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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 290-310
 Header Item Garda Stations
 Header Item Public Sector Staff
 Header Item Protected Disclosures
 Header Item Lansdowne Road Agreement Implementation
 Header Item Insurance Costs
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Action Plan for Rural Development Implementation
 Header Item Ferry Services Provision
 Header Item Architectural Heritage
 Header Item Dormant Accounts Fund Management
 Header Item Protected Disclosures
 Header Item Wildlife Regulations
 Header Item Dormant Accounts Fund Administration
 Header Item Waterways Ireland Remit
 Header Item Insurance Costs
 Header Item Leader Programmes Administration
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item CLÁR Programme
 Header Item Leader Programmes Funding
 Header Item Leader Programmes Administration

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 944 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 84 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 290-310

Garda Stations

 290. Deputy Niamh Smyth Information on Niamh Smyth Zoom on Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe if the acquisition of the new site for Bailieborough Garda station will be complete by May 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14804/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Seán Canney): Information on Seán Canney Zoom on Seán Canney The OPW continues to progress the legal matters relating to the acquisition of the site as a matter of high priority. While this process will be completed as soon as possible, it is not possible to give a definitive date for the completion of the acquisition process.

Public Sector Staff

 291. Deputy Joan Burton Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe when an employee transfers within a public sector organisation to take up a new post, if he or she is subject to the new entrant public service terms in the new role; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14841/17]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe It is assumed that the Deputy is referring to the pension arrangements, in particular the occupational pension scheme membership, of persons working in the public service.

As provided for in the Public Service Pensions (Single Scheme and Other Provisions) Act 2012, the Single Public Service Pension Scheme applies to all first-time new entrants to the public service. It also applies to former pensionable public servants returning to public service employment after a break of more than 26 weeks, as well as to all former non-pensionable public servants returning to public service employment regardless of how short the break in employment.

Public servants recruited over the past four years, that is to say since the Single Scheme's launch at the beginning of 2013, are mostly members of the Single Scheme. Where such a public servant transfers within their public service organisation to take up a new post then they will continue to be a member of the Single Scheme.

Public servants recruited before 2013 are generally members of sector-specific or body-specific "pre-existing" public service pension schemes, which normally deliver final salary-based retirement benefits. Where such a public servant transfers within their public service organisation to take up a new post then they will remain members of their particular pre-existing public service pension scheme.

Protected Disclosures

 292. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the process within his Department for dealing with protected disclosures under the 2014 Act; if the examinations of such disclosures are carried out by an independent authority or persons other than those within the organisation to which the disclosure refers; the number of disclosures received by his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15080/17]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe  My Department's procedures for making a protected disclosure have been developed in line with the Protected Disclosures Act, 2014.  The Department's Protected Disclosures policy has been agreed by the Department's Management Board and has been circulated to all staff.  My Department also held two briefing sessions on the policy for staff recently. 

The policy clearly sets out the process by which a worker of the Department can make a protected disclosure, what will happen when a disclosure is made and what the Department will do to protect the discloser.  The policy supports my Department's strong commitment to ensuring that its culture and working environment encourage, facilitate and support any employee of the Department to "speak up" on any issue that could impinge on the Department's ability to carry out its roles and responsibilities to the high standard expected.  

As part of the Department's policy, a Protected Disclosures Recipients Panel has been established, comprising of 9 senior staff from across the organisation.  Staff wishing to make a protected disclosure may do so to any member of this Panel, or to a line manager if they prefer.  The role of members of the Panel is to make an initial assessment of protected disclosures as soon as possible and to keep the discloser periodically apprised of progress. 

Where a full investigation is required, the matter is referred to the Chief Operations Officer and to the Head of Internal Audit who will arrange for the investigation.  This is carried out, as appropriate depending on the nature and scale of the alleged wrongdoing, by: a senior staff member nominated by the Secretary General; externally by professional experts in a particular area; An Garda Síochaná or other relevant statutory body; the Internal Audit Unit; or, in the case of a relatively minor alleged wrongdoing, at the level appropriate within the Department. 

I can confirm that, as per the Annual Report required under Section 22 of the Protected Disclosures Act, no protected disclosures have been received by my Department (see www.per.gov.ie/en/protected-disclosures/. 

