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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 163-178
 Header Item Public Procurement Contracts Tenders
 Header Item Public Sector Reform Review
 Header Item Departmental Staff Data
 Header Item Employment Rights Issues
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Credit Guarantee Scheme Applications
 Header Item Departmental Agencies Issues
 Header Item County and City Enterprise Boards Funding
 Header Item Consumer Protection
 Header Item Job Creation
 Header Item Job Creation

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 775 No. 3

First Page Previous Page Page of 86 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 163-178

Public Procurement Contracts Tenders

 163. Deputy Seamus Kirk Information on Seamus Kirk Zoom on Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin if his attention has been drawn to the impact which the managed Print Services Framework will have on 300 Buisnesses which are excluded from the tendering process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40552/12]

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brian Hayes): Information on Brian Hayes Zoom on Brian Hayes An open competition was held in July 2011 to establish a Framework for the provision of Managed Print Services (MPS) to the public sector. The Request for Tender for MPS was advertised, in accordance with the EC Procurement Directives, on e-Tenders and in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). 15 tender responses were received, of which seven tenderers were selected to be Framework Members. The Framework Agreement for MPS was established on 8 February 2012. The Framework Agreement will be in place for two years, with an option to extend for a further two years.

  Four of the successful tenderers are indigenous small and medium enterprises (SMEs) (MJ Flood, Bryan S Ryan, Hibernian Business Equipment and Ergo). The Framework Members have also indicated in their tender submissions that they will use a further 11 indigenous SMEs in the delivery of MPS.

  MPS is a unique office print solution, where a supplier provides an all inclusive service based on an on-going per click charge, that includes the provision of print/imaging devices at no capital cost to the public sector body. The supplier, in effect, provides the full infrastructure required for all day-to-day office printing. Research carried out by the National Procurement Service (NPS) has indicated that such an approach gives best value to the Irish public sector. Some of the smaller suppliers do not have the resources to provide such infrastructure themselves, but they can have roles within the supply networks of the seven Framework Members.

  The majority of public sector bodies currently have ad-hoc print arrangements in place. A typical Government office has multiple print and imaging devices such as photocopiers, scanners and faxes. These devices can potentially come from a wide range of different suppliers with separate supply and servicing arrangements. The ratio of print devices to staff is often in the region of 1:2 and in some cases as low as 1:1 where a large number of staff have their own desktop printer.

  Circular 6/12 specifies that the MPS Framework is mandatory from 1 September 2012. However, it is important to note that this Framework is only mandatory where a public sector body opts for an MPS solution. If a public sector body simply wishes to purchase a printer or a photocopier they do not have to use the MPS Framework. It is a matter for each public sector body to determine which route offers the best value for their organisation.

Public Sector Reform Review

 164. 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 privilege days still exist in the civil service; if so, if these privilege days date back prior to independence such as a day off to celebrate the Sovereign's birthday and Empire Day; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40130/12]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin The position is that privilege days no longer pertain in the Civil Service and have been incorporated into the annual leave allowance of civil servants.

  In the context of a more integrated public service, as set out in the Public Service Agreement 2010 – 2014, the issue of standardising annual leave arrangements across the public service was agreed between my Department and the Public Services Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions.   

  The revised annual leave arrangements will see:

- The abolition of historically based local leave arrangements such as for example festival and race days;

- Public service grades with a current annual leave allowance in excess of 32 days will be brought within that maximum commencing from January 2012 to coincide with the annual leave cycle as appropriate;

- All public service personnel will on recruitment or promotion be placed with immediate effect on a new standardised annual leave band with a maximum of 30 days.

Departmental Staff Data

 165. Deputy Regina Doherty Information on Regina Doherty Zoom on Regina Doherty asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin if his Department still grants leave of absence; and if not, the reason this is not considered as a neutral cost saving exercise; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40601/12]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Brendan Howlin): Information on Brendan Howlin Zoom on Brendan Howlin It is assumed that the Deputy is referring to the Career Break Scheme in the Civil Service, the details of which are set out in Circular 18 of 1998.

Under the terms of this Circular, Departments have delegated sanction to grant or refuse career breaks. While staff should be facilitated as far as possible, the needs of the work may require that some applications will have to be refused. The operation of the career break scheme is subject to the operating requirements of Departments not being adversely affected or undue additional expenditure being incurred.

Employment Rights Issues

 166. Deputy Seán Crowe Information on Seán Crowe Zoom on Seán Crowe asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton his plans to introduce new legislative changes in view of the recent High Court judgement involving a migrant worker (details supplied) that was described by the presiding Judge as appalling exploitation and where weaknesses and lack of protections in the Employment Permits Act were highlighted. [40305/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The issue raised by the High Court judgment is one which has important policy and legal implications in the area of Employment Permits and also in terms of Employment Rights.

