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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 359-383
 Header Item Public Procurement Tenders
 Header Item Public Procurement Tenders
 Header Item Expenditure Reviews
 Header Item State Bodies Expenditure
 Header Item Semi-State Bodies Dividends
 Header Item Regulatory Impact Assessment Numbers
 Header Item Public Procurement Tenders
 Header Item Departmental Bodies
 Header Item Pension Provisions
 Header Item Public Sector Pensions Expenditure
 Header Item Rural Social Scheme Applications
 Header Item Energy Usage
 Header Item State Visits
 Header Item Pension Provisions
 Header Item Action Plan for Jobs
 Header Item Water Levels
 Header Item State Bodies Expenditure
 Header Item Regulatory Impact Assessment Numbers

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 788 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 124 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 359-383

Public Procurement Tenders

 359. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin his views on correspondence (details supplied) regarding the centralised buying of goods; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1266/13]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin The Public Service Reform Plan published my Department in November 2011 identified procurement reform as a key instrument that can assist in maintaining the delivery of public services in an efficient manner.

The National Procurement Service (NPS) has put in place a number of national arrangements designed to secure better value for money from leveraging the public service’s buying power in relation to a range of goods and services that are commonly purchased across the public service. These national arrangements have benefits that include: cash savings; administrative savings from reduced duplication of tendering; greater purchasing expertise; improved consistency; and enhanced service levels. In order to increase the usage of the NPS arrangements and thereby secure best value for money, the Government decided that it should be mandatory for public service bodies to use specified national procurement arrangements. The categories subject to national procurement arrangements include: electricity; natural gas; stationery and office supplies; paper; ICT consumables; managed print services; print media advertising; and, motor vehicles. These national arrangements will secure best value for money and facilitate contracting authorities to maintain the delivery of services in the context of tighter budgetary constraints.

While the key reasons for reforming public purchasing is to enable the State to do more with less by aggregating procurement to secure better value for money, it is worth noting that such aggregation arrangements can be implemented in a manner that achieves value for money with a minimal negative impact, or indeed a positive impact, on SMEs. While a number of the categories of goods and services mandated national arrangements are suited to single supplier it should not be taken that single supplier frameworks are to be accepted as the norm. The greater use where appropriate of multi-supplier frameworks – for example the supply of managed print services- can address local supplier issues while also ensuring ongoing cost competitiveness of the framework itself. Such multi-supplier frameworks can also offer SMEs the opportunity to participate in national level contracts, thereby offering valuable reference work when competing for public procurement contracts in other jurisdictions.

In order to encourage greater SME participation the NPS over the past 3 years has conducted a targeted programme of education for suppliers who wish to learn more about doing business with the Irish Public Service. This programme consists of seminars, workshops and large scale 'meet the buyer' events hosted nationwide. In 2012 the NPS, working with InterTradeIreland, for the first time brought together a number of the lead Government agencies to create a programme of major events for the Island of Ireland. Attendees could also avail of educational seminars on a variety of topics ranging from the technicalities of public service procurement to procedures around consortia-building for SMEs. To date the NPS has facilitated workshops and presented at seminars to over 3,000 SMEs nationwide. Surveys conducted at these events have indicated a high degree of satisfaction among suppliers. Parallel with these events the NPS also works closely with business representative bodies such as ISME and IBEC to provide briefings for their members.

Public Procurement Tenders

 360. Deputy James Bannon Information on James Bannon Zoom on James Bannon asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin his plans to change the procurement legislation which prohibits smaller construction companies from tendering for projects in view of the fact that the criteria for tendering for the majority of contracts are based on each company's previous year's turnover; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1468/13]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin The assessment of a tenderer’s financial and economic standing is a key part of any procurement process because tenderers must have the necessary capacity to carry out a contract. Establishing the appropriate suitability criteria that are relevant and appropriate to a particular contract is, of course, a matter for the contracting authority concerned. This is because the contracting authority is in the best position to gauge the appropriate levels of financial capacity that are appropriate to the needs of that specific contract. My Department has developed specific national guidelines for contracting authorities in relation to minimum standards for suitability criteria for construction contractors interested in tendering for public works projects, published as part of the Capital Works Management Framework, which is available at www.constructionprocurement.gov.ie. In this regard, it is important to point out that there are no centrally imposed requirements for a minimum turnover. Such requirements would logically be developed on a case by case basis with reference to the specific needs of the contract.

