Dáil Éireann - Volume 567 - 28 May, 2003
Written Answers. - Departmental Expenditure.
Mr. Boyle Mr. Boyle
227. Mr. Boyle asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs his views on whether his Department's share of the more than €10 million spent by Departments in 2002 on public relations, marketing and advertising represents best value for money; and the plans which exist to reduce spending in this area. [14671/03]
Éamon Ó Cuív Éamon Ó Cuív
Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (Éamon Ó Cuív): The amount spent by my Department in 2002 on advertising was €284,367.24. This includes €41,690 spent on public notice advertising in the media and in Iris Oifigiúl. This advertising was placed in the media by an advertising agency who were chosen following an open tender competition. As the Deputy will be aware, one of the main criteria in awarding Government contracts in an open tender process is cost and value for money.
The remainder of the expenditure on advertising was, €242,677.24 which was in respect of the National Forum on Europe, which comes under the auspices of my Department. The bulk of this was for advertising in the national and provincial media and related to meetings of the forum around the country. This advertising was purely informational and served to inform the public of the forum meetings in their area, the aim of which is to promote and foster a greater understanding of the European Union. My Department did not incur any costs in 2002 on outside public relations and marketing consultants.
228. Mr. Boyle 228. Mr. Boyle
228. Mr. Boyle asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs her views on whether her Department's share of the more than €10 million spent by Government Departments in 2002 on public relations, marketing and advertising represents best value for money; and the plans which exist to reduce spending in this area. [14671/03]
Mary Coughlan Mary Coughlan
 Minister for Social and Family Affairs (Mary Coughlan): The use of advertising is essential in ensuring that all of our citizens are fully aware of their social welfare entitlements and are notified about improvements and changes affecting their payments and services. The amount of advertising expenditure in any one year is determined by the number of specific advertising campaigns which are undertaken.
My Department's expenditure on public relations consultancy in 2002 was €6,534. Expenditure on advertising in 2002 was €1,319,239, of which €981,960 was in respect of the print media and €337,279 in respect of the broadcast media. There was no expenditure on marketing in 2002.
Expenditure on advertising covered a wide range of departmental schemes and services and included three information campaigns relating to the promotion of the farm assist scheme among low income farmers; the promotion of awareness of the personal public service number and its use as the key to accessing integrated public services and e-government; and the budget 2003 information campaign which advised social welfare customers on when and how their budget increases would be paid.
I am satisfied that the expenditure on advertising in 2002 served to promote awareness and understanding of our schemes and services and provided excellent value for money. It is expected that expenditure on advertising in 2003 will be €520,000.
Dáil Éireann 567 Written Answers. Departmental Expenditure.