The Deputy may also wish to be aware that, in the context of its overall policy role, my Department is in the process of establishing a multi-supplier framework agreement for third parties to provide services to public bodies related to the Protected Disclosures Act.

Lansdowne Road Agreement Implementation

 293. Deputy Lisa Chambers Information on Lisa Chambers Zoom on Lisa Chambers asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the reason RACO was not consulted regarding the deal that was agreed between the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and his Department with respect to the Lansdowne Road agreement anomaly talks; and his views on whether this was appropriate. [15147/17]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe Officials from my Department and the Department of Defence met with representatives of  RACO on the 17th of January 2017 to consult with them on the measures that the Government had agreed to that morning in relation to the application of Clause 6.1 of the Lansdowne Road Agreement concerning anomalies arising under that Agreement.

Insurance Costs

 294. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the cost of insurance under different insurance headings such as public liability, buildings cover, employer liability and so on for his Department and each body under its aegis; the name of the insurance provider for each year since 2010, in tabular form; the number of current outstanding insurance claims against his Department or the body under its aegis; the estimated cost of those claims if available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15185/17]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe In response to the Deputy's question, my Department and the bodies under its aegis operate under State Indemnity, a self-insurance model whereby the State bears the financial risk associated with the cost of claims. This approach is set out in the Public Financial Procedures at C8 Section 11 whereby the general rule is that no insurance should be effected against the risk of any loss which if it arose would fall wholly and directly on public funds. This is based on the understanding that the risks for which the Government is liable are innumerable and widely distributed and that losses maturing in any one year are never so large as to materially disturb the financial position of the year, so that it is cheaper in the long term for the Exchequer to "carry its own insurance".

The National Treasury Management Agency is designated as the State Claims Agency (SCA) when performing the claims and risk management functions delegated to it under the National Treasury Management Agency (Amendment) Act, 2000. Since the establishment of the SCA, the management of claims functions has been delegated to the agency and it currently manages claims and risks on behalf of 139 delegated State Authorities, including my Department.

Departmental Expenditure

 295. Deputy David Cullinane Information on David Cullinane Zoom on David Cullinane asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the full year cost of unwinding financial emergency measures in the public interest cuts for all public sector workers currently earning less than €65,000 gross per year, broken down by gross pay and pension-related deduction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15236/17]

 296. Deputy David Cullinane Information on David Cullinane Zoom on David Cullinane asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe the full year cost of unwinding financial emergency measures in the public interest cuts for all public sector workers currently earning more than €65,000 gross per year broken down by gross pay and pension-related deduction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15237/17]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): Information on Paschal Donohoe Zoom on Paschal Donohoe I propose to take Questions Nos. 295 and 296 together.

  After full implementation of the Lansdowne Road Agreement, the full year year cost of unwinding the remaining FEMPI measures is €1.4 billion plus PRSI. The breakdown requested for those public servants earning less than, and greater than, €65,000 is included in the following table. These costs exclude PRSI. 

 Pay €mPRD €mTotal
Less than €65,000€367€413€780m
Greater than €65,000€324€307€632m
Total€691€720€1.412bn

Action Plan for Rural Development Implementation

 297. Deputy Catherine Connolly Information on Catherine Connolly Zoom on Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys further to Parliamentary Question No. 48 of 7 March 2017, if the monitoring committee has been established; if not, the reason for the delay in its establishment; when its establishment is expected; the names and posts of the members of the committee; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [14953/17]

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The Monitoring Committee for the Action Plan for Rural Development has been established and held its first meeting on 23 March 2017. The membership of the Monitoring Committee, which I myself chair, includes senior representatives from key Government Departments and agencies, other public bodies and rural stakeholders, as well as representatives from the business community.

  The role of the Monitoring Committee is to monitor progress on all of the commitments in the Action Plan for Rural Development on an on-going basis and to identify solutions to any potential obstacles to the delivery of the Action Plan.

  The Committee will also identify examples of best practice emerging from the Action Plan and determine how best these practices could be replicated across rural communities.

  The next meeting of the Committee will take place in July, at which the Committee will consider a Progress Report on the implementation of actions for delivery in the first half of this year.

