Thursday, 27 January 2011
Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Electoral Management System
Question 109: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the position regarding storage and disposal of the e-voting technology; the ongoing costs associated with storage; the extent to which any such storage costs have not been resolved in any particular case; if any effort is being made to dispose of the technology in the past three years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4376/11]
Question 121: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the annual cost of storing the electronic voting machines and with respect to each location where they are stored, the number of machines in each location, the annual cost of the facility, the expiry of any rental or contractual on respect of the premises; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4448/11]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 109 and 121 together.
Following the Government decision not to proceed with implementation of electronic voting in Ireland, an Interdepartmental Task Force, chaired by the Department, was established to bring the project to an orderly conclusion and to oversee disposal of the equipment and termination of storage arrangements. The Task Force aims to complete its work as soon as possible.
In considering options for disposal of the equipment, the priority is to pursue the most economically advantageous approach, with a view to achieving the maximum recovery of cost possible in the circumstances, consistent with environmental and other obligations. While proposals have not at this stage been invited in respect of the equipment, some expressions of interest have been received. In 2007, over 60% of the machines (4,762 in total) were moved from 12 local storage locations to a central facility at Gormanston Army Camp. One-off costs associated with the movement of these machines were €328,363.21. There are no ongoing rental costs in respect of the use of this property. Costs of €552.83 were incurred in 2009 in respect of equipment to monitor the environmental storage conditions at the Gormanston premises. A further 14 machines are held in the Custom House.
The remaining machines are stored at 13 local premises that were originally identified by Returning Officers for this purpose. It is intended that all machines will be removed from their present locations when arrangements for disposal are implemented. Work on termination of local lease arrangements is proceeding in this context.
The table, which is based on information received in the Department from Returning Officers, provides details of the annual costs for storage of the electronic voting equipment for 2009, and the lease arrangements for each property. Details of the number of electronic voting machines stored at each location are also included.
Figures for costs incurred by Returning Officers for the local storage of the electronic voting equipment in 2010 are currently being gathered and are therefore not yet available. Apart from these costs incurred by Returning Officers, a further €5,566 was expended in 2010 in relation to work undertaken on behalf of the Department by DTZ Sherry Fitzgerald in respect of the negotiation of local lease arrangements.
Storage of Electronic Voting Equipment
|City/County||Number of machines||Storage Costs 2009 (incl. VAT)€||Period of Lease Contract / Expiry Date|
|Cavan-Monaghan||280||€21,754.32||25 years /February 2029|
|Galway (equipment stored in Castlebar, Co. Mayo)||310||€2,800||Annual|
|Kerry||310||€30,387.20||9 years 11 months / September 2013|
|Louth||179||€568.55||Not Applicable (State-owned property)|
|Meath||234||€26,395.72||9 years 9 months / March 2012|
|Sligo||129||Nil||Not Applicable (State-owned property)|