  The Government recognises that the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector is very important to the economy and that public procurement can be a source of business for SMEs. In this regard, my Department has issued public procurement guidelines (Circular 10/10) to public bodies which are aimed at facilitating greater participation of SMEs in public procurement opportunities. In relation to suitability criteria, the guidelines stress that public bodies must ensure that any criteria/turnover levels set by them must be both justifiable and proportionate to the needs of the contract.

Expenditure Reviews

 361. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin if he will detail expenditure on health care as a percentage of total tax revenue and per capita from 1992 to 2012 [1890/13]

 362. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin if he will detail State expenditure on education care as a percentage of total tax revenue and per capita from 1992 to 2012. [1891/13]

 363. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin if he will detail Government expenditure on social protection care as a percentage of total tax revenue and per capita from 1992 to 2012. [1892/13]

 380. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin if he wil detail total Government expenditure as a percentage of total tax revenue and per capita from 1992 to 2012. [1893/13]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin I propose to take Questions Nos. 361, 362, 363 and 380 together.

  Details of Government expenditure, Health expenditure, Social Protection expenditure and Education expenditure in nominal terms and expressed as a percentage of tax revenue and on a per capita basis from 1992 to 2012 are detailed in the table below.

The Deputy might be interested to know that my Department hosts a databank website which contains a comprehensive set of data on public expenditure in Ireland. The material can be accessed through the following web address; http://databank.per.gov.ie/. Similarly, the Department of Finance hosts a comparable website with details of Exchequer Tax receipts and can be accessed at http://databank.finance.gov.ie/. In addition, the Central Statistics Office holds a wide variety of statistical data on their website   http://www.cso.ie/en/

1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011 2012
 
 
Total Government Expenditure 1, €m
16,640
18,144
19,364
20,584
22,560
23,699
25,355
28,092
31,014
36,017
39,975
43,045
45,696
50,746
56,143
62,929
68,721
75,869
68,984
75,894
67,029
Non voted 2, €m
3,613
3,966
3,990
3,883
4,111
4,836
4,819
5,202
5,083
4,709
4,157
4,663
4,938
5,860
6,360
6,305
6,423
12,821
8,549
18,512
11,674
Voted 3, €m
13,027
14,178
15,374
16,701
18,449
18,863
20,536
22,890
25,931
31,308
35,818
38,382
40,758
44,886
49,783
56,624
62,298
63,048
60,435
57,382
55,355
of which
 
Social Protection 4, €m
4,453
4,708
4,849
5,600
5,656
5,729
6,017
6,252
6,680
7,794
9,463
10,440
11,249
12,123
13,521
15,451
17,753
20,443
20,807
20,958
20,547
Health and Children 4, €m
2,293
2,609
2,953
3,128
3,137
3,637
4,125
4,831
5,656
7,077
8,353
9,303
10,069
11,821
13,012
14,980
16,039
15,973
15,135
14,611
14,470
Education 4, €m
2,026
2,278
2,547
2,631
2,800
3,163
3,460
3,724
4,233
4,791
5,390
5,865
6,597
7,218
7,897
8,705
9,295
9,356
9,741
9,193
9,034
                                         
Population 4
3,525,719
3,525,719
3,525,719
3,525,719
3,626,087
3,626,087
3,626,087
3,626,087
3,626,087
3,626,087
3,917,203
3,917,203
3,917,203
3,917,203
4,239,848
4,239,848
4,239,848
4,239,848
4,239,848
4,588,252
4,588,252
                                         
Social Protection Per Capita, €,000
1,263
1,335
1,375
1,588
1,560
1,580
1,659
1,724
1,842
2,150
2,416
2,665
2,872
3,095
3,189
3,644
4,187
4,822
4,907
4,568
4,478
Health & Children Per Capita, €,000
650
740
838
887
865
1,003
1,138
1,332
1,560
1,952
2,133
2,375
2,571
3,018
3,069
3,533
3,783
3,767
3,570
3,185
3,154
Education Per Capita, €,000
575
646
722
746
772
872
954
1,027
1,167
1,321
1,376
1,497
1,684
1,843
1,863
2,053
2,192
2,207
2,297
2,004
1,969
   
 
Tax 6, €m
11,314
12,322
13,758
14,392
15,897
18,124
20,480
23,565
27,072
27,925
29,294
32,103
35,581
39,254
45,539
47,249
40,777
33,043
31,753
34,027
36,646
Total Expenditure as a percentage of Tax
147%
147%
141%
143%
142%
131%
124%
119%
115%
129%
136%
134%
128%
129%
123%
133%
169%
230%
217%
223%
183%
Social Protection as a percentage of Tax
39%
38%
35%
39%
36%
32%
29%
27%
25%
28%
32%
33%
32%
31%
30%
33%
44%
62%
66%
62%
56%
Health & Children as a percentage of Tax
20%
21%
21%
22%
20%
20%
20%
21%
21%
25%
29%
29%
28%
30%
29%
32%
39%
48%
48%
43%
39%
Education as a percentage of Tax
18%
18%
19%
18%
18%
17%
17%
16%
16%
17%
18%
18%
19%
18%
17%
18%
23%
28%
31%
27%
25%


1. 'Total Government Expenditure' is the sum of central fund services, gross voted current expenditure and current expenditure from the social insurance fund and the national training fund as well as voted capital spending plus non-voted capital issues.

