Dáil Éireann - Volume 592 - 17 November, 2004
Written Answers. - Departmental Expenditure.
Mr. Perry Mr. Perry
246. Mr. Perry asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the reason for the delay in the seaports measure of the NDP in respect of the seaport infrastructure and capacity development submeasure and the disengagement submeasure; the further reason for under-spending the Estimate provision of €3,140,000 and for the out turn of €473,000 in the year to 31 December 2003; and the position at November 2004. [29175/04]
Mr. Gallagher Mr. Gallagher
Mr. Gallagher: The delay in the issue of letters of offer of grant aid under the seaport infrastructure and capacity development submeasure arose primarily due to lack of clarity regarding the availability of Exchequer funding over the duration of the regional operational programmes. To date, letters of offer have issued under this submeasure in respect of 12 projects with a total project cost of €81 million and grant aid of some €25 million. All but two of these projects relate to State port companies operating under the aegis of the Department. Exchequer funding in respect of these projects is allocated from the central fund rather than from the Vote of this Department.
To date, no letters of offer of grant aid have issued in respect of the disengagement submeasure which was targeted at harbour authorities operating under the aegis of this Department. The allocation of Exchequer funding to harbour authorities by the Department was reviewed in 2004. The engineering division of this Department prepared a schedule of priority works on the basis of public safety and maintenance of navigation criteria. To date, in 2004, approximately €1.4 million from the Vote of the Department has been allocated for these priority works which are currently underway.
 In light of the significant time lapse since the original applications for grant aid under the disengagement submeasure and the need to allocate the scarce Exchequer resources available on the Vote of this Department to the priority works referred to above, it has not proved possible to issue any letters of offer of grant aid under the submeasure.
The saving in 2003, to which the Deputy refers, arose on the relevant subhead of the Vote of the Department due to the lack of progress on two projects approved under the infrastructure and capacity development submeasure and the absence of any projects approved under the disengagement submeasure. However, in 2003, more than €1.3 million was paid from the central fund in respect of infrastructure and capacity development projects related to State port companies.
Dáil Éireann 592 Written Answers. Departmental Expenditure.