Written Answers - Departmental Expenditure.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 700 No. 4

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  589.  Deputy Liz McManus  Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus   asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources  Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan   the estimated implementation costs for the Department of Health and Children and the Health Service Executive in relation to postcodes and the figures from 2006 published by consultants (details supplied); the maintenance costs; the monetary benefits; the net present value over 15 years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4795/10]

  594.  Deputy Liz McManus  Information on Liz McManus  Zoom on Liz McManus   asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources  Information on Eamon Ryan  Zoom on Eamon Ryan   the estimated implementation costs for his Department in relation to postcodes and the figures from 2006 published by consultants (details supplied); the maintenance costs; the monetary benefits; the net present value over 15 years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4798/10]

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (Deputy Eamon Ryan) I propose to take Questions Nos. 589 and 594 together.

Following the Government’s approval of the implementation of a national postcode system for Ireland as recommended by the National Postcodes Project Board, my officials and I have been working to address the next steps in this project. Postcodes will bring opportunities for many across the whole economy, and while there may also be some costs for businesses and Government Departments in updating large address databases, most stakeholders consulted, who were in favour of postcodes, said that they would immediately implement them implying that any implementation costs incurred would be outweighed by the benefits.

The Deputy will be aware that the National Postcodes Project Board’s report in 2006 estimated upfront costs of establishing a postcode address database, implementing and promoting the postcode would be in the region of €15m., and the ongoing annual maintenance costs of the address database, was estimated to be in the region of €2.5m. The actual figure in the latter regard will be decided in the context of the competitive process referred to below.

Following a Government decision in May 2007, consultants were asked to review and quantify the public sector benefits of introducing postcodes. Accurately determining the costs and benefits for Government Departments, proved to be a difficult task. The consultants, through a series of engagements with a number of Departments and using well established cost benefit analysis tools, estimated that upfront implementation costs would be €4.4m, with annual maintenance of €21,000, and monetary benefits of €4m. Net monetary benefits to the State, in terms of Government Services, were estimated at €22 million in the medium term and based on these figures, the consultants estimated that this project will deliver a net present value for the economy of €5.9m.

A competition was launched last week to select a body that will assist the Department in managing the delivery of a working postcodes system. That delivery will be effected by way of a competitive tender process.


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