As Justice Hogan noted in his judgment, "the Oireachtas must, of course, regulate the labour market by specifically deterring illegal immigrants from taking up employment, as failure to do so could have serious medium term implications for both employment and immigration policy". The relevant provisions of the Employment Permits Acts of 2003 and 2006 hold that where an employee, who was required to hold an Employment Permit, has failed to do so then he or she is guilty of an offence. Furthermore, while an employer may also be guilty of an offence in this matter, Justice Hogan points out that the legislation provides for a defence with regard to an employer but fails to do so with regard to an employee.

As I understand it, this lack of defence affects the courts’ scope to interpret the statutory provisions and compels the court to hold that the legislation has created an absolute offence so far as an employee is concerned. Importantly, Justice Hogan found that it must therefore be taken that the Oireachtas intended that such a non-national employee automatically commits an offence if he or she does not have a work permit irrespective of the reasons for that failure and that this has implications so far as the civil law is concerned in that such a contract of employment must also be taken to be void.

The question that arises for policy makers is to what extent such non-nationals should be dissuaded from working illegally in Ireland by virtue of there being a statutory offence to do so versus to what extent should certain employment rights protect vulnerable migrants who find themselves unwittingly in such employment positions.

The Deputy will recognise that this question requires careful consideration as the applicability of rights in one context can have far reaching consequences beyond that originally intended.

I wish to assure the Deputy that my Department is treating the matter with the utmost importance and that I would expect proposals on the matter within the coming months.

Departmental Expenditure

 167. Deputy Patrick O'Donovan Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he is able to determine if his Department or any of the other Government agencies under his remit such as Enterprise Ireland or the Industrial Development Agency have paid for former Government members to undertake courses in the United States of America. [40089/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton My Department has not paid for former Government members to undertake courses in the United States of America.

Expenditure on training by the Agencies under the aegis of my Department is a day-to-day administrative matter for those Agencies in which I have no function. However, I have referred the Question to the Agencies for direct reply to the Deputy.

Credit Guarantee Scheme Applications

 168. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the actual launch date of the temporary partial credit guarantee scheme which he announced in April 2012; the number of applications received to date under this scheme; and the total value of loans advanced under the scheme. [40280/12]

 169. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton in relation to the temporary partial credit guarantee scheme if he will provide an overview of marketing initiatives undertaken to notify and inform the target audience about the scheme [40281/12]

 170. Deputy Pearse Doherty Information on Pearse Doherty Zoom on Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton in relation to the temporary partial credit guarantee scheme the expected annual value of the contract with a company (details supplied) for the oversight, management and operation of the scheme; and in relation to the tendering process and appointment of the company, the total number of tenders submitted. [40282/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I propose to take Questions Nos. 168 to 170, inclusive, together.

As the Deputy will be aware, the Credit Guarantee Act 2012 was passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas and signed into law by the President in July 2012. The Act was commenced and came into operation on 30 August 2012. I have now made, with the consent of my colleagues the Minister for Finance and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, a scheme under section 5 of the Act and officials in my Department are working on the final arrangements to launch the scheme. The scheme launch is imminent.

Regarding the cost of the operator, I announced last April that the contract for the practical oversight, management and operation of the scheme was awarded to Maynooth-based company Capita Asset Services following a competitive tendering process. It is expected that the annual cost under the contract will be €199,000.

Departmental Agencies Issues

 171. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he will provide the size and strength of the Industrial Development Agency mission to Australia in terms of funds, personnel and offices. [40296/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The administration of IDA Ireland’s overseas offices is a day to day matter for the Agency and is not one for which I have statutory responsibility.

IDA Ireland has informed me that it has a representative based in Ireland House, Sydney, Australia. The cost associated with the representative and the office is included in the overall expenditure of €10,516,000 incurred in running all of the Agency’s overseas offices during 2011. Specific details relating to costs of individual offices are not published as this information is commercially sensitive.

County and City Enterprise Boards Funding

 172. Deputy Finian McGrath Information on Finian McGrath Zoom on Finian McGrath asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton the support and advice he can offer to a person (details supplied) in Dublin 5. [40320/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton The role of the County and City Enterprise Boards (CEBs) is to provide support for small businesses with 10 employees or fewer in the start-up and expansion phases, to promote and develop indigenous micro-enterprise potential and to stimulate economic activity and entrepreneurship at local level. Business growth and job creation are inherent considerations in the activities of the CEBs.

  The CEBs deliver a series of Programmes to underpin this role and can provide both financial and non-financial assistance to a project promoter. The forms of financial assistance that are available, subject to certain eligibility criteria, include Priming Grants, Expansion/Development Grants and Feasibility/Innovation Study Grants. The provision of non-financial assistance can take the form of a wide range of business advice such as Programmes covering Start Your Own Business, Business Management and Mentoring. Due to the Boards unique relationship with their clients and the local business community they can specifically tailor their programmes to meet the evolving needs and requirements of these small enterprises going forward.