  The membership of the Committee is as follows:

Monitoring Committee for the Action Plan for Rural Development

Chair and Vice-Chair

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Heather Humphreys, T.D.) (Chair)

Minister of State for Regional Economic Development (Michael Ring, T.D.) (Vice-Chair)

Government Departments

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Department of Education and Skills

Department of Housing, Planning Community and Local Government

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Department of Justice and Equality

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs

Department of Health

Department of Public Expenditure and Reform

Department of Social Protection

Department of An Taoiseach

Office of Public Works

Public bodies

Arts Council

Enterprise Ireland

Fáilte Ireland

County & City Managers Association

Regional Assemblies

Údarás na Gaeltachta

Western Development Commission

Teagasc

Rural Stakeholders

Pat Spillane (Ambassador for the Action Plan)

Irish Rural Link

Irish Farmers Association

Macra na Feirme

Irish Countrywomen's Association

Representative from Fisheries Local Action Groups

Irish Local Development Network

Rural Development research expert

GAA

Young rural entrepreneur

Rural Social Enterprise representative

Business Community

Chambers Ireland

IBEC

ISME

Irish League of Credit Unions

Secretariat

Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs

Ferry Services Provision

 298. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the reason the request for tenders for the passenger ferry to Tory Island, County Donegal (details supplied), was altered in a significant way from awarding 80 extra marks for maintaining the main boat on the island; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15000/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Michael Ring): Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring The Deputy will appreciate that the Toraigh passenger ferry service is currently the subject of a live tender process and it would be wholly inappropriate to comment publicly on the detail of that process at this stage.

Architectural Heritage

 299. Deputy John Lahart Information on John Lahart Zoom on John Lahart asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the detail of the archaeological discoveries adjacent to and in the surrounding area of the Hell Fire Club in Rathfarnham, Dublin 16; and if she will make a statement on the matter.  [15007/17]

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys Archaeological investigations have been in progress on Montpelier Hill since 2015 as part of the ‘Hellfire Club Archaeological Project’. The investigations have been licensed by my Department under the National Monuments Acts and funded by the local authority under the South Dublin County Heritage Plan.

The archeological investigations have examined the remains of a particular monument beside the ruins of the Hellfire Club. A preliminary report submitted to my Department’s National Monuments Service indicates that the monument is a badly-disturbed Neolithic passage tomb: such monuments primarily date from 3300 to 2900 BC. Of particular interest was the discovery of a previously unrecorded piece of megalithic art and the finding of part of a polished stone axehead.

A final report will be submitted to my Department when further research and specialist analyses are completed in due course.

Dormant Accounts Fund Management

 300. Deputy Micheál Martin Information on Micheál Martin Zoom on Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys if she expects to be in a position to allocate funding from dormant accounts to Foróige; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15037/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Michael Ring): Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring Dormant Accounts funding is disbursed through programmes and projects which form part of the Dormant Accounts Fund annual Action Plans. Foróige received funding under the 2014 and 2016 Dormant Account Action Plans for a programme which was included in those plans by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.

My Department’s role is to prepare a Disbursement Scheme every three years which sets out the objectives to be achieved by making disbursements from the Dormant Accounts Fund, and the strategies for achieving those objectives. My Department also co-ordinates the preparation of annual Action Plans in accordance with the three-year Disbursement Scheme, which contain the details of specific programmes and projects for delivery across Government Departments.

My Department is currently finalising a new Dormant Accounts Fund Disbursement Scheme, following a detailed consultation process across Government Departments. This Scheme will cover the period 2017-2019 and will be submitted to the Cabinet for approval shortly.

Following Government approval of the Disbursement Scheme, an Action Plan for 2017 will be drawn up in consultation with relevant Government Departments, including the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. It will be a matter for the Departments in question to propose specific schemes or programmes for inclusion in the 2017 Action Plan and to invite applications under their own schemes.

Under the Dormant Accounts Fund legislation, relevant Ministers are required to prepare a list of applications which they recommend should receive a disbursement under their schemes, and submit this list to me for approval.

