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Howlin, Brendan

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Leaders' Questions (Continued)

Stop shouting down.More Button

The Deputy is shouting people down.More Button

The Deputy will not listen to anyone.More Button

Construction Contracts

Was asked: the criteria for construction companies to qualify for State contracts; his plans to change this criteria in particular the minimum turnover levels required; and if he will make a statement on the ...More Button

All policy, guidance and implementation measures relating to capital projects is published on the Construction Procurement Reform website More Button

Tax Clearance Certificates

Was asked: the position regarding payment in respect of a person (details supplied) in County Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Flood Relief Schemes Funding

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 214 and 215 of 10 December 2013, if he will clarify whether he was referring to the Athleague Flood Alleviation Committee, or to the River Suck Joint Drainag...More Button

Drainage Schemes Status

Was asked: if any Government or State agency under his aegis including local authorities have any responsibility to dredge the bed of the Womanagh River in east Cork; and if he will make a statement on the ma...More Button

Was asked: the responsibility, if any, that local authorities have to dredge the beds of rivers, as happened in the past; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: if he will remove the large bank of gravel in the middle of the Laune River, in the vicinity of Laune Bridge, Killorglin, County Kerry as homes, properties and businesses in the area are continuous...More Button

Public Sector Staff Recruitment

Was asked: the reason a Canadian citizen with a stamp four visa and married to an Irish citizen was deemed not eligible to compete for a temporary clerical position in the public service.More Button

Posts in the Irish Civil Service are generally open to suitably qualified candidates who are nationals of an EU Member State or the European Economic Area (EEA). Such individuals have the right un...More Button

From time to time, professional or specialist posts the civil service are advertised where reflecting specific requirements for particular expertise or skills a more flexible approach is taken wh...More Button

Stamp 4 denotes and evidences a category of immigration permission to remain in the State (in accordance with the Immigration Act, 2004) that permits the holder to enter employment without the re...More Button

Was asked: the reason non EEA citizens cannot apply for Civil Service jobs; his plans to allow anyone in possession of a Stamp 4 visa to apply for any job; and if not the reason for same.More Button

Was asked: if non-EEA nationals are eligible to apply for posts in the Civil Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 415 and 426 together.More Button

Posts in the Irish Civil Service are generally open to suitably qualified candidates who are nationals of an EU Member State or the European Economic Area (EEA).  Such individuals have the right ...More Button

From time to time, professional or specialist posts the civil service are advertised where reflecting specific requirements for particular expertise or skills a more flexible approach is taken wh...More Button

Stamp 4 denotes and evidences a category of immigration permission to remain in the State (in accordance with the Immigration Act, 2004) that permits the holder to enter employment without the re...More Button

Was asked: if the Commission for Public Service Appointments conducted an investigation into a complaint that solicitors were not eligible to apply for positions as advisory counsel in the Office of the Attor...More Button

I am advised by the Commission for Public Service Appointments (CPSA) that it examined a complaint concerning the eligibility requirements for recruitment to the position of Advisory Counsel (Grade...More Button

Flood Prevention Measures

Was asked: if he will provide an update on progress on supplying structural and physical infrastructure to avoid future flooding in places such as Passage East and Cheekpoint in County Waterford; and if he wi...More Button

Was asked: if he will make emergency funding available to repair/strengthen the embankment at Incharee, Glenbeigh, County Kerry as homes and properties in the area are continuously at risk to flooding; if he ...More Button

Was asked: if he will make emergency funding available to repair or strengthen the embankment at Cromane Lower, Killorglin, County Kerry as homes and properties in the area are continuously at risk of floodin...More Button

Was asked: if he will make emergency funding available to repair/strengthen the embankment at Glosha, Cromane, Killorglin, County Kerry as homes and properties in the area are continuously at risk to flooding...More Button

Was asked: if he will make emergency funding available to repair/strengthen the embankment at Lower Bridge Street, Killorglin, County Kerry as homes, properties and businesses in the area are continuously at ...More Button

Was asked: if he will make emergency funding available to repair/strengthen the embankment at Ballymacprior, Killorglin, County Kerry as homes and properties in the area are continuously at risk to flooding; ...More Button

Was asked: the steps being taken by the Office of Public Works to ensure greater coordination between all relevant parties, including local authorities, Government agencies, local communities, insurance indus...More Button