2. Non-Voted expenditure is expenditure paid directly from the Central Fund, predominantly for debt servicing costs and payments to the EU budget.

3. Gross voted expenditure is the current and capital expenditure of Government Departments, including both the expenditure financed through the Exchequer and that financed by appropriations-in-aid. It includes expenditure from the Social Insurance Fund and the National Training Fund. These figures are consistent with Table 1 from the Budgetary and Economic Statistics publication. Note that the figure for 2012 is taken from the end-December Exchequer Returns.

4. The figures for Social Protection, Health and Education are the Gross expenditure figures for each of the years 1992 - 2012. Social Protection includes payments made from the Social Insurance Fund. Education includes payments made from the National Training Fund and for consistency Health includes figures for the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

All the above data is available from the department of Public Expenditure & Reform's databank website http://databank.per.gov.ie/.

5. The population statistics are available from the CSO website at www.CSO.ie

6. These tax figures are available from the Department of Finance's databank website and include Excise Duty, Corporation Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Capital Acquisitions Tax (from 1999), Stamps, Income Tax, Value Added Tax, Motor Vehicle Duties (to 1997) and Levies. Note that the figure for 2012 is taken from the end-December Exchequer Returns.

State Bodies Expenditure

 364. Deputy Kevin Humphreys Information on Kevin Humphreys Zoom on Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin if he will provide, in tabular form, a list of the dividend received from each semi-State company from 2006 to 2012; if he will indicate in his reply which companies have not returned a dividend in that time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1913/13]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin The table below shows a list of commercial state companies and the dividends from each by the year received into the Exchequer.

 
2006€,000
2007€,000
2008€,000
2009€,000
2010€,000
2011€,000
2012€,000
Bord Gáis
9,079
8,361
27,941
38,187
30,251
33,091
23,814
Bord na Mona
3,850
8,035
12,249
4,994
3,296
4,115
2,375
ESB
68,770
63,386
123,010
77,869
89,718
73,167
68,840
Coillte
0
0
2,600
0
0
10,000
2,000
Dublin Airport Authority
0
0
0
19,400
0
0
0
Dublin Port Co
0
4,200
5,108
5,300
5,500
16,500
10,200
Port of Cork
0
0
0
0
0
634
359
Aer Lingus1
0
0
0
0
0
0
4,023
Total
81,699
83,982
170,908
145,750
128,765
137,507
111,611


1Government owns 25.4% shareholding

State companies who, for a variety of reasons, have not paid a dividend are shown on the table below.

Semi-State Companies not returning a dividend
Railway Procurement
IAA
EirGrid
RTÉ
TG4
VHI
Irish National Stud Company
Bord na gCon
Horse Racing Ireland
NORA
An Post
National Lottery
Raidió na Gaeltachta
Arramara Teoranta
CIE group (Bus Éireann, Luas, Iarnród Éireann, Bus Átha Cliath)
Harbours and Ports (Galway, Drogheda, Dun Laoghaire, Dundalk, New Ross, Shannon Foynes, Waterford, Wicklow)

Semi-State Bodies Dividends

 365. Deputy Kevin Humphreys Information on Kevin Humphreys Zoom on Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin if he will provide a breakdown of the projected dividends he expects to be remitted to the Exchequer from semi-State companies in 2013 and further to the budgetary documentation if he will indicate where the increased €100 million of dividends will come from; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1914/13]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin I have budgeted for receipts of €204m as Dividends from commercial State companies. While this represents a significant increase in the historically low dividend yield from commercial State companies relative to their current asset base, I believe it represents a reasonable expectation on behalf of the shareholders.

My officials are working, in conjunction with NewEra, to finalise details of the increased dividends, and it would be premature to give a breakdown at this point.

Regulatory Impact Assessment Numbers

 366. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin the number of regulatory impact assessments that have been carried out by his Department in the past twelve months and the list of regulatory impact assessments carried out within his Department in the past twelve months. [57765/12]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin I refer to the Deputy's parliamentary question regarding the number of Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIA’s) that have been carried out by my Department.

