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Written Answers. - Information Society Action Plan.

Wednesday, 18 December 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 559 No. 6

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 18. Mr. Rabbitte Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  asked the Taoiseach Information on Bertie Ahern Zoom on Bertie Ahern  the progress made to date in implementing the Information Society Action Plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22458/02]

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern Zoom on Bertie Ahern My Department chairs an interdepartmental group of assistant secretaries general who monitor the implementation of the [1482]Government's strategy for the development of the information society in Ireland. That strategy is set out in the document, New Connections, which was published in April of this year.

The information society policy unit at my Department is currently compiling an interim progress report for consideration by the interdepartmental group this month, and it is intended to make the report public as soon as possible thereafter.

In addition, an on-line reporting facility has been developed to allow Departments and agencies to give continuous updates on progress, and to facilitate a more rapid response to changing policy demands. It is hoped to develop the system to include a public access mechanism for people who are interested in progress and developments on information society issues.

 19. Mr. Sargent Information on Trevor Sargent Zoom on Trevor Sargent  asked the Taoiseach Information on Bertie Ahern Zoom on Bertie Ahern  the reason for the 40% cut in funding to the Central Statistics Office; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23760/02]

 20. Mr. Rabbitte Information on Pat Rabbitte Zoom on Pat Rabbitte  asked the Taoiseach Information on Bertie Ahern Zoom on Bertie Ahern  the reason for the reduction of 40% in the allocation for the Central Statistics Office in the Book of Estimates for 2003; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24412/02]

The Taoiseach: Information on Bertie Ahern Zoom on Bertie Ahern I propose to take Questions Nos. 19 and 20 together.

The reduction in the 2003 allocation referred to by the Deputies is primarily due to the cyclical nature of expenditure on the census of population.

The CSO's total expenditure on the Census in 2002 is estimated at €26.4 million, while the cost in 2003 will be about €3.7 million – i.e. a reduction in the cyclical census requirement of €22.7 million.

Since the 2003 Book of Estimates shows a reduction of about €21.3 million in the allocation for the CSO, it can be observed that more than €1 million extra is available to the office for non-census activities.

The Census of Population, originally scheduled for April 2001, was postponed until April 2002 by Government decision because of the foot and mouth disease crisis. The processing of the census results is ongoing and will be completed in 2003. The first summary report from the census was published in July and the main results will be published during 2003.

Questions Nos. 21 and 22 resubmitted.


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