qualifications, and given the wide range of issues dealt with by my Department and the key role played by Mr. Conlon as my Adviser, my Department wrote to the Department of Finance in April, 2011 requesting the sanction of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to the appointment of Mr. Ciaran Conlon as my Special Adviser at a rate of €127,000. Sanction was obtained from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and Mr. Conlon was appointed to the post of Special Adviser with an annual salary of €127,000. He has received no subsequent increase.

Consultancy Contracts Issues

 593. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton 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.  [37512/12]

 596. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton 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.  [37561/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I propose to take Questions Nos. 593 and 596 together.

  Tables 1, 2 and 3 provide details of the costs associated with the external public relations and consultancy persons and organisations used by my Department, and the names of the individuals / firms involved, in the period specified by the Deputy. Just one of the companies listed, Barberry Limited, relates to PR and communications consultancies.

Table 1: DJEI External PR & Consultancy Payments – Jan-Aug 2012
Name of Company/Payee Cost (€)
Deloitte & Touche €86,100
Ward Solutions (ICT Consultancy) €16,590
SIRA Consulting BV* €34,000
Version 1 €147
Ward Solutions €14,111
Kilroys Solicitors € 2,499
AD Little €30,000
SIRA Consulting BV* €32,000
Paul O'Higgins €1,230
Philip Rahn €6,365
Shelley Horan €566
Capita Asset Services (Ireland) Limited €159,535
The Access Expert €1,148
Brendan Moran €1,845
Barberry Ltd, (trading as Keating & Associates) €4,161
A & L Goodbody €69,047
Table 2: DJEI External PR & Consultancy Payments 2011
Name of Company/Payee Cost (€)
IKEN Software €4,532
Four Point Software Development €26,069
UCD (Dr Frank Walsh) €15,000
Mason, Hayes and Curran €7,000
Capital for Enterprise Limited €72,074
Capital Assets Services Limited €103,763
Kilroys Solicitors €9,231
Rits (ICT Consultancy) €15,452
IBM (ICT Services) €10,239
Maxima Ireland (ICT Consultancy) €8,276
DNM Technology €7,623
Reidy Brophy Limited €3,570
The Access Expert €5,770
Sia Management Group €15,089
John Travers €36,905
Fitzpatrick Associates- Economic Consultants €15,730
Connolly Lowe €8,963
Remy Farrell €545
Una Ní Raifeartaigh €1,210
Una Ní Raifeartaigh €4,840
Karole Cuddihy €968
Una Ní Raifeartaigh €454
Barberry Ltd (trading as Keating & Associates) €18,770
Greater Heights Ltd €15,645
Mairéad Carey €7,889


Table 3: DJEI External PR & Consultancy Payments 2010
Name of Company/Payee Cost (€)
John Travers €24,805
SIRA Consulting BV €9,950
SIRA Consulting BV €8,531
Capgemini Consulting €4,963
Jacobs and Associates €3,300
Connolly Lowe €12,778
Caroline Costello €424
Paul Anthony McDermott €3,933
Brian Murray €5,288
Paul O'Higgins €3,933
Nessa Cahill €1,892
Tom Mallon €557
Brian Murray €4,564
Cyril O' Neill €2,056
Remy Farrell €424
Remy Farrell €333
Paul Anthony McDermott €1,210
Paul O'Higgins €1,210
Catherine Donnelly €4,235
Remy Farrell €3,237
Horwath Bastow Charleton €1,252
Nessa Cahill €3,896
Eoghan O’Briain €8,785
Barberry Ltd, (trading as Keating & Associates) €29,011
Brendan Moran €3,085
LHM Casey McGrath €55,575
Kilroys Solicitors €7,213
Rits €4,847
Version 1 €9,518
Bearing Point €9,680


  * These amounts are in respect of an interdepartmental project managed by DJEI. A number of Departments contributed funds to pay for the project but DJEI was not a contributor.

Ministerial Staff

 594. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton 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.  [37529/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The following tables outline the gross annual salary costs for my private and constituency offices at present; the same figures for this time last year; and the same figures for all Ministers of State in my Department. Table 1 outlines the gross annual salary costs for my private and constituency office at 7 September 2011 and 7 September 2012. Tables 2 and 3 outline the annual salary costs for each Minister of State’s Office in my Department, for the same dates. These figures relate to gross annual salary costs only and do not include any overtime that may have been payable.

