Dáil Éireann - Volume 610 - 15 November, 2005
Written Answers. - Penalty Points System.
Ms O. Mitchell Ms O. Mitchell
522. Ms O. Mitchell asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the purpose of the additional €4.5 million provided to the company to develop the fixed charge processing system; the amount spent to date in 2005 on the fixed charge processing system; the way in which this system will interact with the proposed involvement of An Post in the processing of penalty points; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34421/05]
Ms O. Mitchell Ms O. Mitchell
523. Ms O. Mitchell asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the position regarding the involvement of An Post in the processing of penalty points; the function An Post will play in the processing; when this proposed service will be fully operational; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34422/05]
Mr. McDowell Mr. McDowell
 Mr. McDowell: I propose to take Questions Nos. 522 and 523 together.
The development cost of the fixed charge processing system was in the order of €13.5 million. This was composed of the original tender price of just under €9 million and additional works at a cost of €4.5 million. The majority of the expenditure arose in two areas: a technical upgrade required to be carried out to the entire PULSE infrastructure. As the fixed charge processing system is linked to PULSE, this also necessitated an upgrade to the FCPS software so that the FCPS was implemented on an up-to-date technical platform; to implement the FCPS system prior to completion of the work outlined, it was decided to adopt a phased approach to the implementation of the system. This required work to be done to the system to enable the early implementation of the system, in advance of the putting in place of an outsourced payment collection system and integration with PULSE. Accordingly, the system is currently operational in the Dublin metropolitan region, Cork city and parts of counties Louth and Meath.
Development of FCPS is now complete. Expenditure has been incurred in 2005 on the maintenance of the system, including some tasks associated with stabilisation work on PULSE. I am advised by the Garda authorities that an amount of €418,000, VAT inclusive, has been paid in 2005 in this regard.
Contract negotiations with An Post for the outsourced payment collection service are now complete and a contract was signed on Thursday, 10 November. The contract will enable procedures to be put in place to enable persons issued with fixed charge notices to make payments at post offices, by post and in respect of non-penalty point offences, by telephone and Internet. This will free up Garda resources currently engaged in the collection and accounting of moneys for operational duties.
Work is already well under way to progress the roll-out of the system and over the coming weeks plans will be finalised with the relevant agencies viz., my Department, the Garda Síochána, the Courts Service and the Departments of Transport and the Environment, Heritage and Local Government. This will include plans for roll-out of further penalty point offences. It is planned that as part of this process, the Garda Síochána and An Post will roll out the payment collection service on a phased basis.
Dáil Éireann 610 Written Answers. Penalty Points System.