Oireachtas Members' Remuneration

Was asked: if he will provide an individual breakdown of any allowances or payments that are provided to the Whips' offices of the Fine Gael Party, the Fianna Fáil Party and the Dáil Technical Group; the exac...More Button

The Oireachtas (Allowances to Members) and Ministerial, Parliamentary, Judicial and Court Offices (Amendment) Act, 1998, as amended, provides that an Order may be made to provide for payment of all...More Button

Legislative Programme

Was asked: when it is proposed to introduce a further Statute Law Revision Bill to repeal outdated laws; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

The Statute Law Revision Bill, which it is proposed will deal with secondary legal instruments, is included in the Government Legislation Programme for Spring/Summer Session 2014 published earlier ...More Button

Public Procurement Contracts

Was asked: the extent to which building projects for the State or school building projects can have a provision for a percentage of local labour to be appointed.More Button

Under EU law, public contracts above certain values must be advertised EU-wide and awarded to the most competitive tender in an open and objective process. The aim is to promote an open, competitiv...More Button

However, I understand that the European Commission issued guidance in 2010 that identified a range of social considerations that could be relevant for procurement including promoting employment o...More Button

Therefore the use of social clauses in public procurement is limited to instances where they are targeted at factoring into the procurement process consideration of social issues such as employme...More Button

Challenges arise from the need to ensure that: value for money is not adversely affected; additional costs are not placed on domestic suppliers relative to other potential suppliers; and the targ...More Button

The inclusion of social clauses in the procurement process would appear to be most suited to situations where the social benefit could be considered a core requirement and can be directly linked ...More Button

The use of a social clause requiring a contractor to recruit a certain percentage of those employed on a public works construction site from the ranks of the long term unemployed is being piloted...More Button

A framework of contractors has been set up for the Devolved Schools Programme, which consist of a mix of new builds, extensions and some remedial works to existing schools both at a primary and p...More Button

It is important to note that such a provision must be managed carefully both to ensure that the requirements set can be met and monitored but also consideration must be given to their impact on a...More Button

The contractor's compliance with this clause under the Devolved Schools Programme will be carefully monitored in accordance with the terms set out in the contract.  Once initial evaluations on th...More Button

Haddington Road Agreement Implementation

Was asked: further to the workforce restructuring commitment 3.11 of the Haddington Road agreement, if he will provide details of the amalgamation of grades that will take place in 2014.More Button

In line with the Haddington Road Agreement and in accordance with Action Plan set out in the Government's new Public Service Reform Plan 2014-2016 - page 79, section 4.2.1(iii) - my Department is c...More Button

Proposals for grade rationalisation and restructuring in other sectors of the Public Service (Health, Education, Local Authorities, Justice Group) are matters for management in the parent Departm...More Button

Departmental Functions

Was asked: if he will provide an organisational chart detailing officials and their responsibilities in his Department.More Button

I have asked my officials to provide the Deputy with a copy of an organisational chart for my Department based on data from the Human Resource Management System.

  A comprehensiv...More Button

Public Procurement Regulations

Was asked: the measures in place within his Department to ensure that at tendering and final procurement stages only notified biocides as set out under SI No. 625 of 2001, are purchased by his Department; if ...More Button

I understand that the legislation referred to by the Deputy (Biocidal Products Directive 98/8/EC) transposed by S.I. 625 / 2001 has now been revoked and replaced by the Biocidal Products Regulation...More Button

I should point out that Contracting Authorities carrying out tender processes are responsible for ensuring compliance with all national and international legislation that is relevant to the parti...More Button

My Department does not procure biocides directly. However, I am aware that biocides can be found in a number of products that would include some cleaning products. In this regard, I am informed ...More Button

Departmental Reports

Was asked: the number of external or internal policy reports currently that have been handed to him but not yet published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: when he will publish reports currently in his possession that have not been published to date; if he will outline in tabular form the reports involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 422 and 423 together.

