Dáil Éireann - Volume 487 - 17 February, 1998
Written Answers. - Fishing Fleet Modernisation.
Mr. Shatter Mr. Shatter
34. Mr. Shatter asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources if he is satisfied that the fleet modernisation programme is properly validated by the marine surveying section to ensure that the works carried out on the vessels is good value for money. [3884/98]
Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources (Dr. Woods) Michael J. Woods
Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources (Dr. Woods): The fleet renewal and modernisation measure under the fisheries operational programme is administered by BIM in accordance with fully objective procedures laid down by the Department and agreed by the EU Commission and the Operational Programme Monitoring Committee. These are subject to audit and crosschecks by the Department and Commission inspectors, as well as BIM itself.
Applications are rigorously assessed by BIM to ensure compliance with eligibility criteria which are set out in the relevant EU Regulations. Applications are scrutinised by BIM to ensure that they represent value for money. To inform this assessment process, a database of costs for previous modernisation projects is maintained against which quotations for new applications are compared. Quotations for major modernisation works are further cross checked against information from suppliers.
BIM's own technical and administrative staff have considerable expertise in assessing quotations for works. All projects are subject to financial approval of the fleet investment committee within BIM and in some instances the approval of the board itself, prior to submission to the Department and me for final approval.
All projects are subject to strict assessment from a technical and structural perspective. Refurbishment projects which entail alterations to the structure of a vessel are assessed to ensure adherence to safety and stability standards. Boatyards are visited by BIM's survey staff during and on completion of the project in order to ensure that work has been carried out in accordance with technical specification and best marine engineering practice. On completion of the project a full inspection of the work is carried out by BIM technical staff and a clearance report is provided before grant funds are released.
I am satisfied the systems currently in place in BIM are designed to ensure that the projects are validated from the necessary technical perspectives and represent good value for money. Those systems will continue to be kept under review and regularly crosschecked by BIM to ensure that the relevant standards and criteria are met.
Dáil Éireann 487 Written Answers. Fishing Fleet Modernisation.