In the past twelve months my Department has completed one Regulatory Impact Assessment on the proposed Regulation of Lobbying Bill. This RIA is due to be submitted to Government shortly together with the General Scheme of the Bill.

Outline screening Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) was completed on the General Scheme of the Bills in the case of the Protected Disclosures in the Public Interest Bill and the Freedom of Information Bill. Final RIA’s are being prepared and when drafting of the Bills has been completed, both will be submitted to the Government for approval to publish.

  Question No. 367 answered with Question No. 354.

Public Procurement Tenders

 368. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin the number of contracts and value of contracts awarded to a company (details supplied) as part of Government procurement contracts. [57827/12]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin The information sought by the Deputy is not recorded centrally in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform for public contracts. Contracting authorities are currently only obliged to publish contract award notices on eTenders and the Official Journal of the EU (OJEU) for those contracts whose values exceed the EU thresholds. The current EU threshold for public works contracts is above €5 million; and for supplies and services above €130,000/€200,000 (Government Departments and Offices/Local and Regional Authorities and public bodies outside the Utilities sector). The majority of public contracts awarded fall below these thresholds and data on the companies to which they have been awarded is generally held only by the contracting authority concerned. In some cases contract award notices are published for contracts below these levels, although this is not obligatory.

  The National Procurement Service who administers the eTenders website www.etenders.ie has advised my Department that following a search of the eTenders website that the company, which is the subject of the Deputy’s question, was awarded a place on one framework agreement; however a place on a framework does not generally guarantee the award of a contract. Details of any awards under the framework to the company would be held by the contracting authority concerned.

  Question No. 369 answered with Question No. 354.

Departmental Bodies

 370. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin if he will provide in tabular form the number of agencies, bodies, boards, quangos or other entities, which are financed from, answerable to or established by his Department that have been abolished, merged or re-organised since this Government took office; the savings that have been realised since the changes were made; the level of staff reduction that has been achieved; if he will provide details of further agency reductions that he intends to pursue in 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57883/12]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin The radical streamlining of State Bodies was identified as a key deliverable of the Public Service Reform Plan which included 48 rationalisation measures to be implemented by the end of 2012, as well as a further 46 critical reviews to take place by the end of June 2012.

On 31 October 2012, I updated my cabinet colleagues in relation to the agency rationalisation programme, which included progress on the merger of the Commission on Public Service Appointments with the Ombudsman’s Office, which are under the aegis of my Department. I am glad to say that this merger has been completed and is legislated for in the Ombudsman Amendment Act. From the outset I have maintained that the real benefit from the rationalisation of State agencies will be a less crowded administrative landscape resulting in greater democratic accountability, less duplication of effort and clearer lines of responsibility. As this measure was completed on an administrative basis on 1 October 2010, any potential savings from the measure would have been taken into account in the overall consideration of the 2012 Revised Estimates for the CPSA and the Office of the Ombudsman and was reflected in their respective allocations.

Regarding the further rationalisation measures resulting from the critical review process and which are to be implemented in 2013, I refer the Deputy to PQ 51433/12 answered on Wednesday 21st November.

Pension Provisions

 371. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin the current length of time that any Senior Minister needs to be in office in order to qualify for a Ministerial pension; and if the same time schedule applies to Junior Ministers. [57903/12]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin The minimum service required to qualify for the minimum Officeholder's pension is 2 years in a qualifying office. The term 'qualifying office' refers to the offices of Taoiseach, Tánaiste, Minister, Minister of State, Attorney General, Ceann Comhairle, Leas Cheann Comhairle, Cathaoirleach, Leas-Chathaoirleach, and Leader of the Seanad. It should be noted that, under the Pensions Act 1990 (as amended), the minimum service requirement in all pension schemes to qualify for retirement benefits is 2 years.

Public Sector Pensions Expenditure

 372. Deputy Terence Flanagan Information on Terence Flanagan Zoom on Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin the position regarding public sector pensions (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57977/12]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin The Deputy will be aware that I replied to a previous question on 18 September 2012 as follows:

"The regular preparation and publication of actuarial assessments of public service pension costs is an important part of policy formulation and, in this regard, I believe that work should begin as soon as possible on a new actuarial assessment of public service pension costs, taking account of the recent significant changes in public service pay, pensions and numbers. Using the analysis in the 2009 Comptroller and Auditor General’s Special Report on Public Service Pensions, as a starting point, my Department will shortly discuss the most appropriate approach in this regard with that Office." My Department is in contact with the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General on how best to progress this important issue.

