Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
951. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the amount spent on external consultants by his Department in 2019; the average hourly rate; if caps or limits on such spending are in place; the way in which conflicts of interest are managed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7276/20]
My Department's remit includes complex policy areas, oversight of State regulation and service provision across key strategic services such as energy, environment, climate change and public broadcasting, as well as regulation of sectors such as mining and hydrocarbon exploration. Given the technical complexity, economic significance and community interest in these areas, there is a requirement to disseminate information and to address specific issues as they arise. My Department therefore necessarily incurs some expenditure on consultancies from time to time.
In procuring these services, my Department always seeks to ensure value for money and to keep expenditure to the minimum necessary. Any conflicts of interest are managed in accordance with appointment and contractual provisions. All contracts are procured and delivered in line with procurement best practice.
The details of theses consultancies are outlined in the table at the link. The majority of the contracts awarded by my Department are on a fixed rate basis and no hourly breakdown is available. In some instances such specific details are commercially sensitive and subject to contract. Spending is managed in line with the specific appointment and contractual provisions applying.