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 Header Item Departmental Bodies Expenditure
 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 Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Ministerial Adviser Appointments
 Header Item Consultancy Contracts Issues
 Header Item Ministerial Expenditure
 Header Item Ministerial Advisers
 Header Item Ministerial Transport
 Header Item Rail Services
 Header Item Road Traffic Offences
 Header Item Road Improvement Schemes

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 774 No. 1

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Departmental Bodies Expenditure

 1883. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar 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. [37253/12]

 1884. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar 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. [37269/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar I propose to take Questions Nos. 1883 and 1884 together.

  Since my appointment as Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, six Public Bodies have been merged or abolished. No new Public Bodies have been established. 

  The merger of Dublin Tourism with its parent body  - Fáilte Ireland - is now complete, while Coaching Ireland is being subsumed into the Irish Sports Council. The Government decided in May 2012 that Shannon Development’s tourism functions should transfer to Fáilte Ireland. Planning and preparations for this transfer are underway.

  Dundalk Port Company was merged with Dublin Port Company on 12 July 2011. Tralee and Fenit Harbour Authority transferred to the control of Kerry County Council with effect from 1 October 2011.  Baltimore and Skibbereen Harbour and Kinsale Harbour transferred to the control of Cork County Council, while Arklow Harbour transferred to the control of Wicklow County Council, with effect from 1st January 2012. The  Board of Harbour Commissioners ceased to exist in each case.The current intention is that the last remaining harbour under the auspices of my Department, Bantry Bay, will be transferred to a more appropriate governance framework over the course of the next year. My Department is also currently engaged in a review of ports policy which will, inter alia, consider the issue of port company restructuring.

  The Public Service Reform Plan (http://reformplan.per.gov.ie/) sets out full details of all agencies, including those under the aegis of my Department, which are to be rationalised in 2012 and 2013 and also those which were subject to critical review. It is not possible to quantify the potential savings from rationalisation until the detailed arrangements in respect of each implementation have been worked through with the agencies in question.

  The funding provided to agencies under the aegis of my Department is set out in the Revised Estimates for Public Expenditure 2012 and can be found on the Department of Public Expenditure and reform website (http://per.gov.ie/estpubexp2012/)

Departmental Expenditure

 1885. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the total amount spent on taxis by his Department since February 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37333/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar My Department has a contract with National Radio Cabs for the provision of taxi services which are invoiced on a weekly basis. From February 2011 to end of August 2012 the amount paid to National Radio Cabs was €14,990. In addition to this expenditure Officers travelling on official business both at home and abroad may, where justified, avail of taxi services for which the costs are reclaimed in travel claims which mostly include other travel and subsistence expenses. An accurate figure in respect of these amounts spent on taxis cannot be generated by our travel claims system.

Departmental Staff Data

 1886. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar 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. [37349/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar There is one departmental press officer, who is employed at the Assistant Principal officer grade which is on a salary scale of €61,966 to €72,268. The total cost of press officers in the agencies under my Department is an operational matter for the agencies concerned. I have referred the Deputy’s query to the agencies concerned for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

Appointments to State Boards

 1887. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar 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. [37365/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar Full details of the procedures and appointments to the Boards under the aegis of  my Department are available on the Department's website at http://www.dttas.ie/StateBoardMembership.aspx.

Departmental Expenditure

 1888. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar 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. [37381/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar It is the policy of the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport that photography costs are kept to a minimum and services are provided in-house by staff.  Where services are contracted, best value is sought and a number of quotes are obtained. Services are contracted out on an exceptional basis only. Photography costs for the Department for the period January-June 2012 are set out on the Department's website: http://www.dttas.ie/feature.aspx?id=79. The costs are broken down by date, purpose of event, photographer, whether a press conference or photocall was involved, and so on.  Costs are updated on a quarterly basis for 2012.  Details of all photography costs incurred by the Department during the period 2008-2011 are already published on my Department's website and are also available through the link listed above.

Departmental Expenditure

 1889. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar 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. [37453/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar My Department  has not hired any entertainers since I came into office. The Department has no specific policy on the booking of entertainers but normal national procurement rules would apply.

Departmental Expenditure

 1890. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar 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. [37469/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar Excluding payments made in relation to the provision of canteen services in my Department the amount spent on food and drink from January, 2012 to August, 2012 was €11,210. Over half of the expenditure relates to the provision of light refreshments for meetings held in my Department (tea, water, coffee, biscuits, etc). A Minister or Minister for State will only be present at a fraction of such meetings. For context, there are about 500 employees in the Department. As the occasions on which such refreshments are provided are extensive it is not possible to provide comprehensive details of the occasions or those present.

Departmental Expenditure

 1891. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar 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. [37485/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar There has been no expenditure by my Department on hair and make-up since I came to office.

Ministerial Adviser Appointments

 1892. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar 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. [37501/12]

 1943. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar 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. [40027/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar I propose to take Questions Nos. 1892 and 1943 together.

  Mr Brian Murphy is my Special Adviser. His salary is €105,837 which is an increase from €80,051 granted on an exceptional basis as provided for the in the government decision on salary scales for special advisers, as he came from a position in the private sector in which he was considerably better paid than now.