Rural Social Scheme Applications

 373. Deputy Michelle Mulherin Information on Michelle Mulherin Zoom on Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin the review of the rural social schemes that he has undertaken; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58010/12]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin As part of the range of expenditure reforms introduced over the past year, Focused Policy Assessments (FPAs) have been introduced as a new format for conducting short, streamlined evaluations of particular aspects of public service configuration and delivery. FPAs are designed to complement the broader range of evaluation tools available within the public service, including Value-for-Money & Policy Reviews, and will assist in maintaining the analytical momentum that was developed during the course of the 2011 Comprehensive Review of Expenditure. Part of the rationale for FPAs is to stimulate, and to a degree to challenge, thinking within the broader system of public administration about current issues in public policy, and as such the findings of FPAs are not intended to reflect necessarily my views as Minister or the position of Department of Public Expenditure & Reform more generally. Final decisions in particular policy areas will be made by Ministers, weighing all of the various inputs to the decision-making process.

As set out in the recent Expenditure Report 2013, a range of FPAs are currently underway within my Department, and one of these relates to the Rural Social Scheme. This FPA is being carried out by the Central Expenditure Evaluation Unit of my Department and I understand that it will be finalised over the coming weeks.

This particular FPA is examining a number of core policy evaluation criteria, namely the rationale underpinning the Scheme, the continuing relevance of the objectives of the Scheme, and to a lesser extent, the effectiveness of the Scheme. The methodology consists of review of programme documentation and previous evaluations, analysis of wider developments in related policy spheres and quantitative data analysis.

Energy Usage

 374. Deputy Dominic Hannigan Information on Dominic Hannigan Zoom on Dominic Hannigan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin if energy audits are carried out on public buildings; if so, the frequency of same; the way in which inefficiencies are remediated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58041/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brian Hayes): Information on Brian Hayes Zoom on Brian Hayes The Office of Public Works has been running a very successful staff energy awareness campaign in all large State buildings (>1000m2) since 2008. The programme entitled Optimising Power @ Work has achieved average energy savings of over 19% in 270 participating buildings/complexes. As part of this campaign there are a number of different types of energy audits carried out in each building.

  The first audit is a preliminary energy audit. The purpose of this is to identify any areas of energy wastage in the building which can quickly be eliminated without significant investment e.g. checking that heating system time schedules are suitable for actual building occupancy, identifying unoccupied areas where artificial lighting is left on, etc. Some of the remedies can be implemented immediately by changing control settings, while others require low-cost capital investment e.g. installing automatic controls on lighting. A priority list of recommendations is prepared for each building and these are implemented in order of fastest payback. Typically a preliminary energy audit is carried out every 2 years in each building.

  A “Night-time Energy Audit” is also carried out in each building. This is a detailed survey which identifies each component of the night-time energy consumption that is running unnecessarily, when the building is unoccupied e.g. office equipment, lighting, air conditioning, etc. The results of these audits are presented to staff from the dedicated energy team that has been established in each building. Staff are encouraged to “switch-off” all unnecessary equipment. The results are monitored by analysing the corresponding reduction in the night-time energy consumption. The savings are maintained by continually monitoring the consumption to ensure that it does not begin to return towards pre-audit levels.

  A “Building Management System (BMS) Audit” is also carried out (typically on an annual basis) in each building. The BMS is the system that controls the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in the larger buildings. Each BMS is checked to ensure that the time-schedules, set points and other control settings are correct and appropriate for the occupancy profile in each building. Where anomalies are identified, these are brought to the attention of the energy team and alterations are made.

  Comprehensive Energy Audits are carried out on targeted buildings. These buildings are selected on the basis of unsatisfactory annual energy performance when compared to similar buildings. Typically there are 25 buildings identified for “Intensive Intervention” at any one time in the campaign. As energy performance improves the list is revised and buildings are added/removed. In addition to the “intensive intervention” list, some larger more unusual complexes have also benefited from comprehensive energy audits. Recently these have been carried out in the Museum buildings for example Collins Barracks, Kildare St. and Turlough Park. These buildings have very specific requirements to maintain the environmental conditions necessary to preserve the collections. An in-depth energy audit to ensure that they were being operated in the most efficient manner possible was carried out. The audits identified areas for savings and these are currently being implemented.

