Written answers

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Departmental Expenditure

Photo of Barry CowenBarry Cowen (Offaly, Fianna Fail)
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189. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the amount spent by his Department and each agency under the aegis of his Department on the National Ploughing Championships in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by online advertising, offline advertising, promotional material, wages, photography, stand rental and other costs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49532/19]

Photo of Michael CreedMichael Creed (Cork North West, Fine Gael)
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The National Ploughing Championships is a very significant event in the farming calendar and provide my Department with the opportunity to interact on a face-to-face basis with the farming community.

For the duration of the event, my Department operates a fully resourced office on site. Farmers are able to have direct access to specialist staff, with access to relevant IT systems, who can answer any queries or resolve issues they may have.

There are a number of costs associated with my Department having a fully functioning, professional presence at the Championships.  The total costs for each of the years 2016 to 2019 are set out in the attached table. The main cost relates to the supply, build, fit-out and dismantling of a marquee. That marquee, in each of the years up to and including 2018, was supplied on the basis of a public tendering process carried out by the Department.  For 2019, the Department was part of a centralised purchasing process overseen by the Government Information Service and the Office of Public Works. There are no additional costs for wages because DAFM staff are assigned from their usual work locations in order to provide service directly to the farmers on site.  Overtime and travel and subsistence is paid at normal Civil Service rates.  

As regards the twelve State Bodies under the aegis of my Department, the information requested is an operational matter for the State Bodies themselves.  I have therefore referred the Deputy’s question to the Agencies and have requested that a response should issue within 10 days.

DAFM National Ploughing Championships Costs 2016 to 2019

Costs 2016 2017 2018 2019
Marquee (design, build, fit-out out and dismantling) €56,759 €103,084 €119,492 €159,495
Comms (WIFI / Broadband / Network) * N/A N/A N/A €6,642
Payment to NPA (Tickets/Site Fees) ** €24,686 €26,507 €26,658 €12,868
Promotion and Advertising €1,460 €5,441 €5,285 €5,571
Totals €82,905 €135,032 €151,435 €184,576
*Comms costs were included as part of the marquee/fit-out contracts for 2016 - 2018

**2019 Payment to National Ploughing Association was for tickets only as site fees were, as part of the GIS/OPW procurement process, included in the overall ‘marquee’ costs

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