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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 1021-1037
 Header Item Local Authority Charges Application
 Header Item Proposed Legislation
 Header Item Proposed Legislation
 Header Item Local Authority Housing Insurance
 Header Item Departmental Bodies
 Header Item Job Creation
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 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

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. 1021-1037

Local Authority Charges Application

 1021. Deputy Noel Grealish Information on Noel Grealish Zoom on Noel Grealish asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan further to Parliamentary Question No. 595 of 6 June 2012, if the household charge is a property tax rather than a charge for local services; if it is not a property tax, the reason the legislation says that certain buildings are not residential property for the purposes of section 2(2) of the Household Charge (Local Government) Act 2011. [37025/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan The household charge is a charge levied on the ownership of property.

The Local Government (Household Charge) Act 2011 and the Local Government (Household Charge) Regulations 2012 provide the legislation underpinning the household charge. Section 2(2) of the Act provides that certain buildings are not residential property for the purposes of the legislation. A building that is not a residential property for the purposes of the Act is not liable for the household charge.

Proposed Legislation

 1022. Deputy Gerald Nash Information on Gerald Nash Zoom on Gerald Nash asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the date on which he intends to publish the heads of a Bill in respect of climate change; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37026/12]

 1086. Deputy Kevin Humphreys Information on Kevin Humphreys Zoom on Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he intends to attend the Doha climate change conference in November 2012; if the heads of a Climate Change Bill will be published before the conference; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38207/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan I propose to take Questions Nos. 1022 and 1086 together.

The 18th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will take place in Doha, Qatar from 26 November to 7 December 2012. I plan to participate in the high-level Ministerial segment. As indicated in the Programme for development of national climate policy and legislation which I announced in January 2012, I intend to issue Heads of a Climate Bill by the end of this year.

Proposed Legislation

 1023. Deputy Brendan Ryan Information on Brendan Ryan Zoom on Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will confirm a date for the publication of the noise nuisance Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37027/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan The Programme for Government includes a commitment to take further steps to address noise pollution, inter alia, through the introduction of fixed payment notices (also known as on-the-spot fines) and provision for mediation procedures between neighbours. The development of new noise legislation by my Department will be considered in the context of this commitment; however, as indicated in the Government Legislation Programme being published today, 18 September 2012, it is not possible at this time to indicate when the legislation will be published, having regard to other priorities in the area concerned and the broader range of legislative priorities to be progressed across my Department’s remit.

Local Authority Housing Insurance

 1024. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if his attention has been drawn to a situation in which local authority tenants are unable to get house insurance because they are not owners of the dwelling; if his further attention has been drawn to the anomaly whereby local authority tenants are liable for non-structural damage including burst pipes but because they cannot get house insurance they are liable for severe costs should damage occur; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37028/12]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O'Sullivan): Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan Local authorities, as landlords and owners of their social housing stock, are responsible for the maintenance and repair of rented properties, including necessary repairs resulting from burst pipes. Local authorities insure their properties in respect of public liability and risk associated with structural damage resulting from fire, storm damage etc.

Tenants of rented properties are responsible for insuring contents and personal belongings. Local authorities provide advice to tenants in relation to insurance matters and assist residents associations and groups of tenants who wish to procure group rates from insurance providers. Credit unions and some insurance providers assist with group rates and payment by way of weekly or monthly instalments. My Department has no function in relation to property insurance or the regulation and oversight of insurance providers. That function falls within the remit of my colleague, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

Departmental Bodies

 1025. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the number of agencies, authorities, boards, committees, working groups, tribunals, council services, task forces, agencies or other quangos set up by his Department since February 2011; the number abolished since then; the extra cost of quangos which were established; the savings from the abolition of quangos; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37244/12]

 1026. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the estimated cost of each quango in his Department; the amount expected to be saved from the mergers of quangos in his Department; the basis for this figure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37260/12]

 1144. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the number of State bodies that have been set up since 9 March 2011; the rationale behind these decisions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39996/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan I propose to take Questions Nos. 1025, 1026 and 1144 together.