  In response to the Deputy's question I can confirm that with the exception of the Debt Management Review conducted by Bea...More Button

Public Sector Pensions

Was asked: if he will extend the public sector retirement deadline of August 2014 as set out in the Haddington Road agreement providing for a grace period for pensions in payment to be calculated on pre-agree...More Button

I would refer the Deputy to my reply to Parliamentary Question No. 10411/14 on 3 March 2014. The position remains unchanged.More Button

Was asked: the most up to date estimate of the accrued public sector pension liabilities facing the State; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the consideration that has been given by the Office of Public Works to particular areas in County Wicklow that were subject to recent storm damage; if he will outline in tabular form the allocation...More Button

Was asked: if the Commission for Public Service Appointments conducted an investigation into a complaint that solicitors were not eligible to apply for positions as advisory counsel in the Office of the Attor...More Button

I am advised by the Commission for Public Service Appointments (CPSA) that it examined a complaint concerning the eligibility requirements for recruitment to the position of Advisory Counsel (Grade...More Button

Was asked: if the website of the Commission for Public Service Appointments is maintained and updated on a regular basis; if the freedom of information section 15 and section 16 manual is up to date and corre...More Button

I have been informed by the Commission for Public Service Appointments that the CPSA website has been reviewed and redesigned during 2013. The website is maintained and updated on a regular basis....More Button

Was asked: the number of times his Department received requests from Philanthropy Ireland to meet in 2011, 2012 and 2013; the number of times his Department met Philanthropy Ireland in those years; and if he ...More Button

In response to the Deputy's question I can confirm that no requests by Philanthropy Ireland to meet in 2011, 2012 or 2013 were received by my Department nor has my Department met with Philanthropy ...More Button

Was asked: if he will deal with the following matter regarding the Haddington Road agreement (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As I noted in my original response to Mr. Timmons of 11 December, 2013, the Haddington Road Agreement will make a significant contribution of €1 billion to delivering on our fiscal targets. More Button

While some of these monetary savings will be delivered through direct pay reductions, those reductions only apply to higher paid public servants those earning over €65,000 or 13% of workers, me...More Button

In addition to direct pay reductions on higher paid workers, there are a significant number of measures set out in the Agreement which will fundamentally change the terms and conditions of employ...More Button

As I noted in my response of 11 December, significant progress has been made in restructuring the Public Service in recent years.  The Agreement provides for a number of workplace changes aimed a...More Button

The Agreement also contains a number of sectoral measures which involve changes to non-core payments such as changes in overtime rates and premium payments, as well as other workplace changes.More Button

It is also worth noting that other changes to the conditions of employment of public servants are already being implemented outside of the Agreement, such as changes to sick leave and annual leav...More Button

As well as reducing the pay and pensions bill, the Agreement will also be an enabler for the next phase of the Government's Public Service Reform programme, as set out in the Public Service Refor...More Button

Was asked: if he will confirm that funding is in place for the flood prevention works along the Dodder River from Ballsbridge to Clonskeagh; the amount available; the amount that has been spent by the Office ...More Button

Was asked: the salaries including pensions and any other bonus-related additions, including company cars, of chief executive officers of commercial State bodies under the remit of his Department; and if he wi...More Button

In response to the Deputy's question I can confirm that the issue of salaries including pensions and any other bonus related additions including company cars of chief executive officers in commerci...More Button

Was asked: if it is now planned to revise, on a three year basis, the estimate of the accrued public sector pension liabilities facing the State in line with the recommendation in the Comptroller and Auditor ...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 434 and 435 together.More Button

As I have said previously my Department considers that the regular preparation and publication of actuarial assessments of public service pension provision is an important part of policy formation...More Button

Under EU regulations the CSO will be required to compile a table showing the liabilities of Irish pension schemes as part of the National Accounts. This table will include estimates of the liabil...More Button

Action Plan for Jobs

Was asked: if the proposed working group on the public procurement opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises has been established, as per action 241 of the Action Plan for Jobs; if it has not been ...More Button

I can confirm that Action 241 of the Action Plan on Jobs (to establish a working group comprised of SME stakeholders that will examine ways to improve SME access to public procurement opportunities...More Button

Flood Relief Schemes Expenditure

Was asked: the consideration that has been given by the Office of Public Works to particular areas in County Wicklow that were subject to recent storm damage; if he will outline in tabular form the allocation...More Button

Was asked: if he will confirm that funding is in place for the flood prevention works along the Dodder River from Ballsbridge to Clonskeagh; the amount available; the amount that has been spent by the Office ...More Button

Was asked: if a minor flood works grant will be provided in respect of a location (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Departmental Websites