Protected Disclosures

 301. Deputy John McGuinness Information on John McGuinness Zoom on John McGuinness asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the process within her Department for dealing with protected disclosures under the 2014 Act; if the examinations of such disclosures are carried out by an independent authority or persons other than those within the organisation to which the disclosure refers; the number of disclosures received by her Department; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15069/17]

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys Details of my Department's policy in relation to Protected Disclosures together with the Annual Reports published in accordance with Section 22 of the Act are available on my Department's website at http://www.ahrrga.gov.ie/about/policy-on-disclosure-of-wrongdoing-in-the-workplace/

  The Policy provides that concerns will be treated seriously and investigated where that is considered appropriate. The Policy provides that if a person wishing to make a disclosure has a reasonable belief that a serious wrongdoing relating to the workplace has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur, then they should report this in the first instance to their line manager, setting out the basis for their belief. If the line manager is not available to receive the disclosure or if for any other reason the person who wishes to make a disclosure feels unable to raise the matter with their line manager, then they may make a disclosure in writing to a more senior officer.

  It is also open to workers to make a disclosure directly to the Assistant Secretary – Corporate Division in the first instance, if they wish. The Assistant Secretary - Corporate Division is a member of the Department’s Management Board and is responsible for overseeing the process of dealing with disclosures.

  In relation to ensuring that investigations are undertaken by persons other than those within the organisation to which the disclosure refers, the Assistant Secretary – Corporate Division may undertake an independent evaluation of the matter without referring it for evaluation to the relevant Head of Division in the first instance, where they consider it appropriate to do so. The Policy also provides that if a worker wishes to make a disclosure relating to wrongdoing with which the Assistant Secretary – Corporate Division may be connected, such disclosure should be made directly to the Secretary General.

  I am advised that no disclosures had been received by my Department up to the end of 2016. My Department has confirmed however that it is currently carrying out an investigation, in line with the process set out in the Department’s policy, on foot of a submission which it recently received.

Wildlife Regulations

 302. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys when the legislation on the time for burning will be completed; and if the time will be extended in 2017 to 31 March, in view of the wet and damp weather prevailing and further delays will lead to overgrowth and risk of fire spreading in future years. [15095/17]

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys Section 40 of the Wildlife Acts 1976, as amended, prohibits the cutting, grubbing, burning or destruction of vegetation, with certain strict exemptions, from 1 March to 31 August.

Following a review of Section 40, which involved, inter alia, consideration of submissions from interested parties, I announced proposals in December 2015 to introduce legislation to allow for managed hedge cutting and burning at certain times within the existing closed period on a pilot two year basis. The legislation required to allow for these pilot measures is included in the Heritage Bill 2016, which was published in January 2016.

The Bill is currently at Committee Stage in Seanad Éireann. In the meantime, the existing provisions relating to Section 40 of the Wildlife Acts remain in force.

Dormant Accounts Fund Administration

 303. Deputy Sean Fleming Information on Seán Fleming Zoom on Seán Fleming asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the situation regarding persons seeking funding from the dormant accounts fund; the plans in place for 2017 for applications to be made and payments to be approved; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15098/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Michael Ring): Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring The Dormant Accounts Act 2001, together with the Unclaimed Life Assurance Policies Act 2003 and the Dormant Accounts (Amendment) Acts 2005-2012, provide a framework for the administration of unclaimed accounts in credit institutions (i.e. banks, building societies and An Post) and unclaimed life assurance policies in insurance undertakings.

The Acts provide for the disbursement of funds for the purposes of programmes or projects to assist:

- the personal and social development of persons who are economically or socially disadvantaged;

- the educational development of persons who are educationally disadvantaged; or

- persons with a disability.

My Department’s role is to prepare a Dormant Accounts Fund Disbursement Scheme every three years, which sets out the objectives to be achieved by making disbursements from the Dormant Accounts Fund and the strategies for achieving those objectives. My Department also co-ordinates the preparation of annual Action Plans in accordance with the three-year Disbursement Scheme, which contain the details of specific programmes and projects for delivery across Government Departments.

My Department is currently finalising a new Dormant Accounts Fund Disbursement Scheme, following a detailed consultation process across Government Departments. This Scheme will cover the period 2017-2019 and will be submitted to the Cabinet for approval shortly.

Following Government approval of the Disbursement Scheme, an Action Plan for 2017 will be drawn up in consultation with relevant Government Departments. It will be a matter for the Departments in question to propose specific schemes or programmes for inclusion in the 2017 Action Plan and to invite applications under their own schemes. Under the Dormant Accounts Fund legislation, relevant Ministers are required to prepare a list of applications which they recommend should receive a disbursement under their schemes, and submit this list to me for approval.

