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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 93-108
 Header Item Capital Expenditure Programme
 Header Item Capital Expenditure Programme
 Header Item Departmental Data
 Header Item Public Sector Reform
 Header Item Public Sector Pay
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic
 Header Item Public Procurement Contracts
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic Supports
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic
 Header Item Horse Sport Ireland
 Header Item Tuarascálacha Ranna

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 1004 No. 6
Unrevised

First Page Previous Page Page of 74 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 93-108

Capital Expenditure Programme

 93. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard J. Durkan Zoom on Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath the extent to which all public capital projects under his aegis are subjected to appropriate tests of costing and administration with a view to minimising any potential overruns; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10895/21]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Michael McGrath): Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath Evaluation, management and delivery of public capital projects are a matter for the Sponsoring Agency and Approving Authority in each case. My Department is responsible for setting the overall capital expenditure allocations for Departments. My Department is also responsible for maintaining the national frameworks within which Departments operate to ensure appropriate accounting for and value for money in public expenditure such as the Public Spending Code. The Public Spending Code sets the value for money requirements and guidance for evaluating, planning and managing capital projects.

  The Public Spending Code is not static and was updated in 2019 following an extensive consultation process. This update has strengthened the guidance to better align with the realities of project delivery and with a particular focus on improved appraisal, cost estimation and management. In line with the principle of proportionality, the requirements for smaller projects in have been streamlined and the requirements for larger projects supports a better consideration of options, risks, costs and deliverability.

   The updated Public Spending Code brings a renewed focus to:

  - Gaining a more developed view of costs, risks and timeframes before committing to proceed with a project;

  - Tighter governance of key decision points during project preparation and delivery;

  - Ongoing updating of the business case for a project as it proceeds through design and planning phases; and

  - Continued scrutiny of affordability throughout the process.

  As part of the ongoing reform of the Public Spending Code and as one of the work streams of the review of the National Development Plan, my Department is developing a strengthened assurance process for major projects with an estimated cost of over €100 million. This will involve an independent peer review of major projects at two key stages in the project life-cycle, specifically when the preferred delivery option is chosen and before approval is given to go to tender. The reviews will be conducted by independent experts in infrastructure delivery.

  The reviews will consider key issues including:

  - Robustness of planned delivery;

  - Accuracy of cost forecasts;

  - Consideration of risk; and

  - Appropriateness of procurement strategies.

  The detail of the process and arrangements for implementation will be delivered by summer 2021 with the review of the National Development Plan.

  Question No. 94 answered with Question No. 92.

Capital Expenditure Programme

 95. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard J. Durkan Zoom on Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath if steps are needed to address potential overheating in the costs for capital projects; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10897/21]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Michael McGrath): Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath The BUILD Reports produced by the National Investment Office in my Department in 2019 and 2020 have highlighted capacity constraints arising in the construction sector in recent years, noting that “potential risks and constraints are present in the form of cost inflation, limited sources of additional labour supply and stagnant productivity growth”.

A key metric to consider is the Construction Tender Price Index, which is based on tender returns for non-residential projects. It is based on predominately new build projects with values in excess of €500,000 across all regions. The Index is therefore a measure of average price increases across differing project types and locations.

In recent years there as been an elevated level of inflation in the Irish construction sector. In 2019 the construction tender price index surpassed its previous peak from 2007. The index was estimated to have increased by 6.6 percent over 2019. However, the rate of inflation slowed significantly in 2020 to 1.3 percent. This is an issue which is highly uncertain at present due to issues including Brexit and Covid-19.

Continued monitoring of inflation and capacity constraints by the National Investment Office in conjunction with the Construction Sector Group will be necessary to inform any policy decisions in this area in the future.

Departmental Data

 96. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard J. Durkan Zoom on Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath the Department that has achieved most in terms of public expenditure and reform; the Departments that need to do better in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10898/21]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Michael McGrath): Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath The Civil Service Renewal programme of reform, supporting the development of high performing Civil Service organisations, continues to be embedded. This programme is overseen by the Civil Service Management Board which focusses on driving whole-of-Government reform across the Civil Service, rather than at individual Departmental level.