 Table 1

Office Gross Annual Salary Costs

7th September, 2011
Gross Annual Salary Costs

7th September, 2012
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Private Office

€602,583.86

Constituency Office

€136,390.62
Private Office

€565,589.06

Constituency Office

€139,769.22
 

Table 2
Office Gross Annual Salary Costs

7th September, 2011
Gross Annual Salary Costs

7th September, 2012
Minister of State for Research & Innovation Private Office

€216,331.11

Constituency Office

€141,477.40
Private Office

€216,528.06

Constituency Office

€118,031.75


 Table 3
Office Gross Annual Salary Costs

7th September, 2011
Gross Annual Salary Costs

7th September, 2012
Minister of State for Small Business Private Office

€230,744.01

Constituency Office

€102,147.42
Private Office

€229,456.64

Constituency Office

€145,022.43

Consultancy Contracts Issues

 595. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he will detail in tabular form the amount paid for 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.  [37545/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The total spend of my Department and the Offices of my Department on External Public Relations and Communications Consultants; the reasons for the payment and the name of each organisation used since February 2011 to date is as follows:

Year Name of Consultant/Organisation Purpose Cost
2011 Barberry Limited; trading as Keating & Associates To provide NERA with Communication Services; including PR; media monitoring; advising on the design; content and production of reports & brochures and assisting with website content. €18,770
YTD 2012 Barberry Limited; trading as Keating & Associates To provide NERA with Communication Services; including PR; media monitoring; advising on the design; content and production of reports & brochures and assisting with website content. €4,161

  Question No. 596 answered with Question No. 593.

Ministerial Adviser Code of Conduct

 597. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton 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.  [37577/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton 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 Code.

Ministerial Transport

 598. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the amount spent by his Department on drivers and ministerial transport since February 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37593/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The following table sets out the amounts spent by my Department in respect of both the salaries and expenses of the six civilian drivers employed at my Department and the mileage expenses incurred by me as Minister and by the Ministers of State of my Department since taking office:

Office of Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Payments to 31st August 2012
Drivers Salary Costs incl. Employer PRSI 98,985.11
Drivers Subsistence 1,111.32
Ministerial mileage expenses 10,227.23
Total 110,323.66
Office of Minister for Small Business Payments to 31st August 2012
Drivers Salary Costs incl. Employer PRSI 107,929.90
Drivers Subsistence 25,476.00
Ministerial Mileage expenses 43,683.45
Total 177,089.35
Office of Minister for Research and Innovation Payments to 31st August 2012
Drivers Salary Costs incl. Employer PRSI 105,853.08
Drivers Subsistence 17,550.24
Ministerial mileage expenses 29,608.22
Total 153,011.54

Departmental Reports

 599. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton 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.  [37625/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Details of the expenditure associated with the external reports commissioned by my Department since January 2011, and of the consultants engaged, are set out in the following tables. Details for 2009 to Sep 2010 are included for comparative purposes.

  Jan – August 2012

Name of Company/Payee Cost (€)
Deloitte & Touche €30,900
Version 1 €147
Deloitte & Touche €41,200
Ward Solutions €14,111
Achilles Procurement Services Ltd €2,706


  2011
Name of Company/Payee Cost (€)
John Travers €36,905
Capital for Enterprise Ltd. €59,565
Fitzpatrick Associates Economic Consultants €15,730
UCD (Dr Frank Walsh) €15,000
Greater Heights Ltd €15,645
Rits €7,093
Maxima Ireland €8,276


  2010 (Jan – Sept)

Name of Company/Payee Cost (€)
Vision 1 Consulting Ltd €9,317
University of Limerick/NERA Nil

(Work carried out as part of a Masters programme by a NERA staff member with University of Limerick.)
University of Limerick/NERA Nil

(Work carried out as part of a Masters programme by a NERA staff member with University of Limerick.)
Forfás €12,046
Fidelma White,

Law Department, UCC
€14,000
Finbar Flood €20,000

(Total cost, including a payment in 2009, was €40,000)
LHM Casey McGrath €50,735


  2009
Name of Company/Payee Cost (€)
Peter Cassells

€20,000

(Total Cost, including a payment in 2010, was €40,000)
Version 1 €7,560
Version 1 €10,328
Forfás €8,581
KPMG €209,564

(Paid for by Forfás.)
Competition Authority Cost borne by the Competition Authority
Contractauditline (CAL) €9,800

Job Creation

 600. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he will provide an update on grants or further assistance that is available to small businesses on the northside of Dublin.  [37729/12]

 608. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he will provide an update on jobs proposals for an area (details supplied) in County Dublin.  [38050/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I propose to take Questions Nos. 600 and 608 together.