State Visits

 375. Deputy Kevin Humphreys Information on Kevin Humphreys Zoom on Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin the amount spent by the Office of Public Works on refurbishment work on Dublin Castle in 2011 in preparation for the State visits of President Obama and Queen Elizabeth; if he will specify the nature of the works, where they occurred in the Castle, and the amount spent in each area; if any of this work had to be redone or changed during the 2012 refurbishment of the printworks; and if he will outline the specifics of the refurbishment work carried out in 2012 on the printworks conference facility; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58141/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brian Hayes): Information on Brian Hayes Zoom on Brian Hayes The provision of a dedicated media facility in the former ‘Print Works’ area of the Stamping building to accommodate the 1,200 accredited media in preparation for these State visits in 2011 cost a total of €909,000.

  The works consisted of:-

- Improvements to the heating, ventilation and air conditioning in the main 'Print Works' space on the ground floor and, to the greater extent, in the basement area. The main cost related to plant and equipment;

- Improvements to the lighting on the ground floor and new lighting in the basement;

- Improvements to emergency and safety services

  The new 'Print Works' conference centre works consisted of the provision of a new external podium and steps to the front, modifying internal spaces to provide foyer, cloakroom and sanitary facilities, and refurbishment of the interior of the 'Print Works' on the ground floor for use as a main conference space.

  The existing services on the ground floor were retained with some minor alterations, such as the existing lighting was adjusted to make it dimmable for conference purposes. The heating and ventilation system in the main space was improved. However, the main plant and equipment was retained.

  The recent refurbishment of this 'Print Works' to create the required conference facilities for the hosting of the EU Presidency did not involve works to the basement area.

Pension Provisions

 376. Deputy Joanna Tuffy Information on Joanna Tuffy Zoom on Joanna Tuffy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin if he will provide details of the pension scheme in place for current Oireachtas members; the amount of contributions deducted from Members salaries for the scheme; the situation in relation to pension entitlements for former Oireachtas members who may, in the future, be re-elected to Dáil Éireann and who have built up pension benefits under the older pension scheme (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1273/13]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin The original pension terms in respect of membership of the Houses of the Oireachtas are derived from the Oireachtas (Allowances to Members) Act 1938. While the terms were amended over the years, the most notable amendments took place in 1992 and these form the basis of the pension provisions - known generally as the "New Scheme" - applicable to the majority of current Oireachtas Members. Further amendments to the terms were made for certain 'new entrant' Members as defined under the Public Service Superannuation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2004. More recently, the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012 introduced a new Single Public Service Pension Scheme which applies to new Public Servants taking up appointment on or after 1 January 2013, including Members of the Oireachtas.

The pension terms of the "New Scheme" provide that a former Member who has at least 2 years’ reckonable service is entitled to a pension and lump sum from age 50 at the earliest (with an option to take a reduced pension from an earlier age), except for those who are 'new entrants' under the 2004 Act to whom pension and lump sum are not payable until age 65 (i.e. those who are newly elected since 1 April 2004). Under the scheme, a contribution rate of 6% of salary applies and maximum superannuation benefits accrue after 7,300 days' (20 years') service. A person who accrues the maximum 20 years' service is entitled to a once-off lump of 1.5 times annual salary and to a pension of one half of annual salary.

As mentioned above, the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012 introduced a new Single Public Service Pension Scheme which commenced on 1 January of this year. The Single Scheme provides that new Public Servants appointed on or after that date, including Members of the Oireachtas, will be members of the Scheme and will have their pension benefits based on career average earnings as opposed to the current final salary basis. The Scheme also provides for a new minimum pension age of 66, rising to age 67 in 2021 and age 68 in 2028 in line with changes to the age at which the State Pension (Contributory) will become payable. A contribution rate of 13% of salary will apply to Members of the Oireachtas who are members of the Single Scheme.

When considering the application of the Single Scheme to Members of the Oireachtas, the Government decided to legislate on the basis that the Scheme should apply only to future first-time Members. In adopting this position, the Government took account in particular of the fact that, unlike most Public Servants, Oireachtas Members do not have security of tenure but are subject to the will of the electorate, and recognised that this requirement to be re-elected from time to time differentiates Members of the Oireachtas from the general body of Public Servants. In this context, it was decided that a Member who was first elected or appointed to the Oireachtas before the commencement date of the Single Scheme (1 January 2013) will not be a member of that scheme in respect of any future service as an Oireachtas Member; whereas Members who are elected for the first time after 1 January 2013 will be members of the Single Scheme and subject to its terms.

This approach is considered reasonable as those who, in future, consider putting themselves forward for election to the Oireachtas for the first time will be fully aware of the new Single Scheme terms and can take this into account when making their decision.