  Since March 2011 the following have been established by my Department:

- Three independent statutory Referendum Commissions, in accordance with the Referendum Act (1998);

- A Constituency Commission under the Electoral Act 1997 to review Dáil and European election constituencies;

- Local Government/Local Development Alignment Steering Group;

- Local Government Efficiency Review Implementation Group;

- Independent Group to review staffing levels in Cork City Council;

- Limerick Reorganisation Implementation Group;

- Tipperary Reorganisation Implementation Group;

- Waterford Local Government Committee;

- Historic Landfills Working Group;

- Waste Management Planning National Coordination Committee;

- Environmental Law Implementation Group;

- National Radon Strategy Group;

- Foreshore Advisory Group;

- National Co-ordination Committee on Unfinished Housing Developments;

- Joint Working Group on the transfer of Rent Supplement from the Department of Social Protection to this Department;

- Independent Panel to facilitate a resolution to the problem of pyrite;

- Local Authority Mortgage Arrears Guidance Group;

- Steering Group to oversee reform of the water sector;

- Inter-Departmental Group on Property Tax;

- Fix Your Street Review Group;

- The Local Government Audit Service & Office of the Comptroller & Auditor General Critical Review Group;

- The Private Residential Tenancies Board and the Property Services Regulatory Authority Critical Review Group;

- The Environmental Protection Agency and the Radiological Protection Institute of Ireland Critical Review Group;

- Steering group to oversee independent assessment being undertaken by consultants on the establishment of a tenancy deposit protection scheme;

- Steering group to oversee independent review by consultants of Part V of the Planning and Development Acts;

- Interdepartmental Committee on the Implementation of Green Tenders – An Action Plan on Green Public Procurement;

- A review Group for the Environmental Protection Agency presented its report to me in May 2011;

- An Independent Group to review staffing levels in Dublin City Council presented its report to me in July 2011;

- The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2012, which was recently passed by the Oireachtas, will facilitate my Department’s agency rationalisation programme, under which 21 agencies will be reduced to 11.

  The Local Government Management Services Board and the Local Government Computer Services Board have merged with the establishment of the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA). The LGMA will also take on the residual functions from An Chomhairle Leabharlanna, which will be dissolved. The Fire Services Council’s term of office expired on 30 June, 2009. The work of the Council was absorbed into the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management within the Department.

  The Limerick Regeneration Agencies were dissolved on 31 July and their functions taken over by the Office for Regeneration which has been established in Limerick City. The Regeneration Office has been set up with administrative support from Limerick City Council and reports directly to the new City/County Manager.

  The Housing and Sustainable Communities Agency (HSCA) was established in 2012. It rationalises the functions of the National Building Agency (NBA), the Affordable Homes Partnership (AHP) and the Centre for Housing Research (CHR). The AHP and the CHR have been closed down and the NBA ceased operating in June 2011.

  Comhar (Sustainable Development Council) was discontinued at the end of 2011 and its sustainable development role has been integrated into the work of the National Economic and Social Council (NESC).

  The Dormant Accounts Board will be dissolved by the end of 2012 when the Dormant Accounts (Amendment) Act, 2012 is commenced.

  The operations of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority (DDDA) will be wound up by the end of 2013. Under its recently appointed new Board, this   transitional period will allow the Authority to progress elements of on-going work and to make the necessary preparations for the migration to new arrangements, to be decided by the Government.

At the end of June 2012, the total staff number employed by State agencies under my Department’s aegis was 768.2 whole time equivalents (WTE), a reduction of 182.8 WTE (19%) as compared to 951 at end 2008. The payroll savings associated with these staff reductions are estimated to be of the order of €9.74m.

  The LGMA is financed by way of a levy on local authorities which reduced from €13.9m in 2008 to €11.4m in 2011, a reduction of €2.5m (18%). The new library unit in the LGMA, to replace An Chomhairle Leabharlanna, will operate with five staff while An Chomhairle had an original staff complement of eighteen. The dissolution of An Chomhairle Leabharlanna could provide a benefit to the State through the vacation of their Dublin city-centre headquarter buildings.

