Dáil Éireann - Volume 531 - 27 February, 2001
Written Answers. - National Development Plan.
Mr. Quinn Mr. Quinn
92. Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the sections and division of the European Commission which are involved in assisting and or monitoring the implementation of those aspects of the national development plan for which her Department has responsibility; the name of the senior EU official with responsibility for that role; the number of meetings that have taken place since the publication of the national development plan between officials of her Department and the relevant officials of the European Commission; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5602/01]
Mr. Quinn Mr. Quinn
93. Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she will state for that section of the national development  plan for which she has responsibility for its implementation, the number of consultants who have been hired by her Department to assist with the design or implementation of the national development plan; the projects upon which they are engaged; the cost of those projects; the approximate professional fee cost which the consultants will be charging her Department on completion of the consultancy; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5617/01]
Mr. Quinn Mr. Quinn
94. Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the aspect of the national development plan for which her Department has responsibility; the precise number of projects which are a part of that section of the national development plan for which her Department has responsibility; the number of personnel in her Department who are working full-time and part-time on the national development plan; their grade within the Civil Service; the budgeted cost for each project; the time table for its implementation; the present stage at which it currently is; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5633/01]
Mr. Quinn Mr. Quinn
95. Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of groups, both statutory and non-statutory but excluding local authorities with which her Department is in regular contact or consultation in respect of the implementation of that section of the national development plan for which her Department has responsibility; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5651/01]
Mr. Quinn Mr. Quinn
96. Mr. Quinn asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment if she will outline, in respect of that section of the national development plan for which her Department has responsibility, the number of potential public-private partnerships that have been identified; the number that are under active consideration; the name, location and potential cost of such projects; if any exchange of letters has taken place; if any other initial firm commitment has been entered into with prospective private providers; the approximate capital value of all projects so identified; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5678/01]
Ms Harney Ms Harney
Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise Trade and Employment (Ms Harney): I propose to take Questions Nos. 92 to 96, inclusive, together.
My Department is the designated managing authority for two of the operational programmes under the national development plan. The productive sector operational programme and the employment and human resources development operational programme. In addition, my Department has also, responsibility for micro-enterprises in the two regional operational programmes.
The productive sector operational programme receives co-financing from two funds administered by the EU, the European Regional  Development Fund, ERDF, and the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance, FIFG. In relation to European Regional Development Fund the Directorate General involved is DG Regio and in relation to FIFG it is DG Fish. The lead official for the EU Commission Services is Mr. Manfred Beschel of DG Regio.
Five meetings have taken place between Irish officials and the EU Commission which related to the community support framework and not the individual operational programmes. These meetings covered the overall contribution being made by the EU to the national development plan. Three meetings took place between officials of the EU Commission and officials from my Department, the Department of Finance, the Department of Education and Science and the Department of the Marine and Natural Resources in relation to specific supports under the Productive Sector Operational Programme.
The monitoring committee, which oversees the operational programme, held its first meeting on 23 November, 2000.
No consultants have been engaged by my Department to assist with the design or implementation of the productive sector operational programme. The structure of the productive sector is that there are four priorities covered which are, research, technological development and innovation; industry – indigenous and foreign direct investment; marketing and sea fisheries development. The total OP allocation over the plan is £7.3 billion. These priorities are further broken down into 21 measures which are further broken down into 41 sub-measures. These sub-measures are administered by the relevant bodies with responsibility for the particular areas and contain numerous projects which will receive funding under the national development plan. At this time it is not possible to ascertain the exact number of projects. Some of the measures are competitive and the projects themselves are evaluated only at time of application.
Six departmental staff, a principal officer, two assistant principals, one higher executive officer, one executive officer and one clerical officer are working full or part time on operational programme management co-ordination. The monitoring committee of the operational programme has responsibility for the implementation of the programme. There are 42 different bodies involved together with my Department. These include, Government departments, the EU Commission, implementing agencies, regional assemblies, regional authorities, employers-business representatives, trade unions, farming representatives and the community and voluntary pillar. No other bodies have been consulted or contacted in regard to the implementation of the operational programme. There are no public-private partnerships envisaged at this time.
Unit B.3 of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Employment and Social Affairs has the direct Commission responsibility for assisting in and monitoring the implemen tation of the Employment And Human Resources Development Operational Programme. The head of unit is Vassiliki Kolotourou; Luis Riara is the head of the DG's Directorate B. Since the publication of the NDP in November 1999, the relevant officials on both sides would have met up to ten times and, most recently, last week. No consultants have been hired by my Department to assist with its design or implementation of the Human Resources Development OP.
The OP is almost exclusively multi-annual programme rather than project-based; that is the essential mode of delivery is the provision of publicly-funded education or training programmes over the period to 2006. In the social economy area, however, a project-based approached is being used; it is projected that there will be more than 400 projects over the OP lifetime. Significant expenditure is planned on construction work, particularly by the Department of Education and Science to provide the facilities needed for educational courses on more than 2,500 projects of all sizes.
Five Department staff, a principal, one assistant principal, one higher executive officer, an executive officer and a clerical officer is working full or part-time on OP management co-ordination. The total OP allocation over the plan for the social economy field is £348.8 million and for supporting infrastructure it is £2,507.8 million of which £2,435.4 million is for the education sector. It is not possible to predict the budgeted costs of the individual projects to be funded in either context; many of the social economy projects to be supported have yet to be proposed while the education projects are all of different scale.
The monitoring committee of the OP has responsibility for the unemployment of the programme. My Department is in regular contact with at least twenty-five groups and bodies in respect of its implementation and management. These include, Departments, the EU Commission, implementing agencies, regional assemblies, regional authorities, employers-business representatives, trade unions, farming representatives and the community and voluntary pillar.
No proposals for public private partnership or potential possibilities for such were set out in the text of this operational programme which relates essentially to the education and training of people. I do not expect that situation will change over the implementation period for this OP to 2006.
The Micro Enterprises (Regional Operational Programmes) are carried out by the 35 city and county enterprise boards, is dealt with under the local enterprise development sub-programmes of the Border, midlands and western, BMW, and the southern and eastern regional operational programmes of the national development plan. The managing authorities for these programmes is the regional assembly for each region.
My Department has not hired consultants to assist with the design or implementation of the  national development plan in relation to the micro-enterprise measure.
There are ten personnel working on micro-enterprise related work in the Department; one principal officer, two assistant principals – one full-time and one part-time – one higher executive officer, three executive officers, four clerical officers and 35 city and county enterprise boards. The budget for the measure is £190.5 million over the period of the national development plan.
My Department is in regular contact with the 35 city and county enterprise boards and with the Departments of Agriculture Food and Rural Development, Environment and Local Government and Finance. There is no public-private partnerships provision for micro-enterprise supports.
Dáil Éireann 531 Written Answers. National Development Plan.