  When we launched the Action Plan for Jobs in February, we stated very clearly that there was no ‘big bang’ solution to the jobs crisis, and that what was needed was a determined, step-by-step implementation of our Plan to rebuild the economy and create jobs. We are making solid progress and have already put in place a number of measures which will make a practical difference in making it easier for businesses to grow and create jobs.

  The Action Plan for Jobs addresses many of the concerns of small business through specific national initiatives which will benefit small businesses across the country, including those areas of particular interest to the Deputy. In particular, two pro-jobs finance measures targeting companies of different sizes will go “live” by the end of this month, as follows: the €90m Micro Finance Loan Scheme targeting micro-enterprises and the €450m Credit Guarantee Scheme, targeting SMEs.

  The Micro Finance Loan Scheme will initially facilitate €40m in additional lending to businesses employing not more than 10 people over the next five years, with provision for the scheme to be extended to provide an additional €50m of lending over a further five years at that point. Start-ups, sole traders and existing micro-enterprises will be eligible to apply for a loan under the Scheme.

  The Credit Guarantee Scheme will facilitate €150m per annum in additional lending for SMEs who, because of a lack of collateral or because of the sector they operate in, face difficulties in accessing traditional bank credit.

  The Agencies under my Department are also rolling out their plans of support for businesses on the North side. Enterprise Ireland is actively promoting entrepreneurship in Dublin and provides a range of enterprise programmes and other initiatives to approximately 500 companies on the North side to ensure that emerging technologies and business ideas with export potential are supported to become a commercial reality.

  There are currently 1,290 Enterprise Ireland client companies in Dublin City and Fingal County, employing over 27,000 people in full-time employment and almost 5,600 people in contract or part-time jobs. In 2011, Enterprise Ireland paid out €21.5m in funding to client companies in Dublin City and €4.6m to companies in Fingal. To date in 2012, the agency has paid out almost €11m to companies in the areas covered by Dublin City and Fingal.

  In February this year, Enterprise Ireland launched a new Community Enterprise Centre (CEC) Programme for the maintenance or establishment of a strong business development function in Community Enterprise Centres funded by the agency. Since the foundation of the first CEC Programme in 1989, Enterprise Ireland has paid out more than €2.4m in funding to six Community Enterprise Centres on the North side of Dublin, two of which are based in Coolock and Darndale.

  'New Frontiers’ , Ireland’s largest entrepreneur development programme, was also launched in February 2012. New Frontiers is funded and coordinated by Enterprise Ireland and provides €4.25m in funding to enable the Institutes of Technology to deliver the programme at a local level. The core element of New Frontiers is a six-month intensive programme which will focus on developing the person’s entrepreneurial abilities, equipping them with the skills they need to run, and crucially develop, sustainable businesses. On Dublin’s North side, DCU is involved in delivering the programme, in conjunction with Dundalk Institute of Technology.

  On 7th July 2012, I announced the establishment by Enterprise Ireland of a €250,000 Competitive Feasibility Fund. The Fund is open for applications until 4th September 2012, and is part of a drive to boost the number of innovative, export-oriented businesses being set-up and led by female entrepreneurs.

  Dublin City Enterprise Board and Fingal County Enterprise Board support enterprise development and job creation throughout the North side of Dublin, through the provision of both direct and indirect assistance for small business. Hundreds of companies will benefit from start-up grants, mentoring and management development training.

  IDA Ireland, in accordance with its strategy of securing high-quality foreign direct investment (FDI) for Ireland, continues to promote Dublin and its surrounding areas as a Metro Region, that is, a region with a population in excess of one million inhabitants that has a critical mass in terms of skills, infrastructure, companies, business services etc. This strategy has been very successful as Dublin is recognised as one of Europe’s leading business locations and is home to many of the world’s leading companies such as Google, eBay, PayPal, Pfizer, and IBM, amongst others. There are 492 IDA Ireland client companies in Dublin employing almost 52,000 people in permanent full time employment and more than 5,075 people in other positions.

