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Public Accounts Committee: Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Appropriation Account 2018 (11 Jul 2019)

Shane Cassells: I extend a warm welcome to Mr. Peter Finnegan and all the team and thank them for their work. I refer to page 4 of Mr. Finnegan's opening statement. He referenced the Kerins Supreme Court case, which involved this particular committee, and the ramifications of it. Additionally, Mr. Finnegan wrote to all the members last night setting out his thoughts in respect of the establishment of a...

Public Accounts Committee: Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Appropriation Account 2018 (11 Jul 2019)

Shane Cassells: Mr. Finnegan does not believe that the ethos of this group will have that chilling effect on committees in terms of neutering the scope of the questions asked.

Public Accounts Committee: Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Appropriation Account 2018 (11 Jul 2019)

Shane Cassells: Mr. Finnegan alluded to it and he does not have a final figure but does he have a figure in terms of the legal costs of that particular case thus far?

Public Accounts Committee: Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Appropriation Account 2018 (11 Jul 2019)

Shane Cassells: What would be the legal costs incurred by the Houses in a normal year?

Public Accounts Committee: Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Appropriation Account 2018 (11 Jul 2019)

Shane Cassells: Moving to the Leinster House renovation programme, Mr. Finnegan outlined earlier the potential final figure. He referenced areas of overspend that could not have been envisaged when the initial scope was done. At every point when additional work was required, was that referenced through Mr. Finnegan's office? Did he sign off on that as well, in terms of working with the Office of Public...

Public Accounts Committee: Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Appropriation Account 2018 (11 Jul 2019)

Shane Cassells: Potentially, Mr. Finnegan would have anticipated additional costs because of the fact that he was dealing with an old building.

Public Accounts Committee: Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Appropriation Account 2018 (11 Jul 2019)

Shane Cassells: He may have had a ballpark figure. Does he believe the €17 million spend on the building represents value for money in respect of the work?

Public Accounts Committee: Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Appropriation Account 2018 (11 Jul 2019)

Shane Cassells: On the subhead of consultancy services, there was a provision of €3.4 million. Expenditure amounted to only €1.5 million. Why was such a large provision made for consultancy services?

Public Accounts Committee: Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Appropriation Account 2018 (11 Jul 2019)

Shane Cassells: Legal advice comes under the subhead of consultancy services.

Public Accounts Committee: Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Appropriation Account 2018 (11 Jul 2019)

Shane Cassells: Are any other consultancy services, such as public relations, PR, and so on, engaged by the Houses?

Public Accounts Committee: Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Appropriation Account 2018 (11 Jul 2019)

Shane Cassells: I turn to communications and the broadcasting services. What is the full yearly cost of the operation of Oireachtas TV?

Public Accounts Committee: Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Appropriation Account 2018 (11 Jul 2019)

Shane Cassells: Within the communications spend, for a number of years there was a provision for the Houses of the Oireachtas to be broadcast on local media too. I refer to regional newspapers and local radio stations. Proceedings in the Chambers were broadcast every week on local radio in order that, as Mr. Finnegan noted earlier, there could be public engagement and the Parliament could be accessible.

Public Accounts Committee: Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Appropriation Account 2018 (11 Jul 2019)

Shane Cassells: What was the cost of providing that service every year?

Public Accounts Committee: Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Appropriation Account 2018 (11 Jul 2019)

Shane Cassells: It is considerably less than the national spend on Oireachtas TV. Am I correct that the regional contract has ended?

Public Accounts Committee: Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Appropriation Account 2018 (11 Jul 2019)

Shane Cassells: Will a provision be made for a new contract in respect of that service for regional papers and local radio?

Public Accounts Committee: Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Appropriation Account 2018 (11 Jul 2019)

Shane Cassells: It is very disappointing that the service was effectively ended and I made that point to the Ceann Comhairle when he convened those meetings. Local radio and newspapers are an important part of democracy in allowing people access to what happens here. Rather than allowing the contract to end, the provision should have been rolled out to the full 19 local radio stations and the local...

Public Accounts Committee: Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Appropriation Account 2018 (11 Jul 2019)

Shane Cassells: I thank Mr. Finnegan and all the team for the work they do and, in particular, for the Dáil 100 celebrations at the start of the year.

Written Answers — Department of Defence: Departmental Communications (11 Jul 2019)

Shane Cassells: 114. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the oversight of his Department of directives, circulars, advice or requirements issued since 2016; if surveys have been carried out of compliance with these communications to date; the surveys carried out; the results of the surveys; the compliance rate; the actions taken by his Department following these results; and if he will make a...

Written Answers — Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Departmental Communications (11 Jul 2019)

Shane Cassells: 152. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the oversight of his Department of directives, circulars, advice or requirements issued since 2016; if surveys have been carried out of compliance with these communications to date; the surveys carried out; the results of the surveys; the compliance rate; the actions taken by his Department following these results; and if he will make a...

Written Answers — Department of Finance: Departmental Communications (11 Jul 2019)

Shane Cassells: 212. To ask the Minister for Finance the oversight of his Department of directives, circulars, advice or requirements issued since 2016; if surveys have been carried out of compliance with these communications to date; the surveys carried out; the results of the surveys; the compliance rate; the actions taken by his Department following these results; and if he will make a statement on the...

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