  The promoter may therefore wish to contact the Chief Executive Officer of Dublin City Enterprise Board, Mr. Greg Swift, to discuss what options may be available to them and their proposed business venture. Dublin City Enterprise Board is located at 5th Floor, O’Connell Bridge House, D’Olier Street, Dublin 2; Phone No: 01 6351144, Fax No: 01 6351811: Email: info@dceb.ie Website: www.dceb.ie.   

Consumer Protection

 173. Deputy Patrick Nulty Information on Patrick Nulty Zoom on Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he has met a delegation from the Consumers Association of Ireland to discuss their funding problems; and if there are any plans for a follow up meeting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40372/12]

 174. Deputy Patrick Nulty Information on Patrick Nulty Zoom on Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if the Consumers Association of Ireland has made an application for funding for 2012 or 2013; if his Department has evaluated same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40373/12]

 175. Deputy Patrick Nulty Information on Patrick Nulty Zoom on Patrick Nulty asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if any public funding has been made available to the Consumers Association for 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40374/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I propose to take Questions Nos. 173 to 175, inclusive, together.

  I met with the Consumers’ Association of Ireland on 25th June. The meeting discussed the financial situation of the Association and the possibility of future exchequer funding. I advised the Association that, notwithstanding difficulties it may be experiencing in managing its finances, exchequer support could only be considered where the expending of public funds would represent value for money. The Association advised that it intended to submit a proposal setting out a business case for funding support from the exchequer. The Association has yet to forward a proposal for funding to my Department.

Job Creation

 176. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he will provide each jobs announcement welcomed by his Department since August 2009, the numbers employed by the relevant company at that time, the expected increase in employment at the time of announcement, and the numbers employed in each company at August 2012. [40394/12]

 178. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he will provide each jobs announcement supported by Enterprise Ireland since August 2009, the numbers employed by the relevant company at that time, the expected increase in employment at the time of announcement, and the numbers employed in each company at August 2012. [40396/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I propose to take Questions Nos. 176 and 178 together.

  As Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, I welcome all announcements concerning the creation of jobs. All press releases relating to job creation issued by my Department’s Press Office are available at: http://www.enterprise.gov.ie/Press-Releases/.

  Details of Enterprise Ireland’s job and investment announcements to August 2012, and those of IDA Ireland and Shannon Development, are published on their respective websites – www.enterprise-ireland.com; www.idaireland.ie and www.shannon-dev.ie. However, I should point out that some investment and job creation projects in client companies are not announced by these agencies, for example, in cases where the company involved does not wish this to happen.

  The Forfás Annual Employment Survey reports on job gains and losses in companies that are supported by Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and Shannon Development. Data is compiled on an annualised basis. It is not possible to provide information in respect of individual companies as such information is provided by the client companies on a confidential basis and for statistical purposes only.

Job Creation

 177. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he will provide each jobs announcement supported by the Industrial Development Agency since August 2009, the numbers employed by the relevant company at that time, the expected increase in employment at the time of announcement, and the numbers employed in each company at August 2012. [40395/12]

 181. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for Jobs; Enterprise and Innovation Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton if he will provide for each jobs announcement supported by the Industrial Development Agency since August 2009, the cost of that support and the cost per additional job realised to the IDA. [40399/12]

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (Deputy Richard Bruton): Information on Richard Bruton Zoom on Richard Bruton I propose to take Questions Nos. 177 and 181 together.

  Details of IDA Ireland’s job and investment announcements up to the 19th of September, 2012 are published on the Agency’s website – www.idaireland.ie. It must be remembered that some investment and job creation projects are not announced.

  The cost of supporting individual jobs in individual companies is confidential to the client companies. However, the cost per job sustained is available in the IDA Ireland’s Annual Reports which are also available on its website. The cost per job sustained is calculated by taking into account all IDA Ireland expenditure to all firms in the period of calculation. Only jobs created during and sustained to the end of each seven year period are credited in the calculations. The IDA Annual Report for 2011 shows that the cost per job sustained fell from €18,989 in the period 1996 – 2000 to €14,202 in the period 2005 – 2011.

  The Forfás Annual Employment Survey reports on job gains and losses in companies that are supported by the enterprise development agencies. Data is compiled on an annualised basis and is aggregated at county level. It is not possible to provide information in respect of individual companies as information is provided on a confidential basis for statistical purposes only. The survey shows that in the three year period 2009 to 2011, inclusive, there were a total of 25,908 new jobs created in IDA Ireland’s client companies. Details of new jobs created in each of the years in question are shown in the following tabular statement.

Table showing the Number of New Jobs created in IDA Ireland’s Client Companies

2009 to 2011
Year
2009
2010
2011
New Jobs Created
5,239
9,075
11,594

  Question No. 178 answered with Question No. 176.


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