Work Permit Applications

 601. Deputy Nicky McFadden Information on Nicky McFadden Zoom on Nicky McFadden asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if persons (details supplied) in County Westmeath will have valid work permits approved so that they can return to their jobs; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37733/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton Officials in my Department have advised me that the persons named by the Deputy were not in possession of a current employment permit at the time of their employment as set out in this instance. I should point out that under the terms of the 2003 and 2006 Employment Permit Acts non EEA nationals in full time employment are obliged to hold a current employment permit as well as other relevant permission from the Department of Justice and Equality to work in the State.

In terms of consideration of employment permit applications the terms and requirements of the Employment Permit Acts and EU Community preference obligations prescribe that preference is given to the employment needs of Irish and EU citizens. Therefore our Employment Permit regime requires employers to advertise employment vacancies both nationally and across the EU.

Furthermore, due to the significant recent increase in the number of unemployed people in Ireland, the job categories eligible for employment permits has been restricted in recent years so as to ensure that all possible employment opportunities are provided to the unemployed. Exceptions are made where skills are in shortage and where continuing shortages would damage our economy. Finally, eligibility is also based on salary levels as this is indicative of the scope and importance of the skills requirement and also helps to minimise possible impact on State supports. While employment permits may be sought in respect of those named by the Deputy I would advise that applicants consider the above factors in preparing employment permit applications.

Labour Court Recommendations

 602. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he will supply a list of all Labour Court recommendations that have been issued in respect of his Department and organisations under his aegis that have not been complied with in full; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37756/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton On 19th July 2012, the Labour Court issued a Recommendation in relation to sick leave provisions that apply in Government Departments and Offices. I understand that the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, as the coordinating Department for matters such as these, will shortly issue a circular to my Department and others in which revised sick leave provisions, in compliance with the Recommendation, will be clarified. It would be my Department’s intention to ensure that the provisions of this circular are communicated to all agencies under its aegis. I am not aware of any other Labour Court recommendations in relation to my Department that fall to be implemented but if the Deputy has any specific instance in mind, I would be happy to follow up on the matter.

Employment Rights Issues

 603. Deputy Brendan Ryan Information on Brendan Ryan Zoom on Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton further to Parliamentary Question No. 275 of 19 June 2012 if he will confirm his plans to carry out an independent inquiry as recommended by the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association; if such an inquiry will be open and transparent; and if he will make a priority of this matter.  [37814/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton In 2010, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (and IMPACT acting on behalf of their airline pilot members in Ryanair) submitted a complaint to the Committee on Freedom of Association of the International Labour Organisation that Ireland was not, in several respects, in conformity with the provisions of ILO Convention No. 98 - Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention, 1949.

In its findings, the ILO Committee did not uphold any of these complaints but raised a number of concerns, reflected in three recommendations, as follows:

a) As the information available to the ILO Committee is insufficient to determine whether the alleged offer by Ryanair of conditional benefits to employees provided that the company would not be required to enter into a collective bargaining relationship with the union, the Committee requests the Government to ensure that the protection available against anti-union discrimination would adequately cover such acts, including through a thorough review of the protective measures with the social partners concerned.

b) The Committee requests the Government to carry out an independent inquiry without delay into the alleged acts of employer interference in order to establish the facts of this specific case and, if necessary, to take the necessary measures to ensure full respects of the principles of freedom of association.

c) Noting the commitment on collective bargaining in the Programme for Government, the Committee invites the Government, in full consultation with the social partners, to review the existing framework and consider any appropriate measures, including legislative, so as to ensure respect for the freedom of association and collective bargaining principles set out in its conclusions, including through the review of the mechanisms available with a view to promoting machinery for voluntary negotiation between employers’ and workers’ organisations for the determination of terms and conditions of employment.

I welcome the fact that the ILO report did not find Ireland to be in breach of its obligations under ILO Conventions in respect of collective bargaining rights. Neither did the ILO find that a resolution of the difficulties arising over the Ryanair judgement would require the introduction of a legal regime of mandatory trade union recognition.

Accordingly, recommendations (a) and (c) have been accepted and will be addressed in the context of the commitment in the Programme for Government to reform the current law on employees’ right to engage in collective bargaining (the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2001), so as to ensure compliance by the State with recent judgements of the European Court of Human Rights.

As regards the Committee’s recommendation for an independent enquiry, the Ryanair case has been litigated to a conclusion. In light of the judgment of the Supreme Court, it was open to the parties to resume the hearing before the Labour Court or, indeed, to make fresh complaints to the Labour Court. However, it would be constitutionally inappropriate for the Government to reopen matters by seeking to establish facts that were not established before the courts and a fortiori to take measures that the courts did not take.