Action Plan for Jobs

 377. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin the 2012 targets set for his Department for implementation of the Jobs Action Plan; if he will report on the attainment or otherwise of these targets; the reason targets were not met; the steps he is taking within his Department to create new jobs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1287/13]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin The Government is responding to the challenge of the jobs crises in Ireland right across the public policy spectrum, as encapsulated first in the jobs initiative and now in the Action Plan on Jobs. The aim is to identify those actions each area of Government can take to improve and sustain job creation.

In some areas this involves direct action and job creation, such as through the enterprise agencies under the aegis my colleague the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, or through capital investment in key infrastructure such as transport and school buildings. In other areas, such as in the area of public sector reform, it involves improving procedures, systems and service delivery in an overall effort to enhance competitiveness and reduce unnecessary bureaucracy.

As far as the plans for new jobs in 2013 is concerned the Government's further plans for job creation will be set out in the 2013 Action Plan for Jobs which will be published in the coming weeks.

Water Levels

 378. Deputy James Bannon Information on James Bannon Zoom on James Bannon asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin his plans to open Lough Ree Sluice Gates, to bring about better management of water levels on the River Shannon and prevent serious flooding in the parishes along the Shannon in County Longford; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1646/13]

 379. Deputy James Bannon Information on James Bannon Zoom on James Bannon asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin if he will ensure that there is better co-operation and co-ordination between the bodies responsible for the maintenance of levels on the Shannon OPW, ESB and Waterways Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1647/13]

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brian Hayes): Information on Brian Hayes Zoom on Brian Hayes I propose to take Questions Nos. 378 and 379 together.

The Office of Public Works monitors the position in relation to water levels on the Shannon and the on-going progress in respect of the River Shannon Catchment Flood Risk Assessment & Management Study (CFRAM).

Having regard to on-going expressions of concern about the control of water levels on the Shannon, Jacobs Engineering was requested by the OPW to prioritise a formal review of the operating regulations and procedures of the control structures along the river Shannon with the purpose of identifying potential improvements with respect to flood risk management that could be introduced in the short term. This review was carried out in advance of the detailed hydrological analysis and hydraulic modelling which is being addressed within the overall Shannon CFRAM Study.

The Jacobs Report and a non-technical summary of the Report - ‘Understanding Water levels on the River Shannon’ was circulated to all public representatives in the region last autumn and to the CFRAM Steering Group upon which the Longford local authority is represented. In addition, a direct briefing on the Report was made by Jacobs Engineering to the Irish Farmers’ Association and the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht.

Arising from those consultations, it was agreed, to explore the possibility of carrying out a water level monitoring exercise, involving controlled raising and lowering of weir boards at selected locations, subject to favourable hydrological conditions.

The Deputy will be aware that operational control of water flows and levels on the Shannon is a matter for both the ESB and Waterways Ireland. In line with the commitment to ensure continuing co-operation and co-ordination with those bodies, officials of the OPW met with both organisations last week to review the position on water levels and to consider the scheduling of the aforementioned monitoring exercise having regard to existing water management protocols operated by these two bodies for the major storage areas in the Shannon system. It has been agreed to involve the expertise of Jacobs Engineering in order to advance the water monitoring proposal.

  Question No. 380 answered with Question No. 361.

State Bodies Expenditure

 381. Deputy Kevin Humphreys Information on Kevin Humphreys Zoom on Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin if he will provide a list of the bodies, other than statutory bodies, that were fully funded by his Department in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1910/13]

 382. Deputy Kevin Humphreys Information on Kevin Humphreys Zoom on Kevin Humphreys asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin if he will provide a list of the bodies, other than statutory bodies, that were partially funded by his Department in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2041/13]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin I propose to take Questions Nos. 381 and 382 together.

  The following is a list of the bodies, other than statutory bodies, that were partially funded by offices and agencies under the remit of my Department in 2012:

Economic and Social Research Institute (Grant-in-Aid)
2,700,000
Institute of Public Administration (Grant-in-Aid)
2,750,000


  For further information on bodies, other than statutory bodies, I would refer the Deputy to the Revised Estimates Volume 2012 which was circulated on 23rd February, 2012.

  No Body under my remit was fully funded.

Regulatory Impact Assessment Numbers

 383. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the number of regulatory impact assessments that have been carried out by his Department in the past twelve months and the list of regulatory impact assessments carried out within his Department in the past twelve months. [57763/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The following is the information requested by the Deputy.