  The Civil Service Renewal Plan has delivered a range of significant transformations which have increased our capacity to respond to complex challenges.

  Headline achievements include:

  - The establishment of the Civil Service Management Board to provide strategic oversight for delivering the actions in the Civil Service Renewal Plan.

  - The development of a wide range of initiatives to improve gender balance across the Civil Service within Departments and Offices.

  - The establishment of a centralised Learning and Development service, ‘OneLearning’, to centrally operate and manage the delivery a new common suite of programmes.

  - The development and implementation of Executive leadership programmes to enhance leadership capability at senior levels of the Civil Service.

  - Strengthened professionalisation in the areas of HR and ICT and the introduction of ICT apprenticeships.

  - The establishment of the Civil Service-wide mobility scheme to expand career and mobility opportunities for staff across geographic, organisational and sectoral boundaries.

  - The introduction of a system of Organisational Capability Reviews to assess and strengthen the performance and capacity of Departments.

  - The establishment of the Civil Service Employee Engagement Survey which asks civil servants for their views on working in the Civil Service, focusing on areas such as employee engagement, well-being, coping with change and commitment to the organisation.

  My Department has published a series of progress reports which capture the achievements to date. They are available on my Department's website at https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/8a4a55-civil-service-renewal-plan-progress-reports/#fourth-progress-report.

  New challenges and opportunities have emerged at local and global levels since the inception of the last Civil Service Renewal Plan. We are currently developing an ambitious ten-year strategy and vision for the Civil Service to deliver an innovative, professional and agile Civil Service that strives to address the needs and demands of today, while setting out a blueprint for tomorrow.

  Implementation of the wider public service reform programme, Our Public Service 2020, the framework for development and innovation for the public service to 2020 and beyond, is continuing. The First Progress Report on the framework was published in October 2019 and is available on my Department's website at https://www.ops2020.gov.ie/app/uploads/2019/10/OPS2020-First-Progress-Report_Web.pdf.

  Questions Nos. 97 and 98 answered with Question No. 92.

Public Sector Reform

 99. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard J. Durkan Zoom on Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath the extent to which reform remains part of Government policy in the context of meeting specific annual targets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10901/21]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Michael McGrath): Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath I am pleased to inform the Deputy that significant reforms in the Public Service have been brought about since the establishment of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. A core goal of this Department is to continue to deliver reforms for Government through improved, cost-effective public services across a range of areas including governance, accountability, procurement, shared services, organisational redesign and property management.

The existing framework for public service reform and innovation, Our Public Service 2020 (OPS2020), builds on earlier reforms, whilst expanding their scope in order to accelerate the digital delivery of public services, deliver better outcomes for citizens, drive innovation and help to develop our people and organisations.

Notable examples of initiatives that have been delivered include:

- Digital : transforming and driving digital delivery of services, such as, for example; An Garda Síochána's Active Mobility Service; passport on-line; the Library Service’s My Open Library initiative; the Revenue Commissioners PAYE Modernisation programme

- Innovation: the Public Service Innovation Strategy, Making Innovation Real, was launched in November 2020 to enable our public services become more effective and efficient for the citizen; a Public Service Innovation Fund has been established to support innovation projects across the Public Service; the establishment of a central innovation support team; the creation of a Public Service-wide innovation network, and; the implementation of an annual Public Service-wide innovation week, amongst other initiatives

- Emerging Technology : driving the take-up of Robotic Process Automation through a dedicated procurement framework, facilitating swift and easy draw down of licences, supports and expertise to create efficiencies in back-office functions

- Strategic Human Resource Management: a significant review of strategic workforce planning was undertaken in selected public service organisations. A range of support materials to enable greater use of this strategic resource management tool have also been published

- Diversity and Inclusion: following a consultative process with Civil Society representing people covered by the nine grounds of equality legislation, a range of supports have been developed to promote greater diversity and inclusion in our Public Service

- Governance: creation of the Public Service Leadership Board (PSLB) - at Secretary General and equivalent level- supported by the Public Service Management Group (PSMG) to oversee the governance of reform efforts.

