Written answers

Tuesday, 10 February 2004

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Workplace Inspections

10:00 pm

Photo of Jan O'SullivanJan O'Sullivan (Limerick East, Labour)
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Question 128: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of workplace inspections carried out by labour inspectors for each month of 2003; if she has satisfied herself that there are a sufficient number of inspectors to carry out an adequate level of workplace inspections; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3792/04]

Photo of Frank FaheyFrank Fahey (Minister of State, Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Galway West, Fianna Fail)
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The following figures provide an update on the information provided in October 2003 and state the position up to the end of the year. The numbers of workplace inspections-visits for each month in 2003 are set out in the following table.

As stated previously, a new electronic case management system was introduced into the labour inspectorate in June 2003. For the period following its introduction the old system also continued in use. In December, staff concentrated on ensuring all relevant data was finally committed to this legacy system and its day-to-day use then ceased. This work, together with the earlier preparations for the introduction of the new system, impacted on inspectorate activity both early in the year and in December. However, I am confident that this work and investment in technology, together with other actions that have been completed, such as the streamlining of procedures, ensures that the inspectorate is enabled to provide an effective and efficient service going forward.

There are no plans, at this stage, to increase the number of labour inspectors. I am satisfied the investment and actions described above will, as far as possible, ensure that employment rights and entitlements of all employees working in Ireland are protected.

Month Inspections/Visits Month Inspections/Visits
January 731 July 876
February 421 August 1,085
March 142 September 974
April 35 October 1,065
May 242 November 731
June 612 December 254
These figures amount to a total of 7,168.

Joe Sherlock (Cork East, Labour)
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Question 129: To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the terms of the recent ban imposed by her on technical assistance or training relating to military equipment and the provision of finance for the sale, supply, transfer or export of arms and related matters in respect of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3800/04]

Photo of Mary HarneyMary Harney (Tánaiste; Minister, Department for Enterprise and Employment; Minister, Department for Enterprise, Trade and Employment; Dublin Mid West, Progressive Democrats)
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On 28 July 2003 the United Nations Security Council decided in its Resolution 1493 (2003) to impose an embargo on the supply of arms and related material as well as on the provision of assistance, advice or training related to military activities to all armed groups and militias operating in the territory of North and South Kivu and of Ituri, and to groups not party to the global and all-inclusive agreement, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In line with an existing practice on the implementation of arms embargoes, the European Union implemented the ban on the provision of assistance, advice or training related to military activities by means of a Council regulation, in this instance Council Regulation (EC) No 1727 of 29 September 2003. Article 6 of Council Regulation No 1727/2003 requires that each member state shall determine the sanctions to be imposed where the provisions of the regulation are infringed. In this context, the purpose of S.I. No. 678 of 2003, European Communities (Restrictive Measures) (Democratic Republic of Congo) Regulations 2003, which I signed on 15 December 2003, is to provide for penalties for infringements of the regulation. A person who contravenes the provisions of the Council regulation is guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding €3,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both.

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