Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
Office of Public Works Data
171. To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the cost of outsourcing the collection of admission fees at Garnish Island, County Cork, to a private company; the savings this makes for the OPW; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51910/17]
Prior to the opening of Bryce House on Garnish Island, the Office of Public Works employed three seasonal guides at the Island to sell admission tickets. The Foreman and Head Gardener sold admission tickets in the evenings, after the guides had finished duty, and on Sundays.
In 2016, OPW guides were recruited specifically to undertake tours of the newly refurbished Bryce House on Garnish Island. Visitors to the Island enter via a reception area which is not adjacent to Bryce house. It was decided, for operational reasons, to include the selling of admission tickets with the new tearoom concession, which is located alongside the reception area.
In 2017, the OPW incurred a cost of €51,298 for outsourcing the collection of admission fees at Garnish Island to the private company which operates the tearoom concession on the Island. The savings to OPW were in excess of €1,500. This figure is the difference between salary costs (for OPW staff to sell tickets) and the costs incurred.
The tearoom concession agreement for Garnish Island will be advertised again in 2018. The arrangement whereby the Concessionaire collects the admissions fees will be reviewed as part of that agreement.