Innovations and reforms are also underway outside of the OPS2020 framework in organisations across the Civil and Public Service. For example, in this Department, a number of budgetary reforms have also been introduced in recent years including a renewed Public Spending Code and additional spending reviews.

As the Deputy will also be aware public service reform is also at the heart of the new public service pay agreement - Building Momentum 2021/2022. Under the new Agreement, the parties will be working over the coming weeks to agree action plans to give effect to the reform commitments in the Agreement.

Furthermore, my Department is currently in the process of preparing a successor framework to OPS2020. Similar work is also well-advanced in framing a further renewal plan for the Civil Service, in addition to an examination of the organisational structure and design of our Civil Service. These agendas will focus on large-scale ambitious transformation to support greater cost-effectiveness through enhanced digital service delivery, the development of our data infrastructure, and by building the workforce and workplace of the future arising from the transformative effect of the Covid-19 pandemic.

In terms of meeting annual targets, any forthcoming reform plan will seek to support priorities that have been articulated in the Programme for Government, in addition to other reform priorities that are identified across Government. Reform measures in Government’s current and previous reform programmes are programme managed to achieve the required outcomes, with progress tracked against identified indicators. . Copies of progress reports in relation to the existing reform programme are available at www.ops2020.gov.ie.

Public Sector Pay

 100. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard J. Durkan Zoom on Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath the extent to which commitments made in the unwinding of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest, FEMPI, Acts are being met; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10902/21]

 101. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard J. Durkan Zoom on Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath the extent to which progress is being made on agreements achieved under the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest, FEMPI, legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10903/21]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Michael McGrath): Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath I propose to take Questions Nos. 100 and 101 together.

  I refer the Deputy to my reply to PQ 2865, dated 20/01/2021. The position remains the same.

  PQRef: 2865/21

  The process of unwinding the Financial Emergency (FEMPI) legislation commenced under the Lansdowne Road Agreement 2016 – 2018 and was largely completed under the Public Service Stability Agreement 2018 – 2020 (PSSA).

  To date, salary rates up to approx. €70,000, which accounts for over 90% of the public service, have been fully restored.

  While the Agreement expired at the end of 2020, certain measures needed to complete the unwinding of FEMPI will continue over the period 2021-2023 as provided for in the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017. These can be found at Section 19 and Section 20 of the Act at the following link:

http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2017/act/34/enacted/en/html   

  Under the terms of the FEMPI Act 2013, I am obliged to carry out an annual review of the operation, effectiveness and impact of the FEMPI Acts, having regard to the overall economic conditions in the State and national competitiveness. In this annual review, I am also to consider whether or not any of the provision of the relevant Acts continue to be necessary having regard to the purposes of those Acts, the revenues of the State and State commitments in respect of public service pay and pensions.

The 2020 annual review, a written report of which was laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas on the 23rd   June 2020, recommended the continuation of the unwinding of the FEMPI measures in line with the provisions enacted in the Public Service Pay and Pensions Act 2017. This report can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/68e504-annual-reviews-of-the-fempi-act-2013/

Covid-19 Pandemic

 102. Deputy Colm Burke Information on Colm Burke Zoom on Colm Burke asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin if there will be a review of the current restriction that prevents golf courses from reopening; if serious consideration will be given to the easing of restrictions in this respect; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10760/21]

Minister of State at the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Jack Chambers): Information on Jack Chambers Zoom on Jack Chambers The Government on Tuesday agreed that the current public health restrictions on sport and exercise – including the restrictions on golf and other outdoor sports will be extended until 5 April. The current epidemiological situation is such that it does not permit Government consideration at this time of the reopening of golf courses. The Government's clear message at the present time is for people to stay in their homes, unless necessary for those essential reasons set out in the public health regulations.

