Written answers

Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

National Development Plan

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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210. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the extent to which projects that fall within the aegis of his Department and are within the revised National Development Plan are at an advanced stage at present or are in course thereof; the extent to which preliminary work has taken place or on-site works are in hand or proposed; the expected delivery date of each; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49254/21]

Photo of Simon CoveneySimon Coveney (Cork South Central, Fine Gael)
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The Strategic Investment Priorities identified for the Department of Foreign Affairs under the National Development Plan are:

- The Passport Reform Programme under which the Department has committed to developing a fully integrated citizen service delivering a global online passport service, which is more user-friendly, efficient and more secure for this citizen critical service;

- Investment in a high quality global ICT infrastructure supporting advance technologies that deliver excellent public services by connecting citizens, staff and stakeholders through best-in-class technologies;

- The doubling of the scope and impact of Ireland’s global footprint as detailed in the Government’s policy Global Ireland – Ireland’s Global Footprint to 2025 and

- The construction, refurbishment, enhancement of security works and the development of Ireland Houses with the State Agencies in strategic locations. This is a key deliverable under the Global Ireland 2025 Strategy and will support Ireland’s economic recovery.

Currently, there are six key ongoing projects under these strategic investment priorities.

These are

1. The next phase of the Passport Reform Project

2. Updating ICT Infrastructure

3. Construction ofIreland House Tokyo

4. Construction of new official premises in Abuja

5. The enhancement of Ireland’s physical presence in London, and in

6. Washington

The next phase of the Passport Reform Project focuses on the updating of the passport processing and facial recognition technology systems to deliver a safe and secure on line service to Irish citizens worldwide. A key element of this phase, the Passport Issuance and Processing System (PIPS), has recently completed its procurement phase and implementation will begin in the coming months.

The focus of investment in the Department’s ICT infrastructure will be on reinvestment in the Departments worldwide ICT equipment and infrastructure to maintain security and efficiency levels. The design and implementation plans for this essential project are currently in the Technical Design Phase.

Ireland House, Tokyo is at the construction tender preparation stage with a view to commencing construction in Q2 2022 and is scheduled for completion in Q2 2024.

The Embassy Abuja project is at the construction tender preparation stage with a view to commencing construction in 2022 for a completion date in 2025.

The London and Washington Projects are at early stages of development. The London Project is currently at a scoping and feasibility stage. A Strategic Assessment stage for Washington is due to commence in November.

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