Was asked: if the website of the Commission for Public Service Appointments is maintained and updated on a regular basis; if the freedom of information section 15 and section 16 manual is up to date and corre...More Button

I have been informed by the Commission for Public Service Appointments that the CPSA website has been reviewed and redesigned during 2013. The website is maintained and updated on a regular basis....More Button

Departmental Meetings

Was asked: the number of times his Department received requests from Philanthropy Ireland to meet in 2011, 2012 and 2013; the number of times his Department met Philanthropy Ireland in those years; and if he ...More Button

In response to the Deputy's question I can confirm that no requests by Philanthropy Ireland to meet in 2011, 2012 or 2013 were received by my Department nor has my Department met with Philanthropy ...More Button

Haddington Road Agreement Savings

Was asked: if he will deal with the following matter regarding the Haddington Road agreement (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

As I noted in my original response to Mr. Timmons of 11 December, 2013, the Haddington Road Agreement will make a significant contribution of €1 billion to delivering on our fiscal targets. More Button

While some of these monetary savings will be delivered through direct pay reductions, those reductions only apply to higher paid public servants those earning over €65,000 or 13% of workers, me...More Button

In addition to direct pay reductions on higher paid workers, there are a significant number of measures set out in the Agreement which will fundamentally change the terms and conditions of employ...More Button

As I noted in my response of 11 December, significant progress has been made in restructuring the Public Service in recent years.  The Agreement provides for a number of workplace changes aimed a...More Button

The Agreement also contains a number of sectoral measures which involve changes to non-core payments such as changes in overtime rates and premium payments, as well as other workplace changes.More Button

It is also worth noting that other changes to the conditions of employment of public servants are already being implemented outside of the Agreement, such as changes to sick leave and annual leav...More Button

As well as reducing the pay and pensions bill, the Agreement will also be an enabler for the next phase of the Government's Public Service Reform programme, as set out in the Public Service Refor...More Button

State Bodies

Was asked: the salaries including pensions and any other bonus-related additions, including company cars, of chief executive officers of commercial State bodies under the remit of his Department; and if he wi...More Button

In response to the Deputy's question I can confirm that the issue of salaries including pensions and any other bonus related additions including company cars of chief executive officers in commerci...More Button

Ministerial Staff

Was asked: the number of civil servants engaged in constituency work on his behalf; and the salaries, accommodation costs and expenses involved or associated with these duties.More Button

In response to the Deputy's question there are two civil servants engaged part-time in constituency work on my behalf.   The Salary Scales for the clerical officer grade are as follo...More Button

Office of Public Works Projects

Was asked: when the restoration and repair of Ardara Bridge, Cadamstown, Birr, County Offaly will be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the reason the Office of Public Works does not do maintenance on the Brown Flesk River (details supplied).More Button

Was asked: the position regarding an alleged breach of contract by the Office of Public Works (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Office of Public Works Staff

Was asked: if additional permanent staff will be assigned to the Office of Public Works in County Kerry to deal with its workload; if he will provide details of staffing complements in County Kerry over the p...More Button

Public Sector Staff Sick Leave

Was asked: when he will lay before both Houses of the Oireachtas the new public sector sick leave regulations.More Button

The Public Service Management (Sick Leave) Regulations, SI 124 of 2014, were laid before the Houses of the Oireachtas on 6th March 2014.  Notification of the Regulations was published in Irish Oifi...More Button

Programme for Government Implementation

Was asked: if he will provide an update in tabular form of the commitments in the programme for Government that relate to his Department; and the progress that has been made in the implementation of each comm...More Button

In response to the Deputy's question, in the table below I have provided an update on the status of my Department's commitments under the Programme for Government. As can be seen from this update s...More Button

Proposed Legislation

Was asked: if he will provide an update on the drafting of the regulation of lobbying legislation; when it is expected to be published; when the regulatory structures contained within will be in operation; an...More Button

The Government's decision to proceed with the Regulation of Lobbying Bill 2014 marked a significant step in bringing greater openness to the important process of interaction between the political a...More Button

The General Scheme of the Regulation of Lobbying Bill 2014 was submitted for pre-legislative scrutiny to the Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Committee (FPER) and their report has been rece...More Button

By regulating lobbying activity through registration and reporting requirements  public confidence in politics and in the business of government can be strengthened and greater transparency can b...More Button