  Mr. Nick Miller, my Press Adviser, is on an incremental salary scale. He is on a current salary of €83,337, which is the second pay point of the Principal Officer salary scale.  His salary on appointment was €80,051. No salary increase was requested.

  In addition, in lieu of appointing a Personal Assistant, I appointed Mr John Carroll as a Policy Adviser. Mr Carroll is on the same grade as a Personal Assistant and his salary is €48,520. No salary increase was requested.

  Minister Ring is advised by Mr. Paul Mc Grath. His appointment is on a pro bono basis.

Consultancy Contracts Issues

 1893. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar 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. [37517/12]

 1895. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar 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. [37550/12]

 1896. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar 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. [37566/12]

 1899. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar 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. [37630/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar I propose to take Questions Nos. 1893, 1895, 1896 and 1899 together.

  Details of consultancy payments for years up to and including 2011 are published on my Department's website http://www.dttas.ie/feature.aspx?id=8.  Details of other professional fees paid to date on items such as consultants, public relations, legal, ICT etc are being collated at present and will be available on my Department's website within the next ten working days.

Ministerial Expenditure

 1894. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar 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. [37534/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The full year salary cost in 2012 and similar figures for 2011 for my and the Ministers of States' private and constituency offices are set out in Tables 1 to 3 below. The 2011 salary costs are lower than the 2012 full year cost because fourteen Ministerial appointed staff were appointed after the formation of the Government in March 2011, with some not being in situ until May 2011. Therefore the figures for 2011 are not full year figures and are therefore not comparable with the 2012 figures.

  Both the private and constituency offices in my Department are staffed in line with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform guidelines.

TABLE 1 – Minister Varadkar Staffing 

Office Salary (2011 - March to Year End) - €’000 2012 annual salary €’000
Private 384 556
Constituency 145 146


TABLE 2 – Minister of State Ring Staffing
Office Salary (2011 - March to Year End) - €’000 2012 annual salary €’000
Private 169 251
Constituency 101 157


TABLE 3 – Minister of State Kelly Staffing
Office Salary (2011 - March to Year End) - €’000 2012 annual salary €’000
Private 205 186
Constituency 105 121
 

  Questions Nos. 1895 and 1896 answered with Question No. 1893.

Ministerial Advisers

 1897. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar 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. [37582/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar I have appointed special advisers to my office in accordance with the provisions of Section 11 of the Public Service Management Act 1997 which also sets out their functions within my Department.  The terms and conditions of employment are set out in their respective employment contracts. In that context, the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour forms part of their contract and the terms of the Ethics in Public Office and Standards in Public Office legislation also apply to their appointments. 

In relation to their political activities or affiliations, I am not in a position to give details as it is not open to me to request the appointees to provide such information. However, the Deputy should note that the restrictions that are imposed on civil servants engaging in political activity under Paragraph 5.4 of the Civil Service Code of Standards and Behaviour do not apply to Ministerial Staff holding temporary unestablished positions and whose tenure is coterminous with that of the relevant Minister. 

Ministerial Transport

 1898. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the amount spent by his Department on drivers and ministerial transport since February 2011; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37598/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The amount spent by my Department on drivers and Ministerial transport from February 2011 up until 31 August 2012 is as follows:

  Minister Varadkar

  Salaries for two drivers: €91,333.

  Subsistence paid to two drivers: €12,046.

  Mileage: €21,009.

  Total Spend: €124,388.

   

  Minister of State Kelly:

  Salaries for two drivers: €93,723.

  Subsistence paid to two drivers: €19,216.

  Mileage: €21,973.

  Total Spend: €134,912.

   

  Minister of State Ring:

  Salaries for two drivers: €91,630.

  Subsistence paid to two drivers: €21,446.

  Mileage: €33,452.

  Total Spend: €146,528

  Question No. 1899 answered with Question No. 1893.

Rail Services

 1900. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar his plans to resolve the situation regarding the lack of audible announcement on both DART and inter city rail services; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37655/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The issue raised is an operational matter for Iarnród Éireann. I have referred the Deputy's question to the company for direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

Road Traffic Offences

 1901. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan Information on Thomas P. Broughan Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the number of times in 2010, 2011 and to date in 2012 that penalty points will not be applied after a road traffic violation because the motorist involved did not hold an Irish driving licence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37682/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The following tabular statement provides details requested by the Deputy.

  Number of Penalty Points events not entered because driver did not hold an Irish driving licence.

Year Number
2010 24,303
2011 30,765
2012 (to end August) 17,374
Total 72,442

Road Improvement Schemes

 1902. Deputy Peter Mathews Information on Peter Mathews Zoom on Peter Mathews asked the Minister for Transport; Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar when money will be provided to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council to enable the Blackglen Road widening scheme to proceed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37691/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads in its area, is a statutory function of each road authority in accordance with the provisions of section 13 of the Roads Act, 1993.  Works on such roads are a matter for the relevant local authority to be funded from its own resources supplemented by State road grants.  The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded are also a matter for the local authority.

The National Roads Authority recently invited applications for funding in 2013 under the Specific Improvement Grants Scheme.  It is open to Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council to include this project among its applications when they are submitted in due course.  All applications will be considered having regard to the eligibility criteria, the need to prioritise projects, competing demands from other local authorities and the funding available for the scheme in 2013.  I will announce the 2013 regional and local road grant allocations early in the new year.


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