  The NBA headquarters was sold in March 2012 for €2.84 million.

  The agency rationalisation/efficiency agenda will be kept under review, taking account of the Public Service Reform Plan, insofar as other agencies under my Department’s aegis are concerned.

  Information on the projected expenditure for Exchequer funded agencies under the aegis of my Department is published in the Revised Estimates for Public Services 2012. The summary table of Exchequer expenditure of non-commercial State agencies shows the provisional outturn for 2011 and the estimated expenditure for 2012.

Job Creation

 1027. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the number of new jobs created by his Department as a result of the jobs initiative; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37276/12]

 1028. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the number of new jobs created by his Department as a result of the action plan on jobs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37292/12]

 1029. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the number of new jobs created by his Department as a result of budget 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37308/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan I propose to take Questions Nos. 1027 to 1029, inclusive, together.

  While neither my Department nor the agencies under its aegis including local authorities have a direct role in the creation of new jobs under the Action Plan for Jobs, it does have a key role in supporting and stimulating economic activity, and aims to safeguard and assist jobs growth, in particular within the context of a sustainable environment and the development of the Green Economy in Ireland. Furthermore the Rural Development Programme (LEADER) delivered under my Department, aims to improve the quality of life and support the diversification of economic activity in rural areas. The Rural Development Programme (RDP) supports a broad range of activities including support for the creation and development of micro-enterprises in rural areas. The RDP for Ireland 2007- 2013 has a substantial budget of almost €400m, which represents a significant lever to stimulate economic development in rural areas. Over the next 4 years, it is projected that the LEADER Programme will assist in the creation of up to 6,000 new jobs.

  In addition my Department's Local and Community Development Programme (LCDP), which commenced in January 2010, aims to tackle poverty and social exclusion through partnership and constructive engagement between Government and its agencies and people in disadvantaged communities. The Programme is underpinned by four high level goals, one of which, while not directly creating new jobs, is aimed at increasing peoples’ work readiness and employment prospects. In this regard, the table below outlines the number of individuals supported into employment and into self-employment in 2011 and the target for 2012.

          

LCDP 2012 Targets 2011 Outputs
Individuals supported into employment 966 1,121
Individuals supported into self-employment 4,647 5,042
Total 5,613 6,163


  Local authorities also have an important role in providing much of the physical and regulatory infrastructure essential to support enterprise and promote employment. They deliver essential services to business and are geared to respond to the needs of local communities, employers and entrepreneurs speedily and efficiently. Local authorities are very active in promoting the commercial and enterprise interests of their areas, working with other State agencies and local business across all areas that can benefit their local communities and the enterprise sector. Local authorities are acutely aware of the need to assist in the response to the jobs crisis at the local level, and assist and network with other agencies in the delivery of their responses to the crisis at the local level. It is in that context that achievement of measures in the Action Plan for Jobs – 2012 will assist in creating a pro-enterprise supportive environment to generate new jobs and sustain existing ones.

  My Department has no direct commitments in relation to the creation of new jobs in either the Jobs Initiative – May 2011 or Budget 2012. My Department’s commitments in the Action Plan for Jobs – 2012, in some instances in cooperation with other Departments, local authorities and agencies are in relation to Actions 1.17, 1.22, 1.23, 1.47, 6.5, 6.6, 6.8, 6.9 and 7.3.2. Progress to date has been reported in respect of Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 of 2012, but for the reasons set out above, numbers of jobs resulting have not been identified. I am advised that copies of the Action Plan for Jobs – 2012 and Progress Reports are available at www.djei.ie.

Departmental Expenditure

 1030. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the total amount spent on taxis by his Department since February 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37324/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan My Department has spent €40,102 on taxis since February 2011.

