Dáil Éireann - Volume 461 - 08 February, 1996
Written Answers. - Reply to Correspondence.
Mr. Bree Mr. Bree
50. Mr. Bree asked the Minister for Finance when the Engineering Services of the Office of Public Works will reply to a letter of 13 June 1995, from Deputy Bree in view of the fact that they acknowledged receipt of the letter on the 16 June 1995, reference C85/463/266; the reason the Office of Public Works has been incapable of responding to the letter in the intervening seven month period; if he considers this acceptable; if he will introduce procedures to ensure that standards are improved in the Office of Public Works; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2792/96]
Minister of State at the Department of Finance (Mr. Coveney) Minister of State at the Department of Finance (Mr. Coveney)
Minister of State at the Department of Finance (Mr. Coveney): The correspondence in question relates to an unquantified claim for compensation  arising from works carried out under the Bonet catchment drainage scheme and to a request for reinstatement of a bridge and a fence. The claim was assessed some time ago following visits to the holding by Engineering and Valuation staff of the Officer of Public Works but the benefits arising from the scheme were found to far outweigh the minimal damages involved. In the circumstances no compensation is payable. The bridge and fence were not removed by the Office of Public Works and reinstatement does not therefore arise.
I do not consider a delay of seven months in replying to representations to be acceptable or desirable. I apologise and regret that a reply was not issued to the Deputy much earlier in this case. I emphasise, however, that this case is exceptional and that the standing instructions to staff in the Office of Public Works is that representations are to be dealt with expeditiously. The normal procedure which clearly, was overlooked in this case is that representations are to be acknowledged immediately and that final replies should generally issue within four weeks. Where final replies cannot be issued within this period an interim reply should if possible be issued.
A formal reply to the Deputy's representations is being issued by the Office of Public Works today.
Dáil Éireann 461 Written Answers. Reply to Correspondence.