The Government has this week published the COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery Plan 2021 – The Path Ahead and agreed that the public health restrictions will be subject to ongoing review taking account of the evolving epidemiological situation and available evidence in relation to vaccine deployment, uptake and effectiveness. The public health advice is that it is too early to say how and when other restrictions should be eased given current uncertainties. Government will meet in advance of the 5th of April to review the level of restrictions. The focus of the assessment, based on the public health advice, will be on achieving the following before any significant easing of measures is contemplated:

1. Disease prevalence (case numbers/incidence) is brought to much lower levels that can be managed and controlled by public health and that the reproduction number (“R” number) is such that we can be confident that we can continue to suppress the disease e.g. at or below 1.

2. Hospital and critical care occupancy are reduced to low levels to protect the health service and allow for the safe resumption of non-COVID-19 care.

3. Ongoing and steady progress on the vaccination programme such that the most vulnerable are protected through vaccination.

4. Emerging information on variants of concern.

Any easing of measures should be slow and gradual with sufficient time between phases to assess impact and to respond if the epidemiological situation was to deteriorate. It will take account of emerging international and national evidence and experience and with a specific focus on supporting mental health and wellbeing. The Government has agreed that the following areas may be considered if the situation improves sufficiently:

- Some easing of restrictions on outdoor activities and meetings beyond 1 other household.

- Consideration of extending the current 5km limit.

- Staggered start of easing of other areas of activity with a focus on outdoor activities including sport and some areas of construction.

Minister Martin and I will continue our engagement with Sport Ireland and the sporting bodies with a view to bringing proposals at the appropriate time for consideration by Government, in consultation with NPHET and the public health authorities.

Public Procurement Contracts

 103. Deputy Mairéad Farrell Information on Mairéad  Farrell Zoom on Mairéad  Farrell asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin further to Parliamentary Question No. 68 of 25 November 2020, if further details of the inclusion of social clauses in contracts for capital investment projects under Project Ireland 2040, such as the development of the National Gallery and National Archives, will be provided; if such contracts have been drawn up yet; and the nature of the contract work and a description of the social clauses to be used therein in tabular form. [10791/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin My Department is engaged in significant capital investment projects under Project 2040 across all the National Cultural Institutions which include both the National Gallery of Ireland and National Archives.

Under the Public Spending Code, and the Capital Works Management Framework, my Department acts as the Approving Authority with responsibility for granting the approvals required at each point in the project life-cycle and ensuring project delivery in line with those approvals. The National Cultural Institutions act as the Sponsoring Agency, responsible for the appraisal, planning and management of projects, while the Office of Public Works, for most projects under the programme, acts as the Contracting Authority with responsibility for procurement at construction phase and overseeing the construction process.

At present, all the National Cultural Institutions projects are at various stages including appraisal, design, planning and procurement, along the Public Spending Code life-cycle and no contracts have, as yet, been placed in relation to construction.

My Department and the National Cultural Institutions will work with the OPW to ensure that the requirements of Circular 20/2019: Promoting the use of Environmental and Social Considerations in Public Procurement will be taken in account, as appropriate, and any other relevant advice from the Office of Government Procurement.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

 104. Deputy Verona Murphy Information on Verona Murphy Zoom on Verona Murphy asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin the additional supports being considered for the tourism sector in view of the extended restrictions on the industry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10910/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin The July Stimulus and Budget 2021 provided a significant package of tax and fiscal measures to build the resilience of the economy and to help vulnerable but viable businesses across all sectors. In regard to tourism these measures include:

- The first phase of the Tourism Business Continuity Scheme was launched on 11th February by Fáilte Ireland to help strategic tourism business survive the pandemic and drive recovery. The Scheme will contribute to the fixed costs of identified tourism businesses that are not eligible for CRSS to support their survival. It will provide an equitable level of payment to the CRSS for qualifying businesses and the first phase will cover businesses such as tourism attractions, activity providers, and caravan and camping sites.

- The VAT rate for the Sector was reduced to 9% to help improve competitiveness and viability of businesses.