Departmental Staff Data

 1031. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan 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. [37340/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan The duties of the Press and Information Officer in my Department are undertaken by a Personal Assistant. The salary scale for a Personal Assistant to a Minister is €43,715 - €56,060. The Environmental Protection Agency employs one member of staff who is the primary media/press contact and who also has other duties at an annual salary of €54,329.

Appointments to State Boards

 1032. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the total number of board appointees he has made since he came to office; the names, salaries and expenses of each; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37356/12]

 1147. Deputy Gerald Nash Information on Gerald Nash Zoom on Gerald Nash asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the number of appointments that have been made to positions available on the boards of semi-State companies and statutory agencies following public advertisement; if he will provide details of the names of persons who have been appointed under this initiative and the agencies on which they now sit; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40034/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan I propose to take Questions Nos. 1032 and 1147 together.

  The information requested is outlined the following table.

Agency / Board Name of Appointee

(Chairperson highlighted)
Remuneration
An Bord Pleanála Dr. Mary Kelly (Chairperson) PPC Rate €189,474

(non-PPC Rate €180,000)
  Mr. Conall Boland (Deputy Chairperson) PPC Rate €138,387

(non PPC Rate €126,718)
  Ms. Mary MacMahon  PPC Rate €116,935 to

€127,588

(non PPC Rate €111,214 to €121,208)
  Mr. Michael Leary PPC Rate €116,935 to

€127,588

(non PPC Rate €111,214 to €121,208)
  Mr. Nicholas Mulcahy PPC Rate €116,935 to

€127,588

(non PPC Rate €111,214 to €121,208)
  Mr. Gabriel Dennison PPC Rate €116,935 to

€127,588

(non PPC Rate €111,214 to €121,208)
  Mr. Paddy Keogh PPC Rate €116,935 to

€127,588

(non PPC Rate €111,214 to €121,208)
Building Regulation Advisory Board Mr. Aidan O'Connor (Departmental representative) Nil
  Mr. Paul Kelly Nil
  Mr. Conor Taaffe Nil
Dormant Accounts Board Mr. Michael Morley (Chairperson) €8,978.00
  Mr. Des Gunning €5,985.00
Dublin Docklands Development Authority* Dr Niamh Brennan Nil
  Mr Niall Coveney €11,970.00
  Mr Dónall Curtin €11,970.00
  Ms Yvonne Farrell €11,970.00
  Mr Mark Griffin

(Departmental Representative)
Nil
  Mr Brendan Malone €11,970.00
  Ms Catherine Mullarkey €11,970.00
Dublin Docklands Development Authority* Dr. John Tierney (Chairperson)

Dublin City Manager
Nil
  Mr. Gerry Grimes €11,970.00
  Mr. Philip Matthews €11,970.00
  Ms. Lucy McCaffery €11,970.00
  Mr. Charlie Murphy €11,970.00
  Ms. Imelda Reynolds €11,970.00
  Mr. Michael Stubbs €11,970.00
  Mr. Frank Walsh €11,970.00
Environmental Protection Agency Ms. Laura Burke (Director General) PPC Rate €164,464

(non-PPC Rate €156,240)
Housing Finance Agency Dr. Michelle Norris

(Chairperson)
€11,970.00
  Mr. John Hogan (Department of Finance nominee) Nil
  Mr. Phillip Nugent

(Departmental representative)
Nil
  Ms. Jackie Maguire (CCMA Representative) Nil
  Mr. Colm Brophy €7,695.00
  Mr. Michael Murray €7,695.00
  Mr. Padraic Cafferty €7,695.00
  Dr. Mary Lee Rhodes €7,695.00
  Mr. Jim Miley €7,695.00
  Ms. Michelle Murphy Lawless €7,695.00
  Mr. Gerry Leahy €7,695.00
Irish Water Safety Ms. Breda Collins (Chairperson) €8,978.00
  Mr. John Considine Nil
  Mr. Michael Cuddihy Nil
  Mr. Tom Doyle Nil
  Mr. Brendan McGrath Nil
  Mr. Paul Murphy Nil
  Mr. Seamus O'Neill Nil
  Mr. Martin O'Sullivan Nil
  Ms. Anne Ryan Nil
  Ms. Lola O'Sullivan Nil
  Mr. Christy McDonagh Nil
  Mr. Tim O'Sullivan (Departmental representative) Nil
Housing and Sustainable Communities Agency Mr. Rich Howlin (Chairperson) €11,970.00
  Mr. John O'Connor Nil
  Mr. Eddie Lewis (Departmental representative) Nil
  Ms. Marie McLaughlin