Separately, a call for proposals under the current Action Plan was issued on 8 February 2017 for measures to support social enterprises that provide services to, or employment opportunities for, disadvantaged people, particularly in rural areas. Pobal are administering this measure on behalf of my Department. The closing date for applications was 15 March and applicants will be notified of the outcome of their proposals in the coming weeks.

Waterways Ireland Remit

 304. Deputy Clare Daly Information on Clare Daly Zoom on Clare Daly asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys further to Parliamentary Question No. 648 of 21 March 2017, the powers to be given to authorised officers of Waterways Ireland; and the authority by which the said officers are regulated. [15153/17]

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The Heritage Bill 2016 includes provisions to amend the Canals Act 1986. The amendments to the Canals Act 1986 are primarily enabling provisions to allow for the making of bye-laws to regulate boating on the canals and to manage the use of the canals.

  The 1988 Canal Bye-Laws have been in force for almost 30 years and need to be revised to reflect changes in the use of the canals over the intervening years. The proposed changes will allow Waterways Ireland to make new bye-laws to proactively manage the Royal and Grand Canals, as well as the Barrow Navigation.

  The authorised officers’ role is set out in Section 7B of the Heritage Bill 2016.

  Section 7 B provides for the appointment and powers of authorised officers for the regulation and management of the canals and canal property subsections (1) to (4). Subsection (5) sets out the powers of the Waterways Irelands authorised officers for the purposes of:

  (a) enforcing the conditions under which boats may be used in the canals in compliance with canal bye-laws,

  (b) ensuring that a boat on the canals is authorised in accordance with canal bye-laws to use the canals, or

  (c) ensuring that persons on the canals or other canal property are complying with canal bye-laws.

  Authorised Officers are regulated by the existing Canals Act 1986 and the powers of authorised officers are already provided in the 1988 Canal Bye Laws. These are being retained in the Heritage Bill 2016 with some new and amended provisions.

Insurance Costs

 305. Deputy Michael McGrath Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the cost of insurance under different insurance headings such as public liability, buildings cover, employer liability and so on for her Department and each body under its aegis; the name of the insurance provider for each year since 2010, in tabular form; the number of current outstanding insurance claims against her Department or the body under its aegis; the estimated cost of those claims if available; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15174/17]

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys My Department and a number of the bodies under its aegis operate under State Indemnity, a self-insurance model whereby the State bears the financial risk associated with the cost of claims. This approach is set out in the Public Financial Procedures at C8 Section 11 whereby the general rule is that no insurance should be effected against the risk of any loss which, if it arose, would fall wholly and directly on public funds. This is based on the understanding that the risks for which the Government is liable are innumerable and widely distributed and that losses maturing in any one year are never so large as to materially disturb the financial position of the year, so that it is cheaper in the long term for the Exchequer to “carry its own insurance”.

  The National Treasury Management Agency is designated as the State Claims Agency (SCA) when performing the claims and risk management functions delegated to it under the National Treasury Management Agency (Amendment) Act 2000. Since the establishment of the SCA, the management of claims functions has been delegated to the Agency.

  In relation to Bodies under the aegis of the Department that are not operating under the State Indemnity and who have insurances, it is not possible to provide these details to the Deputy in the time available. Arrangements are therefore being made for the information requested in respect of the Bodies under the aegis of the Department to be collated and forwarded to the Deputy in line with the timelines set out in Standing Orders.

  The deferred reply under Standing Order 42A was forwarded to the Deputy.

Leader Programmes Administration

 306. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the total value of projects approved fully to date under the Leader programme 2014-2020 broken down by local action group; the total amount of expenditure by her Department on projects to date, broken down similarly; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15191/17]

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys Expenditure of approximately €1.35 million has been incurred to date in 2017 under the LEADER 2014-2020 programme. This represents expenditure incurred on administration and animation costs by the Local Action Groups (LAGs) who deliver the programme.

  While no project expenditure has yet been incurred under the LEADER 2014-2020 programme, the LAGs are currently concluding calls for proposals and are working with potential applicants to develop and finalise project applications in each LEADER sub-regional area.

