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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 772 - 784
 Header Item Defence Forces Personnel Data
 Header Item Defence Forces Reserve Strength
 Header Item Defence Forces Operations
 Header Item Naval Service Operations
 Header Item Ministerial Travel
 Header Item Departmental Expenditure
 Header Item Public Relations Contracts Expenditure
 Header Item Departmental Contracts Data
 Header Item Departmental Advertising Expenditure

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 963 No. 3

First Page Previous Page Page of 122 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 772 - 784

Defence Forces Personnel Data

 772. Deputy Lisa Chambers Information on Lisa Chambers Zoom on Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the most up-to-date figures for the strength of the Permanent Defence Force with regard to all three services and all ranks; the gender breakdown of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54050/17]

 774. Deputy Lisa Chambers Information on Lisa Chambers Zoom on Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the number of additional recruits the Permanent Defence Force has recruited in 2017 with regard to all three services; the gender breakdown of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54052/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe I propose to take Questions Nos. 772 and 774 together.   

  As of the 31st October, 2017 (the latest date for which figures are available), the whole time equivalent strength of the Defence Forces was as follows:   

Service Total Personnel Female Personnel
Army 7,417 496
Naval Service 1,058 74
Air Corps 744 34


To return to, and maintain, the agreed strength levels, significant targeted recruitment has taken place in 2017.   

  A total of 702 personnel have been inducted to date in 2017 and it is planned to induct further recruits before the year end. The 702 personnel inducted encompass 567 General Service Recruits across the Army and Naval Service, along with 100 Cadets, 22   Air Corps Apprentices and 13 Direct Entry Officers (11 Naval Service and 2 Military Medicine).   Females represent 9.8% of those inducted in 2017. The gender breakdown of 2017 recruits across the Defence Forces is currently being compiled by the military authorities, and I will revert to the Deputy with this information when it is available.   

  The number of Officers, as at 31st October 2017, is 1,056 out of an establishment of 1,233. The number of Cadets in training has substantially increased recently with 100 Cadets having been recruited in each of the years 2016 and 2017. Approximately 70 Army Cadets will be commissioned in January 2018   

  As I have previously outlined there are particular challenges with vacancies in certain specialist posts such as Pilots, Air Traffic Controllers and certain Technicians. These specialists can prove difficult to retain where, as in the current economic circumstances, there are ongoing private sector and commercial semi-state sector job opportunities.

  To address these difficulties, a range of recruitment methods are being employed including direct entry competitions for specialist positions. I have directed the civil and military management to develop proposals for expanding such direct entry recruitment of specialists and a scheme to faciliate former PDF personnel with appropriate skill-sets to re-enter the Defence Forces. The Public Service Pay Commission will further examine the issue of retention of specialist personnel in accordance with the provisions of the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018-2020   

  In tandem with these actions my Department is also engaged in planning on a longer term basis. Projects arising from the White Paper on Defence around topics such as medium term manpopwer planning and encouraging as wide a pool as possible for recruitment are already underway. Further projects, scheduled to begin in the New Year will address issues such as age profiles and a gap analysis of skill-sets within the PDF. The gap analysis will help to identify the frequency of such gaps and identify appropriate measures to address them.

  I remain committed to maximising recruitment of capable personnel, developing serving personnel, and so achieving the best personnel and skills combination to ensure the Defence Forces retain the capacity to operate effectively across all roles.

Defence Forces Reserve Strength

 773. Deputy Lisa Chambers Information on Lisa Chambers Zoom on Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the most up-to-date figures for the strength of the Reserve Defence Force with regard to all three services and all ranks; the gender breakdown of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.  [54051/17]

 775. Deputy Lisa Chambers Information on Lisa Chambers Zoom on Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the number of additional recruits the Reserve Defence Force has taken on in 2017 with regard to all services; the gender breakdown of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54053/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe I propose to take Questions Numbers 773 and 775 together.   

  As of 31 October 2017 (the latest date for which figures are available), the effective strength of the Reserve Defence Force was as follows:   

Service
Total Effective Personnel
Female Personnel
Army Reserve 1,733 240
Naval Service Reserve 123 19


I am aware that there is a shortfall between these figures and those of the establishment, which provides for 4,069 personnel. The most recent recruitment campaign for the Army Reserve and Naval Service began in July 2017 and attracted 1,221 applications. A total of 128 personnel have been inducted to the Reserve Defence Force in 2017. The recruitment process has also been streamlined so as to make it more efficient. The gender breakdown of the 2017 recruits is currently being compiled by the military authorities, and I will revert to the Deputy with this information when it is available.   