(Department of Public Expenditure & Reform Representative)
Nil
  Mr. Peter Carey

County Manager

Laois County Council
Nil
  Ms. Ann McGuinness

Retired County Manager, Westmeath County Council
€7,695.00
Local Government Computer Services Board Mr. Eddie Breen

(Chairperson)

County Manager

Wexford County Council
Nil
  Mr. Michael Malone

County Manager

Kildare County Council
Nil
  Mr. Barry Quinlan (Departmental representative) Nil
  Mr. Enda Holland

(Department of Public Expenditure & Reform Representative)
Nil
Local Government Management Services Board Mr. Eddie Breen (Chairperson)

County Manager

Wexford County Council
Nil
  Mr. Donal Enright

(Departmental representative)
Nil
  Mr. Michael Malone

County Manager

Kildare County Council
Nil
  Mr. Barry Quinlan (Departmental representative) Nil
National Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee Mr. Tom Coughlan

County Manager

Clare County Council
Nil
Private Residential Tenancies Board Mr. Tim Ryan **
  Ms. Tricia Sheehy Skeffington **
  Ms. Paula O’Reilly

(Departmental representative)
Nil
Radiological Protection Institute Ireland Professor William Reville (Chairperson)

Professor of Biochemistry UCC (Retired)
€11,970.00
  Dr. Paraic James

Senior Lecturer, DCU
€7,695.00
  Dr. Maurice Fitzgerald

Dental Council
€7,695.00
  Dr. Patricia Cunningham

Consultant Radiologist
€7,695.00


  *The board of the Dublin Docklands Development Authority was reappointed from 1 May 2012 and replaced by a new board from 1 June 2012 which will continue in place until 31 December 2013.

  **Those members of the PRTB Board who are entitled to fees are paid such fees on an attendance basis only. Details regarding the scale of fees and the amounts paid are published in the annual reports of the PRTB.

  Reference to remuneration to chairs and members of Boards is to the level of fee to which they are entitled. Where public servants are appointed to Boards, no fees are payable.

  All appointments are made in accordance with the appropriate legislation governing appointments to each body. In considering applications due regard is had to Government policy regarding gender balance on State Boards.

  A number of different statutory processes are involved in appointments to State boards. In some cases statutory selection procedures must be followed or nominations must be sought from independent nominating panels before appointments are made by the Government or by the Minister. In a number of situations, only some appointments to the body concerned are made by the Minister, or appointments are made with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

  The Boards of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and An Bord Pleanala are executive in nature and members are employed on a full time salaried basis. The appointments as Chairperson of An Bord Pleanála and Director General of the EPA were made by Government following competitions held by the Public Appointments Service.

  The Housing and Sustainable Communities Agency (HSCA) was established on 1 August 2012 under the Housing and Sustainable Communities Agency (Establishment) Order 2012. I have the appointment of the Board of the HSCA, under consideration at present.

  The Dormant Accounts Board will be dissolved by the end of 2012 when the Dormant Accounts (Amendment) Act, 2012 is commenced.

  The following members were appointed to the Board of Pobal, a not-for-profit company under the aegis of my Department, by Government:

Mr. Séamus Boland (Chair)

Mr. Thomas Maguire

Mr. Liam Keane

Ms. Siobhan McLoughlin

Ms. Jennifer McHugh

Ms. Marie Hurley

Article 3 of the Articles of Association of Pobal requires me to consider nominations received from a list of stakeholders and the Social Partners defined by Government in 2005.

