Tuesday, 27 July 2021
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
249. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the last occasion on which a Department-wide review of all funding within his Department took place; the frequency of such reviews; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40645/21]
Detailed strategic analysis of components of expenditure from a value for money and service delivery perspective takes place on a continuous basis. The Department's largest component of current expenditure, Public Service Obligation (PSO) services has a typical core budget of circa €300m per annum. It has been the subject of a number of dedicated spending reviews in recent years, the most recent being the joint Department of Transport Strategic Research and Analysis Division (SRAD) and Department of Public Expenditure and Reform IGEES paper in 2020, entitled "A Review of the Governance, Efficiency and Effectiveness of Public Service Obligation (PSO) Transport Services". Spending on PSO will continue to remain under constant analysis in the coming years as PSO services alter and re-align with the roll-out of major investment projects such as BusConnects and DART+.
The Department's second largest component of current expenditure is on National Roads and Regional and Local Roads protection and renewal. This comprises an annual budget of circa €80m. This is being evaluated in the overall context of protection and renewal costs in a joint Department of Transport (SRAD) and DPER (IGEES) spending review paper which will be published later this year.
The Department's third largest component of current expenditure, with an annual budget of circa €62m per annum, is the Coast Guard Search and Rescue Aviation Service. The current contract expires in 2023. In advance of a new tender for services being published, a comprehensive review and associated analysis is being undertaken in accordance with the Public Spending Code for Current Expenditure, to seek to optimise both the quality of service and value for money.
Taken together, when Covid emergency funding is excluded, the above three service lines comprise an estimated 76% of my Department's annual budget for current expenditure.
The Department is also concluding its review of the National Development Plan. This thorough and comprehensive review will assist in ensuring that the Department's investment programmes and projects are aligned with the National Planning Framework and the National Strategic Outcomes, as well as reflecting, in particular, the ambitions and imperatives of the Programme for Government and the Climate Action Plan. It is expected that the revised National Development Plan will be published by DPER in September.
Finally, a Department-wide review of all funding within my Department took place for the Budget and Revised Estimates process 2021. The next official review of Department wide funding is beginning to take place now as we are entering the Estimates process for Budget 2022.