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Written Answers — Department of Finance: Capital Expenditure Programme Review (17 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: For the purposes of the capital review the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform looks at the Finance Vote Group. There are 4 Votes in the Finance Group: The Department of Finance, the Office of the Revenue Commissioners, the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General, and the Tax Appeals Commission. Following the Mid-Term Review of the Capital Plan, the Department of Finance...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Departmental Data (17 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: The Department takes any claims of bullying and/or harassment very seriously and any such claim are dealt with under the Dignity At Work policy. The Department had 1 claim of bullying and/or harassment made between 2011 and 2017. This case underwent independent investigation however the result is confidential. The Department has provided copies of the Dignity at Work...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Central Bank of Ireland Investigations (17 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: As the Deputy is aware, the Central Bank’s regulatory mandate is to ensure the proper and effective regulation of financial institutions and markets, while ensuring that the best interests of consumers of financial services are protected. The tracker mortgage examination is being conducted by the Central Bank pursuant to this statutory mandate with a view in particular to ensuring the...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: VAT Rebates (17 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners that section 99(4) of the Value-Added Tax Consolidation Act, 2010 provides that a claim for a refund of VAT must be made within four years after the end of the taxable period to which it relates. Section 99(6) of the Act prohibits Revenue from refunding any amount of tax except as provided for in the legislation; therefore there is no...

Written Answers — Department of Public Expenditure and Reform: Community Employment Schemes Supervisors (17 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: An issue which has been under discussion by the Community Sector High Level Forum relates to community employment supervisors and assistant supervisors who have been seeking, through their union representatives, the allocation of Exchequer funding to implement a Labour Court recommendation relating to the provision of a pension scheme. At the April meeting of the Forum, my Department...

Written Answers — Department of Public Expenditure and Reform: Capital Expenditure Programme Review (17 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: As outlined to the Deputy in my response to his previous parliamentary question on this matter, the capital review was published on 14 September 2017 and I believe that all members of the Oireachtas received a hard copy on that date. To recap, the review of the Capital Plan highlighted some key themes which will closely inform and be incorporated into the analysis leading to...

Written Answers — Department of Public Expenditure and Reform: Departmental Data (17 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: Since 2011, one complaint of sexual harassment has been lodged within my Department and I can advise the Deputy that my Department's policy is that all complaints of bullying or sexual harassment are fully investigated by qualified investigators. The Department does not comment on individual cases and all parties are advised and assured of...

Ceisteanna - Questions - Priority Questions: Capital Expenditure Programme Review (18 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: As we have discussed on a number of occasions, the capital review was published on 14 September last year and all Members of the Oireachtas received a copy of it. To recap, the review of the plan highlighted some important themes, which will closely inform and be incorporated into the analysis leading to the finalisation of a new ten-year plan. These themes include confirmation of the role...

Ceisteanna - Questions - Priority Questions: Capital Expenditure Programme Review (18 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: With regard to the timeline, the key framework for all of this is the national planning framework. Public consultation on the national planning framework finished in recent weeks. An additional number of submissions were received by the Minister, Deputy Murphy, which he is now considering. When that work is done it will allow me to conclude where we are with our ten-year capital plan. ...

Ceisteanna - Questions - Priority Questions: Capital Expenditure Programme Review (18 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: The Minister for Health has submitted a view regarding the total number of beds needed in the coming period. He has put forth his views on many costs in respect of the health service, which include beds but also deal with our position from the perspective of primary care centres and our needs - for example, how we fund a new national maternity hospital. I have an array of different health...

Ceisteanna - Questions - Priority Questions: Public Private Partnerships (18 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: Public private partnerships are subject to the same robust and rigorous project appraisal process as traditionally procured projects.  In ensuring that Departments obtain the best value for money from public capital investment, PPPs, just like traditionally procured projects, are subject to the requirements contained in the public spending code. The public...

Ceisteanna - Questions - Priority Questions: Public Private Partnerships (18 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: The answer to the Deputy's question varies by project. I believe private financing can play an important role in allowing important public projects to go ahead. The example I would give to the Deputy is the recent loan made by the European Investment Bank to allow us to move ahead with the new national children's hospital which is under construction. We have public private partnerships all...

Ceisteanna - Questions - Priority Questions: Public Private Partnerships (18 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: Public private partnerships have served us well in delivering many projects, either more cost-effectively than we would have been able to do them in the past, or indeed projects that we would not have been able to make happen at all in the past. I believe private financing and the role of public private partnerships generally in the future will continue to be of great help to us in making...

Ceisteanna - Questions - Priority Questions: Bullying in the Workplace (18 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: The Civil Service is committed to protecting dignity and respect across all organisations.  The current policy for dealing with complaints of bullying or harassment is, as the Deputy has said, Dignity at Work, which was revised and published in 2015. The policy aims to promote respect, dignity, safety and equality in the workplace.  My Department developed the policy in conjunction...

Ceisteanna - Questions - Priority Questions: Bullying in the Workplace (18 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: In my Department responsibility for this issue lies within the human resources section which works closely with the public service reform unit of my Department. On whether there is consistent implementation of the policy across the Civil Service, I am satisfied that it is applied. It is a matter I have reviewed with staff in my Department and we believe the policy is applied broadly and...

Ceisteanna - Questions - Priority Questions: Bullying in the Workplace (18 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: No part of the Civil Service or any semi-State body has been identified to me as having a higher incidence than the average figure or the norm. Any case that is proved does not reflect well on our work in ensuring there is dignity in the workplace. As I said, one case is one too many. My Department and I want to ensure anybody who comes to work in the Civil Service or elsewhere is treated...

Ceisteanna - Questions - Priority Questions: Brexit Issues (18 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: As the Deputy will be aware, the Government is adopting a whole of Government approach to the challenges posed by Brexit. Our objectives are to minimise the impact of Brexit on trade and the economy, to protect the Northern Ireland peace process, to maintain the common travel area and to influence the future direction of the European Union. Brexit issues in my Department are co-ordinated...

Ceisteanna - Questions - Priority Questions: Brexit Issues (18 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: On the availability of funds, only last weekend I saw advertising from Enterprise Ireland encouraging SMEs to access the Agile Innovation fund. This fund is designed to support SMEs make the necessary changes to get ready for Brexit. I emphasise that the responsibility for making those changes sits first with those who run and own these companies. We will do as much as we can but I am...

Ceisteanna - Questions - Priority Questions: Brexit Issues (18 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: I was just trying to maintain eye contact with the Deputy but I will look up at the sky in the future.

Ceisteanna - Questions - Priority Questions: Brexit Issues (18 Jan 2018)

Paschal Donohoe: In terms of the Deputy's observations, if we were not advertising the funding, he would accuse us of not doing anything and of not making potential customers aware of a fund we have set up. Therefore, we did that. On helping people access funds, Enterprise Ireland is trying to make it as simple and as clear as possible for people to access the funding. I am aware that there are...

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