Departmental Expenditure

 1033. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan 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. [37372/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan My Department engaged the services of photographers on four occasions since February 2011. The details of the engagements are set out in the following table.

Event Photographer Cost
Irelands Best Kept Towns ceremony Maxwell Photography €932
Tidy Towns National Awards ceremony Maxwell Photography €600
Meeting of the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management Lensmen €302
Launch of Framework for Sustainable Development Maxwell Photography €485


  My Department’s Press Office generally provide photographic services when required.

Departmental Expenditure

 1034. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan 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. [37444/12]

 1035. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan 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. [37460/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan I propose to take Questions Nos. 1034 and 1035 together.

  A breakdown of expenditure on entertainment for official business purposes by my Department since the appointment of the Government is set out in the following table.

Description Amount
Meeting Expenses €38,825
Lunches €21,986
Evening Functions/Dinners/Receptions €8,300
Total €69,111


  These costs are primarily incurred in the day to day hosting of official meetings in respect of which the Department’s in-house catering facilities are substantially used. Further details of these costs, including the attendees at functions, are not readily available and, given the range of meetings conducted by my Department, would require a disproportionate amount of staff time and resources to compile. Staff are required to exercise the strictest economy when incurring entertainment costs, which are monitored in accordance with the provisions of Department of Finance Appendix of Circular 25/2000 Approved Expenditure Limits on Entertainment.

Departmental Expenditure

 1036. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan 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. [37476/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan My Department has not incurred any expenditure on hair and make-up since the formation of the Government in 2011.

Ministerial Adviser Appointments

 1037. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan 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 / Minister of State to whom he reports; the salary of each adviser now; the salary of each adviser at the time they were appointed; if any salary increase was asked for; if this was granted; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37492/12]

 1042. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan 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. [37573/12]

 1122. Deputy John Halligan Information on John Halligan Zoom on John Halligan asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the number of advisers currently employed by his Department; if his Department has employed new advisers; and if so, the costs involved. [37872/12]

 1146. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for the Environment; Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan 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. [40020/12]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan I propose to take Questions Nos. 1037, 1042, 1122 and 1146 together.

  Appointments of Special Advisers to my Department were made in accordance with the Instructions on Ministerial Appointments for the 31st Dáil and sanctioned by the Taoiseach and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, where appropriate.

  Details of numbers of Special Advisers employed, their salary on appointment and any increases in salary are set out in the following table.

Office Special Adviser Sanctioned Salary on appointment

Salary increases since appointment*

Minister Hogan Claire Langton 80,051 3,286
  Sean McKeown 92,672 None
Minister of State O’Sullivan Aidan Culhane 80,051 3,286


* In line with the Instructions on Ministerial Appointments for the 31st Dáil, both Ms. Langton and Mr. Culhane were appointed on the first point of the Principal Officer (Standard Scale). The increase in salary relates to increments awarded to them on the 1st   anniversary of their appointment, bringing them both to the second point of the Principal Officer (Standard Scale) Mr. McKeown was appointed on the maximum point of the Principal Officer (Standard Scale) in light of his particular employment/salary circumstances at the time of his appointment.

  Under the Public Service Management Act 1997 and in line with the Instructions on Ministerial Appointments for the 31st Dáil, Ministers of State who regularly attend Cabinet may appoint a maximum of two Special Advisers. In this regard Minister of State O’Sullivan, who regularly attends Cabinet, is currently arranging for the appointment of a second Special Adviser.   

  Section 5.4 of the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour excludes staff holding a temporary unestablished position 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. There is no obligation on me to know if my Special Advisers are members of a political party and there is no obligation on them to tell me. The same principle applies in relation to whether any of them have been elected to local authorities.

  Special Advisers appointed to my Department are required to perform any duties that may be assigned to them from time to time as appropriate to the position of Special Adviser as set out in Section 11 of the Public Service Management Act 1997. Their functions include the provision of advice and the monitoring, facilitation and provision of assistance in securing Government objectives that relate to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government.

  Minister of State O’Dowd has no Special Advisers assigned to his office in my Department.


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