RIA Undertaken on (Name of Bill/Act/Regulations) 2012 Details of Regulatory Impact Assessment
Protection of Employees (Temporary Agency Work) Act 2012 RIA undertaken to assess the possible impact of the transposition of Directive 2008/104/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November, 2008 on temporary agency work.
Employment Permits Bill 2012 A RIA was prepared and submitted to Government in April 2012 on the options for a regulatory proposal to provide for more flexibility and targeted instruments in support of the economy's skills needs.
Workplace Relations Bill 2012 A RIA was undertaken to explore the various policy options regarding the introduction of legislation to consolidate the existing employment and equality dispute resolution and compliance and enforcement bodies (RIA published in July 2012). The General Scheme of the Workplace Relations Bill outlines proposals which will deliver a root-and-branch reform of the State's existing employment rights and industrial relations structures. The current complex structure involving five bodies will be replaced with a rationalised two-tier system compromising two bodies (the Workplace Relations Commission and the Labour Court), supported by a single shared-services administration.
Directive 2011/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 on combating late payment in commercial transactions (Recast). This RIA was prepared by DJEI in August, 2012. The purpose of the Recast Directive is to combat late payment in commercial transactions, in order to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market, thereby fostering the competitiveness of undertakings and, in particular, of SMEs.

Previously the rules on late payments were under Directive 2000/35 and this new legislation repeals and modernises these old rules.

This Directive lays down the specific deadlines for the payment of invoices and establishes a right to compensation in the event of late payment in all commercial transactions, whether they relate to transactions between private or public undertakings, or between undertakings and public authorities.

This Directive came into force on 15 March 2011. Member States must transpose this Directive by 16 March 2013.
Microenterprise Loan Fund Bill 2012. This RIA was prepared by DJEI in April, 2012. The objective of this legislation is to establish a Microenterprise Loan Fund and to provide for Social Finance Foundation to manage and control the Microenterprise Loan Fund on behalf of the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. It empowers the Minister to pay monies provided by the Oireachtas into the fund and to accept gifts of moneys for allocation to the Fund.

The objective of the fund is to provide loans to start-up, newly established, or growing microenterprises, thereby facilitating job creation and retention across the economy in all

microenterprises with commercially viable proposals that do not meet the conventional

risk criteria applied by banks.

The Microenterprise Loan Fund is not intended to replace any current bank.
Credit Guarantee Bill 2012 This RIA was carried out in October, 2011. The ultimate objective of this regulatory proposal is to empower the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to establish a targeted Temporary Partial Credit Guarantee Scheme.

The legislation will empower the Minister to give a loan guarantee, designate a lending institution as a participating lending institution, set eligibility criteria for borrowers in such lending institutions, set loan conditions, set out requirements in respect of liability of the Minister regarding payment of

guarantees, to require adequate monitoring arrangements and evaluation, to review and revoke the scheme and to assign a contractor to oversee the operation of the Scheme.

The objective of the Scheme is to provide a Government guarantee to the lender of 75 per cent

on eligible individual loans to viable businesses, which is paid to the lender on the unrecovered outstanding balance on a loan in the event of an SME defaulting on the loan repayments. The purpose of the scheme is to encourage additional lending to SMEs, not to substitute for conventional lending. It is not a grant, nor is it support for ailing businesses. The Scheme is intended to address specific market failures that prevent bank lending to some commercially viable businesses by providing a level of guarantee to banks against losses on qualifying loans to job-creating firms. All decision making at the level of the individual loan will be fully devolved to the participating lenders.
Review of the Patents Act 1992 The aim of this RIA is to examine the current legislative framework for patents in Ireland, in order to establish the key issues for deliberation, with a view to bringing proposals for legislative changes to Government for approval in due course. This RIA was published in March 2012.
Review of the research exemption provision in Section 42(g) of the Patents Act 1992 The aim of this RIA is to consider whether Ireland should broaden the scope of the “Bolar” type exemption provision as set down in Section 42 (g) of the Patents Act 1992. The “Bolar” type exemption was implemented into Irish law by means of the European Communities (Limitation of Effect of Patent) Regulations 2006 (Statutory Instrument No. 50 of 2006) which inserted a new Section 42(g) into the Patents Act 1992, on foot of an exemption provision in Article 6 of EU Directive 2004/27/EC. The RIA was completed in December 2012, and is awaiting publication.
Draft Industrial Development (Micro Enterprise and Small Business) Bill The RIA was undertaken to consider options on how best to implement the Government Decision of 16 April 2012 regarding the restructuring of the existing micro enterprise support structures with a view to creating an enhanced national micro enterprise support model to be delivered through Local Enterprise Offices.

The RIA concluded that the proposed Bill is the appropriate way to give legal certainty to the Government Decision.
Companies Bill 2012 A RIA was published with the Company Law Review Group's General Scheme of the Companies Consolidation and Reform Bill in 2007. An updated version of that RIA was published on the Department's website following publication of the Companies Bill 2012.


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