Dáil Éireann - Volume 685 - 23 June, 2009
Written Answers. - Departmental Contracts.
Deputy Michael Creed Deputy Michael Creed
Deputy Michael Creed asked the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food his contractual arrangements with a company (details supplied); the value and duration of the contracts entered into; the services rendered by the contractor; if he is satisfied with the services provided by this company; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24451/09]
Deputy Brendan Smith Deputy Brendan Smith
Deputy Brendan Smith: My Department has no direct contractual arrangements with the company named. The company was engaged by Teagasc to develop the eREPS system. The eREPS system is managed by Teagasc on my Department’s behalf and is hosted by the company named, which continues to be responsible for maintaining the system and for introducing new functionalities as requested by my Department. The eREPS is funded by my Department, and the total amount of funding provided for the development and enhancement of the system and for the hosting and support of the facility since 2005 is €1,494,413. The current contract is for five years and expires in 2010.
 eREPS is a useful tool to assist REPS planners in preparing REPS plans. Planners use the facility free of charge in preparing plans. It obviates the need to purchase paper maps for the preparation of plans as access is provided to existing electronic maps and it assists by automatically calculating areas and other calculations, thereby reducing the scope for error. In this way it minimises the effort required by the planner and consequently the fees that they must charge to farmers. eREPS was developed and is managed by Teagasc on behalf of the Department and is funded by the Department.
In general, the eREPS system has functioned well. The majority of REPS planners chose to use the system since its introduction and a large proportion of all REPS plans have been prepared using this facility. The use of eREPS for the preparation of plans has now been made compulsory. There have been a number of specific problems with system this year, and Teagasc, on behalf of my Department, is pursuing these with the contractor.
Dáil Éireann 685 Written Answers. Departmental Contracts.