Written Answers - Consultancy Contracts

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 723 No. 1

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  35.  Deputy Joe Costello  Information on Joe Costello  Zoom on Joe Costello   asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport  Information on Martin Cullen  Zoom on Martin Cullen   the amount spent on outside consultants reports for each year from 2000 to date in 2010 in tabular form; the name of those reports and the actions taken on foot of each report; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [44012/10]

Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport (Deputy Mary Hanafin): Information on Mary Hanafin  Zoom on Mary Hanafin  In 2010, no expenditure has been incurred by the Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport on consultancy services. Expenditure last year on such services came to €33,000.

The amounts for previous years were as follows:

35 reports were completed by outside consultants during this period, at an average cost of €19,000 per report. The least expensive report — An Evaluation of Service Offered to the Public by the National Archives — cost €2,220. The most expensive was the €114,000 spent in 2008 on the Economic Evaluation of the Benefit to the Island of Ireland of the London 2012 [140]Olympic and Paralympic Games. I have given details in an earlier answer today of how this report is feeding into the work being done by a range of government agencies to ensure that Ireland gets the maximum benefit from the London Olympics.

While no outside consultancy reports have been commissioned during my tenure as Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, I have been informed by the Department that in commissioning earlier reports it observed the Department of Finance Guidelines for the Engagement of Consultants in the Civil Service. These guidelines state that consultants should only be contracted by the Department in circumstances where specialised knowledge or expertise, which is not available in the Department or elsewhere in the public service, is required for a temporary period or where a specialist study or project must be completed within a very short time scale.

While it would be impossible for me to read out the details of all 35 reports here, I am making available to the Deputy a chart which sets out in relation to each report:

the topic covered by it;

the year in which it was commissioned;

its implementation status; and

its cost.

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