Tuesday, 1 June 2021
Ceisteanna - Questions (Resumed) - Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions
I thank the Deputy. The NCSC budget allocation for 2021 is €6.9 million, of which the provisional allocation for salaries is €1.8 million. The Government has trebled the capital and programme funding for the NCSC from €1.7 million in 2020 to €5.1 million in 2021. The funding and resourcing of the NCSC have increased substantially over the past five years. Staff resources at the NCSC have been increased from seven persons at the end of 2016 to 29 persons in 2021.
Recognising that the environment in which the NCSC operates is extremely dynamic, the programme for Government included a commitment to undertake a capacity review of the NCSC to expand the centre's ability to monitor and respond to cybersecurity incidents and developing threats. This detailed capacity review of the NCSC will inform the Government as to how the centre needs to continue to evolve. The capacity review is being carried out by an expert international consultancy and it is due to report in the coming weeks in line with the deadline for the completion of this work, quarter 2 of 2021, as set out in the 2019 national cybersecurity strategy.
The Minister and I will consider the report and its recommendations and, having regard to the focus of the report, it is likely to require wider Government consideration. As I have stated previously in this House, the Government will ensure that the NCSC is properly resourced to meet not only the needs of today, and it will also invest further to ensure the centre is equipped to fulfil its vital role over the next five years.