Given the competing recruitment demands at present, where PDF recruitment is and should remain a priority, recruitment to the Reserve is continuing. However, it should be noted that the same personnel and resources are utilised for both Permanent and Reserve Defence Force recruitment and the planned recruitment of up to 800 Permanent Defence Force personnel this year obviously impacted on resource allocation.   

I would like to assure the Deputy that I remain committed to the ongoing development of the RDF within the framework set out in the White Paper on Defence and having regard to resource availability.

  Question No. 774 answered with Question No. 772.

  Question No. 775 answered with Question No. 773.

Defence Forces Operations

 776. Deputy Lisa Chambers Information on Lisa Chambers Zoom on Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the number of suspect devices that the Defence Forces disposal unit has dealt with in 2017, by county, in tabular from. [54054/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe The Department of Justice and Equality and An Garda Síochána have primary responsibility for the internal security of the State.   Among the roles assigned to the Defence Forces in the White Paper on Defence is the provision of Aid to the Civil Power which, in practice, means to assist An Garda Síochána when requested to do so. The Defence Forces Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams respond when a request for assistance is made by An Garda Síochána in dealing with a suspect device. The number of EOD callouts, which include viable devices, hoaxes, false alarms, post-blast analysis and the removal of unstable chemicals in laboratories dealt with up to date in 2017, by county, are set out in the tabular statement below:

County Number of EOD Callouts
Carlow 2
Clare 2
Cork 4
Donegal 4
Dublin 39
Kerry 1
Kildare 9
Kilkenny 1
Laois 3
Limerick 11
Louth 3
Mayo 1
Meath 1
Monaghan 1
Offaly 1
Roscommon 1
Sligo 2
Tipperary 2
Westmeath 4
Wexford 1
Wicklow 1
TOTAL 94

Naval Service Operations

 777. Deputy Lisa Chambers Information on Lisa Chambers Zoom on Lisa Chambers asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the number of days spent at sea by members of the Naval Service Reserve in 2016 and 2017. [54055/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe The number of days spent at sea by members of the Naval Service Reserve in 2016 and 2017 is as follows:

Year Sea Days
2016 150 days
2017 167 days (to date)

Ministerial Travel

 778. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the use his Department has made of the Government jet since coming into office, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54193/17]

 779. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the use his Department has made of the Government jet in each of the years March 2011 to February 2016; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54209/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe I propose to take Questions Nos. 778 and 779 together.

  Information in relation to Ministerial Air Transport is available publically via a link entitled Ministerial Air Transport Service (MATS) on the Department of Defence homepage at www.defence.ie . This information is updated on a monthly basis.   

  The use of any Air Corps aircraft for Ministerial transport is subject to the authorisation of An Taoiseach.   

Departmental Expenditure

 780. Deputy Shane Cassells Information on Shane Cassells Zoom on Shane Cassells asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the photography costs for his Department in each year since March 2011 inclusive of costs incurred from use of the ministerial allowance; the list of occasions for which photographers were booked; the photographers used; the costs associated with each occasion that a photographer was used, in tabular form; if there is a policy regarding the booking of photographers within his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54225/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe The total costs for photography paid by the Department in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 to date is set out in the table below:-   

2011 Maxwell Photography €393.25
2012 Fennell Photography €116.85
2013 Maxwell Photography €17.22
2014 Maxwell Photography €713.40
2017 Maxwell Photography €590.40


The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, following an EU-level advertised procurement process, has established a Framework Agreement comprising five firms for the provision of photography services. The Framework was established in February 2012 and is open for use by all Government Departments and Offices. My Department normally avails of this Framework Agreement for photography needs.   

Public Relations Contracts Expenditure

 781. Deputy Shane Cassells Information on Shane Cassells Zoom on Shane Cassells asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the use of external public relations firms employed by his Department in each year since March 2011; the list of uses of the external public relations firm; the internal Department policy with regard to employing external groups; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54241/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe My Department has not incurred any expenditure on external public relations firms since March 2011.   

Departmental Contracts Data

 782. Deputy Shane Cassells Information on Shane Cassells Zoom on Shane Cassells asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the external consultant reports commissioned by his Department since March 2011; the costs per report; the company involved; the title of the report; and the publication date, in tabular form. [54257/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe The information requested by the Deputy in relation to external consultant reports commissioned by my Department since March 2011 is set out in the table below.   