- Two separate funds of €10million each were introduced for Coach Tourism Operators and Ireland Based Inbound Agents Business Continuity Scheme in the last quarter of 2020.

- Funding of €5 million has also been provided for upskilling training and to improve digital presence.

- A €26m adaptation fund for the tourism sector to adapt their premises to meet COVID-19 safety requirements.

- In addition, the Government has introduced a number of horizontal measures that have been of assistance to the tourism sector including the Employee Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), tax warehousing, and the Commercial Rates waiver. In regard to the CRSS, as at 25 February 2021, Revenue Commissioners’ data shows that €329m was paid out under CRSS, of which approximately 63% (€206m) was in respect of the tourism and hospitality sector.

The measures introduced have been critical in assisting tourism businesses to survive the hugely challenging situation brought about by the pandemic. Unfortunately, the evolution of the pandemic in Ireland and elsewhere has meant that our tourism sector has remained in survival mode.

The Deputy will be aware that on 23 February the Government published "COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery 2021 The Path Ahead". The Government also decided to support businesses, including tourism businesses, by extending the COVID Restrictions Support Scheme, the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme, and the current commercial rates waiver for a further three months.

The Government has also committed to publishing a National Economic Recovery Plan. As part of the Plan the Government will consider more targeted measures to help re-boot those sectors, such as tourism, who will face particular challenges during the recovery phase when the economy reopens.

Covid-19 Pandemic

 105. Deputy Verona Murphy Information on Verona Murphy Zoom on Verona Murphy asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin if consideration has been given to including the sport of gymnastics in the elite sport category in view of the fact that many gymnasts are due to compete in European championships later in 2021 with a return to training crucial to preparations; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10595/21]

Minister of State at the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Jack Chambers): Information on Jack Chambers Zoom on Jack Chambers Athletes, including gymnasts, who are on Sport Ireland's 2020 International Carding Scheme, or are a member of a high performance team funded by Sport Ireland or who compete at major international events including European and World Championships, Olympic and Paralympic Games are already included in the category to which the Deputy refers. Those athletes are thus facilitated in their necessary training and competition activities.

Further details are available on the website of Sport Ireland, which is funded by my Department, and is the statutory body with responsibility for the development of sport, including high performance sport.

Covid-19 Pandemic

 106. Deputy Verona Murphy Information on Verona Murphy Zoom on Verona Murphy asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin the considerations being taken to allow for school-aged children to return to their preferred choice of sports; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10596/21]

Minister of State at the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Jack Chambers): Information on Jack Chambers Zoom on Jack Chambers The Government recently agreed that the current public health restrictions on sport and exercise – including the restrictions on sport for school aged children – will be extended until 5 April. The current epidemiological situation is such that it does not permit Government consideration at this time of the resumption of children's sport. The Government's clear message at the present time is for people to stay in their homes, unless necessary for those essential reasons set out in the public health regulations.

The Government has this week published the COVID-19 Resilience and Recovery Plan 2021 – The Path Ahead and agreed that the public health restrictions will be subject to ongoing review taking account of the evolving epidemiological situation and available evidence in relation to vaccine deployment, uptake and effectiveness. The public health advice is that it is too early to say how and when other restrictions should be eased given current uncertainties. Government will meet in advance of the 5th of April to review the level of restrictions. The focus of the assessment, based on the public health advice, will be on achieving the following before any significant easing of measures is contemplated:

1. Disease prevalence (case numbers/incidence) is brought to much lower levels that can be managed and controlled by public health and that the reproduction number (“R” number) is such that we can be confident that we can continue to suppress the disease e.g. at or below 1.

2. Hospital and critical care occupancy are reduced to low levels to protect the health service and allow for the safe resumption of non-COVID-19 care.

3. Ongoing and steady progress on the vaccination programme such that the most vulnerable are protected through vaccination.

4. Emerging information on variants of concern.

Any easing of measures should be slow and gradual with sufficient time between phases to assess impact and to respond if the epidemiological situation was to deteriorate. It will take account of emerging international and national evidence and experience and with a specific focus on supporting mental health and wellbeing. The Government has agreed that the following areas may be considered if the situation improves sufficiently:

- Some easing of restrictions on outdoor activities and meetings beyond 1 other household.