  To date, 15 projects have been approved for LEADER funding with a total value of €308,136.37. A breakdown of these approvals is provided on Table 1.

  A total of 3,953 Expressions of Interest from potential applicants, with an estimated value of over €183 million, have been recorded on the LEADER ICT system in respect of the new programme. Table 2 provides a breakdown of the Expressions of Interest received in each sub-regional area.

  On the basis of the progress now being made by the LAGs, I anticipate a significant increase in project approvals and payments over the coming months.

Table 1 – Projects approved to date for funding under LEADER 2014-2020

Local Action Group
No. of Projects approved for LEADER funding
Value of Projects approved for LEADER funding
Kilkenny
2
€43,250.00
Laois
1
€23,062.00
Offaly
11
€117,437.86
Sligo
1
€124,386.51
Total
15
€308,136.37


Table 2 – Expressions of Interest (EOIs) recorded under LEADER 2014-2020
Local Action Group
No. of EOIs received
Value of EOIs received
Carlow
70
€3,883,573.00
Cavan
173
€7,222,828.85
Clare
274
€ 9,735,628.15
Cork North
128
€ 6,002,822.90
Cork South
66
€ 2,189,356.25
Cork West
98
€ 2,839,139.00
Donegal
296
€ 11,169,196.80
Dublin
19
€1,337,200.00
West Galway *
0
0
Kerry
488
€11,630,147.26
Kildare *
0
0
Kilkenny
148
€15,775,793.00
Laois
65
€ 164,500.00
Leitrim
187
€ 9,045,494.08
Limerick
94
€ 8,011,029.12
Longford
80
€ 245,246.25
Louth
84
€ 3,107,132.89
Mayo
451
€ 23,555,091.11
Meath
125
€ 7,996,751.27
Monaghan
137
€11,246,725.57
Offaly
110
€ 2,387,486.00
Roscommon
93
€ 4,934,650.74
Sligo
89
€ 6,877,442.00
Tipperary
272
€10,878,509.15
Waterford
86
€ 7,391,184.00
Westmeath
97
€3,605,630.00
Wexford
221
€12,057,487.84
Wicklow *
2
€ 130,000.00
Totals
3,953
€183,420,045.23
* Local Action Groups in these areas have advised that they have received a number of Expressions of Interest for LEADER funding and are in the process of updating the LEADER ICT system with the relevant information.

Departmental Expenditure

 307. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the total expenditure to date in 2017 of the capital carryover from 2016 to 2017; the heading under which this expenditure took place; the amount under each heading; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15192/17]

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The Oireachtas provides approval for the carryover amounts through its approval of the Appropriation Bill and the Estimates. Provision is made in the Revised Estimates Volume for the capital carryover amount by subhead and in a Ministerial Order to be made by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform before 31 March in the year of carryover. Since the making of the relevant Order by the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform on 6 March 2017, expenditure totalling just over €1 million has been incurred against the total carryover amount of €13.548 million for my Department as follows:

SubheadAmount
Subhead A.15 Decade of Centenaries 1912-1922€258,000
Subhead B.5 Natural Heritage (National Parks and Wildlife Service)€751,000

CLÁR Programme

 308. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys the details of the works that have been carried out by local authorities to date in 2017 with the funding that was pre-paid to them under the CLÁR and town and village enhancements schemes 2016; the value of this work; when it is expected that all of this work will be completed; if further approvals of work under these schemes will be given until this work is complete; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15193/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Michael Ring): Information on Michael Ring Zoom on Michael Ring The 2016 CLÁR programme provided funding for the development of local infrastructure such as safety lights at rural schools, better road markings and pedestrian crossings close to community facilities, the provision of play areas and multi-use games facilities, and support for access roads to public amenities. The Town and Village Renewal Scheme provided funding for improvements to the public realm, tourism infrastructure, town health checks and other similar projects.

  Table 1 outlines, on a county-by-county basis, the amount of funding which the Local Authorities have reported as having been expended to the end of February 2017 under the Town and Village Renewal scheme and the CLÁR programme.   

  Progress on individual projects under these initiatives can sometimes be weather-dependent, while other projects may only be carried out at certain times of the year in order to minimise disruption to both schools and communities. Nonetheless, I will be impressing on all Local Authorities the need to have their projects completed as soon as possible. My Department is also engaging closely with the Local Authorities to ensure that all expenditure is in line with the Public Spending Code and that the funding is spent promptly and in accordance with project proposals.