In addition, the power of the Government to undertake an inquiry is contained in section 38(2) of the Industrial Relations Act 1990, which allows the relevant Minister to request the Labour Relations Commission or the Labour Court or another person or body to conduct an inquiry where the Minister is of the opinion that a particular trade dispute is a dispute of special importance. However, in this case, the Supreme Court has determined that it had not been established that there was a trade dispute. This precludes the Minister from requesting an inquiry under section 38(2) of the 1990 Act. Accordingly, this recommendation has not been accepted. I have advised the International Labour Organisation of our position on the recommendations.

Departmental Agencies

 604. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the current position regarding the merger of the National Consumer Agency and the Competition Authority into the new National Consumer Agency; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37820/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The draft heads of the Consumer and Competition Bill which provides, inter alia, for the merger of the National Consumer Agency and the Competition Authority were approved by Government in July 2011. The heads are currently with the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel for drafting and I expect to publish the Bill later this year.

Departmental Staff Recruitment

 605. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the position regarding recruiting persons with a disability; the number of persons currently employed in his Department; the number of persons with a disability who have been employed since 1 January 2011 to date in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [37840/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton My Department as a public service employer has a legal obligation under the Disability Act 2005 to report each year on the number and percentage of employees with disabilities. In order to build an accurate record of the number of staff with disabilities, in accordance with the legal definition in the 2005 Act, every employee, whether or not they have any impairment or disability, is asked to complete a census form and return it, in confidence, to the nominated person. While public bodies have a statutory obligation to report, there is no obligation on employees to disclose if they have a disability.

  At 31st December 2011, My Department had 818 employees. Of these, 54 declared that they had a disability. This represents 6.6% of the Departments Staff. The Labour Relations Commission which is an Office of my Department was reported on separately. At 31st December the LRC had 50 employees, 5 of whom had declared they had a disability. This represents 10% of the employees of the LRC. All staff of the Department are recruited through the Public Appointments Service, which occasionally administers competitions specifically for persons with disabilities. However, there has been no such recruitment since 2009 due to the moratorium.

Enterprise Support Services Provision

 606. Deputy Paudie Coffey Information on Paudie Coffey Zoom on Paudie Coffey asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the number of businesses in County Waterford to have requested assistance from the new potential exporters division in Enterprise Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [38003/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton As part of the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs 2012, Enterprise Ireland’s new Potential Exporters Division provides a wide range of initiatives focussed on helping companies export more. The ‘Get Export Ready’ programme includes practical measures for early exporters focusing on export readiness, the importance of research, developing a value proposition and the skills of export selling. It supports and helps to prepare companies interested in targeting international markets to confront the challenges that any company faces as it prepares to export. Approximately 80 companies from Co. Waterford have sought assistance from the Potential Exporters Division since the beginning of March 2012, when the Division was established. These include calls to the help desk, attendees at Export Awareness Events and participants at the Exploring Exporting Workshops.

Enterprise Support Services Provision

 607. Deputy Paudie Coffey Information on Paudie Coffey Zoom on Paudie Coffey asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the number of businesses in County Waterford which have applied for and which have been awarded a competitive start fund worth €50,000; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [38004/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton A key focus of Enterprise Ireland’s strategy is the commitment to increase the number of new High Potential Start-up companies approved annually from 73 in 2009 to 100 in 2013. To contribute to achieving this objective, Enterprise Ireland launched a new competitive programme called the “Competitive Start Fund” in December 2010. The purpose of the Competitive Start Fund is to accelerate the growth of start-up companies that have the capability to succeed in global markets. The Competitive Start Fund provides support of up to €50,000 in equity matched by €5,000 of promoters equity to companies to test and prove product/market fit at an earlier stage of development.

This fund is open to applications from early stage companies from the following sectors: Internet, Games, Mobile, Apps, SaaS, Cloud Computing, Enterprise Software, Lifesciences, Cleantech and Industrial Products, who meet the relevant eligibility criteria. Since the launch of the Competitive Start Fund in December 2010, Enterprise Ireland has had over 800 applications across 7 calls with 100 companies receiving €50,000 of equity funding. To date, Enterprise Ireland have received applications from 12 businesses in Co Waterford with one company being approved €50,000. The next call for applications will open on September 26th 2012.


Last Updated: 06/05/2020 09:09:43 First Page Previous Page Page of 162 Next Page Last Page