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Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Departmental Programmes (20 Jan 2022)

Ossian Smyth: I thank Deputy Nash. Earlier, he referred to the fact that we have 3 million MyGovID accounts. Much of this was driven by people not being able to go into Government offices that were closed down because of the pandemic or wanting to do things online to keep a degree of separation. We have a very broad electronic ID. We have a form of authentication that has a very wide uptake compared...

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Departmental Programmes (20 Jan 2022)

Ossian Smyth: Deputy Nash has referred to the need to avoid having to type in one's information again and again. That is referred to as the once only principle. It is a common principle across Europe that people should have the convenience of being able to store their information. That requires joined-up government and the data sharing Act which has been put in place. Large sections of that Act were...

Ceisteanna ar Sonraíodh Uain Dóibh - Priority Questions: Departmental Programmes (20 Jan 2022)

Ossian Smyth: I propose to take Questions Nos. 2 and 6 together. I wish to advise the Deputy that I am currently finalising a new digital strategy for the civil and public service. The strategy will address the digitalisation of public services theme in the national digital strategy, which the Government intends to publish later this month. The strategy acknowledges the contribution of digitalisation...

Written Answers — Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Departmental Schemes (19 Jan 2022)

Ossian Smyth: My Department currently has no plans to introduce a grant scheme for businesses within the hospitality sector to purchase food waste biodigesters.

Written Answers — Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment: National Broadband Plan (19 Jan 2022)

Ossian Smyth: I propose to take Questions Nos. 119, 135 and 141 together. The premises referred to in the Questions are located in the AMBER area on the National Broadband Plan (NBP) High Speed Broadband Map which is available at www.broadband.gov.ie. The AMBER area represents the area to be served by the network to be deployed under the NBP State led intervention. I appreciate people's...

Written Answers — Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment: National Broadband Plan (19 Jan 2022)

Ossian Smyth: The Question refers to a premises located in the AMBER area on the National Broadband Plan (NBP) High Speed Broadband Map which is available on my Department's website www.broadband.gov.ie. The AMBER area represents the area to be served by the network to be deployed under the NBP State led intervention. My Department has made enquiries to see if a commercial broadband network...

Written Answers — Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment: National Broadband Plan (19 Jan 2022)

Ossian Smyth: With regard to the criteria for premises to pre-order broadband, NBI manages the build plan and launch details for all premises within the Intervention Area. NBI has advised that this plan includes forecast dates for each "Ribbon of premises", typically between 400 to 800 premises within a given Deployment Area, including any delayed or deferred premises encountered during the construction...

Written Answers — Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Environmental Policy (19 Jan 2022)

Ossian Smyth: I propose to take Questions Nos. 128 and 137 together.I propose to take Questions Nos. 128 and 137 together. The Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy (WAPCE) launched in September 2020 sets out the steps that will be taken in Ireland to reduce waste from packaging and single-use plastic items over the 5-year term of the plan. These steps include: -  Ireland transposed the...

Written Answers — Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Waste Management (19 Jan 2022)

Ossian Smyth: The Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy, published in September 2020, contains some 200 measures.  To date significant progress has been made on a number of measures, including:- The publication of a first Whole of Government Circular Economy Strategy; - The expansion of the national standardised list of materials acceptable in the mixed dry recyclable bin to include all soft...

Written Answers — Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Environmental Policy (19 Jan 2022)

Ossian Smyth: The Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy details the measures that will be adopted to achieve optimum results in the area of packaging and plastics. The over-riding objective is to ensure that all packaging placed on the Irish market is reusable or recyclable in an economically viable way by 2030. Measures already actioned include:- The introduction of eco modulated fees which will result...

Written Answers — Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Departmental Reviews (19 Jan 2022)

Ossian Smyth: My Department administers a very diverse, complex and technical brief across critical and strategic sectors of the Irish economy.Studies, reviews and research are currently being undertaken by my Department which contribute to project delivery and informed, robust and evidence-based policy making. Details of these are set out in the table below. Details of live studies, reviews...

Written Answers — Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment: Departmental Bodies (19 Jan 2022)

Ossian Smyth: I propose to take Questions Nos. 170 and 171 together. The Mobile Phone and Broadband Taskforce is co-managed by my Department and the Department of Rural and Community Development (DRCD). Membership is drawn from a range of Departments and bodies including the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage; the Department of Transport; Transport Infrastructure Ireland; the...

Written Answers — Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment: National Broadband Plan (19 Jan 2022)

Ossian Smyth: Telecommunications service providers are privately owned companies, operating in a liberalised market, regulated by the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg), which operates independently of my Department. I understand that Starlink Internet Service Limited registered with ComReg in 2020. I welcome the addition of new service providers to the Irish market, which will...

Written Answers — Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment: National Broadband Plan (19 Jan 2022)

Ossian Smyth: The National Broadband Plan (NBP) State led Intervention will be delivered by National Broadband Ireland (NBI) under a contract to roll out a high speed and future proofed broadband network within the Intervention Area which covers 1.1 million people living and working in the over 554,000 premises, including almost 100,000 businesses and farms along some 679 schools. Despite the...

Seanad: Appropriation Bill 2021: Second Stage (16 Dec 2021)

Ossian Smyth: As ever, it is an honour to be here. The Appropriation Bill 2021 is an essential element of financial housekeeping that must be concluded by both Houses of the Oireachtas before the end of this year. The Bill serves two primary purposes. First, the Appropriation Bill is necessary to authorise in law all of the expenditure that has been undertaken in 2021 on the basis of the Estimates that...

Seanad: Appropriation Bill 2021: Second Stage (16 Dec 2021)

Ossian Smyth: I thank Senator McDowell for making the ingenious connection between the historic function of the Appropriation Acts in a monarchic parliament, the importance of being able to hold the Executive to account, the functions of the Appropriation Acts in that regard, and how this relates to Covid-19 oversight in our current age. During the interregnum, we had a vacuum of committees and oversight...

Seanad: Appropriation Bill 2021: Second Stage (16 Dec 2021)

Ossian Smyth: We are all looking forward to Senator McDowell's guerrilla action. If he wants to bring forward specific proposals on how our systems of oversight can be changed, or if he wants to ask questions about it, I would be happy to indulge him. Senator Kyne brought up the issue of councillors’ pay. When he mentioned that last year, he asked when the Moorhead report was going to be...

Seanad: Appropriation Bill 2021: Second Stage (16 Dec 2021)

Ossian Smyth: -----to the gratuities system. Would Senator Buttimer like to contact me and tell me in what way he is unhappy with the gratuity payments?

Seanad: Appropriation Bill 2021: Second Stage (16 Dec 2021)

Ossian Smyth: I would be happy to talk to him about that. Senator Kyne referenced constitutional changes that may be needed. It is a constitutional imperative to pass the Appropriation Bill today. We ran into a constitutional challenge and there was a sense of impending constitutional crisis. Senator McDowell even went to the High Court to establish whether the Seanad was properly constituted and so on....

Seanad: Appropriation Bill 2021: Second Stage (16 Dec 2021)

Ossian Smyth: I should not have to ask. My grandfather was the station master in Cloughjordan and many of my supporters probably live there. There is a large expenditure programme for that line. I will find out what progress there has been. The Senator mentioned that it was a four-year project and how he would like it to happen over a shorter period.

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