  The 2017 CLÁR and the Town and Village Renewal programmes will be launched shortly and the assessment process for applications submitted under these programmes will take into consideration the status of implementation of 2016 projects.

Table 1 – Expenditure by county: Town and Village Renewal Scheme and CLÁR programme

Expenditure to 28th Feb 2017
CountyTown & Village Renewal schemeCLÁR Programme
Carlow € 162,841.53€ 8,179.00
Cavan € 0.00€ 32,739.33
Clare € 76,740.36€ 0.00
Cork € 0.00€ 6,443.62
Donegal € 0.00€ 0.00
Dublin*€ 40,614.00N/A
Galway € 70,933.00€ 98,554.18
Kerry € 132,420.00€ 28,289.00
Kildare*€ 42,000.00N/A
Kilkenny € 0.00€ 0.00
Laois € 0.00€ 95,500.00
Leitrim € 104,896.00€ 0.00
Limerick € 212,213.17€ 164,035.67
Longford € 89,387.68€ 3,087.00
Louth € 57,882.00€ 4,767.00
Mayo € 141,934.00€ 31,908.00
Meath € 57,910.52€ 0.00
Monaghan € 139,772.00€ 34,446.00
Offaly€ 0.00€ 63,773.00
Roscommon€ 16,705.00€ 0.00
Sligo € 0.00€ 10,000.00
Tipperary€ 242,512.00€ 72,775.26
Waterford € 129,000.00€ 169,160.00
Westmeath € 0.00€ 1,660.00
Wexford*€ 54,746.00N/A
Wicklow € 109,833.00€ 0.00
   
Totals€ 1,882,340.26€ 825,317.06
*Counties that do not have CLÁR Areas

Leader Programmes Funding

 309. Deputy Anne Rabbitte Information on Anne Rabbitte Zoom on Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys in circumstances in which Government funding has been allocated to a community enterprise (details supplied) and subsequently an issue arises over right of access, the appeal mechanisms for the certified registered folio land number; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15249/17]

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys The approval of LEADER funding for individual projects is a matter for the Local Action Groups (LAGs) which administer the LEADER programme in their respective areas and I have no function in relation to those matters.

When a project promoter submits an application for funding to a LAG, it is assessed having regard, inter alia, to the nature of the project and its compliance with the rules and regulations governing the LEADER Programme. It is the responsibility of the promoting organisation to satisfy itself that all Programme conditions have been complied with and that the necessary permissions, where required, have been obtained.

Where a dispute arises in relation to any particular issue, it is a matter for the parties concerned to resolve them. While I have no role in this regard in relation to the specific case referred to by the Deputy, I have nonetheless asked my officials to bring the matter which has been raised to the attention of the LAG concerned.

Leader Programmes Administration

 310. Deputy Anne Rabbitte Information on Anne Rabbitte Zoom on Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys when local communities across County Galway will be approved an administrator for the roll-out of Leader funding (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [15514/17]

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Deputy Heather Humphreys): Information on Heather Humphreys Zoom on Heather Humphreys Following a competitive process for the implementation of the LEADER 2014-2020 programme in Co. Galway, a Local Development Strategy submitted by Forum Connemara was selected for delivery by an Independent Selection Committee in 2016. The selected strategy covers the municipal district of Connemara, including Inisbofin and the Aran Islands. The new LEADER Programme has been operational in these areas since 1st November 2016.

As the selected strategy did not cover the full area of County Galway, an Expression of Interest process for the delivery of LEADER in the remaining rural areas of east Galway was launched by my Department on 10th October 2016. A sum of €7.7 million will be available under LEADER for the east Galway region.

Arising from the Expression of Interest process, I understand that the preparation of a Local Development Strategy for the east Galway region is at an advanced stage and is expected to be submitted to my Department before the end of March for evaluation and subsequent consideration by an Independent Selection Committee. The Independent Selection Committee will review the strategy towards the end of April.

Provided that the strategy meets the required standard, I would expect to be in a position to sign a Funding Agreement for the delivery of the LEADER 2014-2020 Programme in east Galway shortly after the Selection Committee’s deliberations.


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