Thursday, 17 February 2005
Department of Foreign Affairs
Question 78: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs the number, cost and status of all public relations consultancies, contracts or procurements entered into by or on behalf of his Department or its agents or agencies in the past three years; the terms of reference in each such appointment; the person to whom such persons report and from whom they receive instructions; if any such person or group had any previous contracts, commitments or employment with either of the Government parties. [5504/05]
There was no expenditure on public relations in 2002 by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
While no public relations consultants or companies were employed by the Department of Foreign Affairs in 2003 and 2004, Red Dog Design Consultants were employed, following a tendering process, by Development Co-operation Ireland, a division of the Department of Foreign Affairs. The company was paid €46,201.50 in 2003, €94,332.23 in 2004 and €6,231 so far in 2005 for work in respect of the design and printing of various information booklets and publications. The reason for the significant increase in 2004 was a large increase in the volume of publications and the development aspects of the EU Presidency.
During 2004, Development Co-operation Ireland, following an open tender process, employed the Cork based company Real Event Solutions to design, organise and manage a primary school competition around the theme of international development and the millennium development goals. The competition aimed at every primary school in the country was launched on 25 January 2005. The competition has a public relations aspect aimed at increasing school participation in the competition, both at regional and national level. The public relations component of the project is being handled for Real Event Solutions by O'Leary PR & Marketing Limited. To date, Real Event Solutions has received €58,329.02 for its services. For both projects, the companies reported to the information officer in Development Co-operation Ireland.
Red Dog Design was also employed by the Department, on behalf of the interdepartmental presidency administrative planning group, following a tender process, for work relating to the design and branding for the EU Presidency and the launch of the Presidency logo. The company was paid €43,461.37 in 2003 for this work. The same company was paid €23,466.74 in 2004 for a promotion campaign for the EU Presidency website. The greater part of this amount was for the purchasing of media advertising space in national newspapers and on local radio. During the course of its work, Red Dog received instructions from and reported to officials in the presidency planning unit of my Department. Both these projects were of a short-term nature and have been completed.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has no knowledge if either of the companies referred to has had any contracts, commitments or employment with either of the Government parties.