Report



Cost
Date of Commission
Company
Publication Date
An independent review of United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) fatalities in 1989

€51,660 19 April 2011 Mr. Frank Callanan, S.C. 19 September 2011
Research on vessels linked to Roger Casement €4,605 Late 2015 Mr. John Kearon Not published
Third Report of the Independent Monitoring Group (IMG)

€22,500 September 2013 Dr. Eileen Doyle 3 September 2014
Consultancy report to access the impact of an upgrade of Departments financial application software



€24,870.60 23 October 2014 Fujitsu Ltd 30 January 2015
Review of the Civil Defence

Branch



€7,200 March 2015 Mr. Jim Blighe Not published
Review of the safe operation of Civil Defence watercraft. €26,400 March 2016 MarMan & Associates, Marine Consultants. Not published
Review of communications in Civil Defence €1,400 September 2016 Mr. Ciaran Motherway Not published
Aviation Regulation, Oversight and Safety Management in the Defence Organisation €35,000 January 2017 Bureau Veritas Not published
Independent Review of the investigation of the death of Pte Hugh Doherty and the disappearance of Pte Kevin Joyce (Caomhán Seoighe) on 27 April 1981 while serving with IRISHBATT in the United Nations Interim Force in the Lebanon (UNIFIL)



€33,665.55 (total cost including editing fees of €1,500) 6 January 2015 Mr. Roderick Murphy (report edited by Mr Jim Blighe) Publication early 2018.

Departmental Advertising Expenditure

 783. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the level of expenditure by his Department from 1 January 2017 to date in 2017 on advertising of Government information campaigns published specifically in national and regional newspapers in addition to all online advertising for all such Government information campaigns; the name for each such information campaign to which this expenditure related; the cost of each, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54273/17]

 784. Deputy Niall Collins Information on Niall Collins Zoom on Niall Collins asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar the level of expenditure by his Department or organisations under the aegis of his Department from 1 January 2017 to date in 2017 on photography, advertising, communications advice, public relations, website development, media interview training and preparation; the events, campaigns or policies to which this expenditure related; the company or person to which such payments were made, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [54289/17]

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe I propose to take Questions Nos. 783 and 784 together.

  The total expenditure to date in 2017 by the Department of Defence for photography, advertising and website development is set out in the tables below. There was no expenditure in relation to communications advice, public relations and media training and preparation in 2017.   

  In relation to expenditure in these areas for the Defence Forces; it was not possible to collate the information requested by the Deputy in the timeframe available. I shall provide the figures to   the Deputy when I receive them from the military authorities.   

Photography

Campaign/ Policy Company Total
Presentation of Long Service Medals and 1916 Commemoration medals to volunteer members of Civil Defence 26/5/2017
Maxwell Photography €590.40



Website development   
Campaign/ Policy
Company


Total


Replacement of the Departments websites ( www.defence.ie , www.emergencyplanning.ie and www.winterready.ie )
Annertech
€34,507.66


Advertising     
Campaign/ Policy
Company


Total


101 st Anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising Mediavest Ltd.
€3,894.74
Rifle Range Adverts Mediavest Ltd.
€31,683.58
Rifle Range Adverts North Wicklow Times
€1,199.25
National Heritage Guide Advert The Heritage Council
€630.00
Annual Perambulation of the Curragh Roads Advert KFM Radio
€369.00
Be Winter Ready Campaign

Radio Advertisements
Mediavest Ltd.
€25,912.52
Be Winter Ready Campaign two page article in the Irish Independent Independent Newspapers Marketing Ltd.
€6,150.00
Be Winter Ready Twitter campaign Mediavest Ltd.
€5,535.00
Management of Twitter campaign Mediavest Ltd.
€2,583.00
Advertising the services of the the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces -‘Signal’ Magazine – Autumn 2016 Edition Atlantic Digital Agency Ltd.
€977.85
Advertising the services of the the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces -‘Signal’ Magazine – Spring 2017 Edition

Atlantic Digital Agency Ltd.
€977.85


Advertising the services of the the Ombudsman for the Defence Forces -‘An Cosantóir’ Magazine December 2017- January 2018 Edition








JM Publishing Ltd.
€977.85
Promoting Civil Defence Roscrea People
€300
Promoting Civil Defence JP Devlin Media (Public Sector awards Magazine):
€2,084.85
Promoting Civil Defence Education Magazine (Reference Guide)
€984
Promoting Civil Defence Emergency Times Publication of January 2017
€344


 The only departmental information campaign is the Be Winter Ready 2017 information campaign which was launched on 8 November for which total expenditure was €14,268.00 as outlined above.


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