- Consideration of extending the current 5km limit.

- Staggered start of easing of other areas of activity with a focus on outdoor activities including sport and some areas of construction.

Minister Martin and I will continue our engagement with Sport Ireland and the sporting bodies with a view to bringing proposals at the appropriate time for consideration by Government, in consultation with NPHET and the public health authorities.

Horse Sport Ireland

 107. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin if she will address a matter (details supplied) regarding Horse Sport Ireland; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [10598/21]

Minister of State at the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Jack Chambers): Information on Jack Chambers Zoom on Jack Chambers National Governing Bodies of Sport such as Horse Sport Ireland are independent, autonomous bodies and are responsible for their own operational arrangements and procedures for their sports. The decision by Horse Sport Ireland regarding the matter mentioned by the Deputy is entirely a matter for Horse Sport Ireland.

  While I am aware of the decision by Horse Sport Ireland, I have no role in relation to either the decision or the procurement process involved.

  I understand that both the Minister and Minister of State for Agriculture, Food and the Marine have engaged with Horse Sport Ireland on this matter.

Tuarascálacha Ranna

 108. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh den Aire Turasóireachta, Cultúir, Ealaíon, Gaeltachta, Spóirt agus Meán Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin an ndéanfaidh sí cóip den anailís tionchair rialála a bhí déanta ag a Roinn mar gheall ar Bhille na dTeangacha Oifigiúla (Leasú), 2019 a chur ar fáil don Teachta seo agus í a fhoilsiú. [10622/21]

Minister of State at the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Jack Chambers): Information on Jack Chambers Zoom on Jack Chambers Mar is eol don Teachta, is é príomhchuspóir an Bhille seo Acht na dTeangacha Oifigiúla 2003 a leasú ionas go mbeifear in ann feabhas a chur ar sholáthar seirbhísí phoiblí trí Ghaeilge agus líon na gcainteoirí Gaeilge a earcaítear sa seirbhís phoiblí a mheadú.

Foilsíodh an Bille i Nollaig 2019 agus b'é an cáineadh is mó a rinneadh air go raibh easpa spriocdhátaí luaite le cuid de na beartais. Tá iarracht déanta dul i ngleic leis sin anois agus na leasuithe seo á moladh ag an Rialtas:

- An Coiste Comhairleach reachtúil um Sheirbhísí le bunú tráth nach ndéanaí ná sé mhí tar éis an Bhille a bheith achtaithe;

- An Plean Náisiúnta ar mhaithe le soláthar seirbhísí poiblí trí mheán na Gaeilge a mhéadú le bheith ullmhaithe agus curtha faoi bhráid an Aire tráth nach ndéanaí ná dhá bhliain tar éis bhunú an Choiste Chomhairligh; agus,

- 20% d’earcaigh nua do chomhlachtaí poiblí le bheith inniúil sa Ghaeilge tráth nach ndéanaí ná 2030.

Tá os cionn 300 leasú curtha síos don Bhille agus é á phlé ag Céim an Choiste faoi láthair. Tá geallta agam cheana féin go ndéanfaidh mé roinnt de na leasaithe sin a bhreithniú agus go dtiofaidh mé ar ais ag Céim na Tuarascála le moltaí ina leith. Táim muiníneach go mbeidh an Bille i bhfad níos láidre nuair a achtófar é agus ciallaíonn sé éagsúil ón leagan a foilsíodh i 2019. Tá obair leanúnach ar bun maidir leis an Anailís Tionchair Rialála i leith an Bhille mar go gcaithfear aghaidh a thabhairt ar chuid de na leasuithe is suntasaí atá á mbreithniú anois ag Céim an Choiste. É sin ráite, táthar ag súil go mbeifear réidh le haghaidh Anailís Tionchair Rialála a fhoilsiú roimh Céim na Tuarascála sa Dáil.


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