208. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the dates and formats by which each of the HSE’s hospital group managers were told of the 2014 audit of cervical cancer cases; if he will publish the correspondence by which they were told; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20611/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Cancer Screening Programmes)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 208 and 209 together.
This question relates to matters which are now the subject of a Scoping Inquiry. I announced the terms of reference of this Inquiry, following agreement by Government, on 8th May 2018. 
The Inquiry, led by Dr Gabriel Scally, will examine the facts, including details of the non-disclosure to patients relating to CervicalCheck clinical audits and the management and level of knowledge of various parti...

209. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the dates and formats by which each of the HSE’s hospital managers in hospitals (details supplied) were told of the 2014 audit of cervical cancer cases; if he will publish the correspondence by which they were told; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20612/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Cancer Screening Programmes)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 208 and 209 together.
This question relates to matters which are now the subject of a Scoping Inquiry. I announced the terms of reference of this Inquiry, following agreement by Government, on 8th May 2018. 
The Inquiry, led by Dr Gabriel Scally, will examine the facts, including details of the non-disclosure to patients relating to CervicalCheck clinical audits and the management and level of knowledge of various parti...

63. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht when the refurbishment of the National Concert Hall will proceed as part of Ireland 2040; when the works will go to tender; and if she will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20008/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - National Concert Hall)

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Deputy Josepha Madigan): Under its plan ‘Investing in our Culture, Heritage and Language’ the Government intends to invest €460m in a significant number of capital projects in our National Cultural Institutions over the period 2018 to 2027. Included in this figure is €78 million for the re-development of the National Concert Hall. 
Investments under this plan will be subject to appraisal and evaluation in line with the Public Spending Code. T...

92. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Taoiseach if a civil servant in his Department made contact with members of An Garda Síochána in connection with the events of 23 and 24 June 2017 when a civil servant in his Department was arrested outside Cabra Garda station; and if so, the details of the contact between 23 June 2017 and to date in 2018. (Question 19618/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Departmental Staff)

The Taoiseach: I can confirm that no civil servant acting on behalf of my Department made contact with An Garda Síochána in relation to the events outlined by the Deputy.
 ...

101. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the investigations that have been carried out by An Garda Síochána into the operations of Bray Garda station over the past ten years; the findings of these investigations; the consequences of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19331/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Garda Investigations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The information sought by the Deputy is currently not to hand.  A request has been made to the Garda Commissioner and when the information is received I will write to the Deputy directly.
 ...

102. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if a civil servant in his Department made contact with a member of An Garda Síochána in connection with the events of 23 and 24 June 2017 when a civil servant in the Department of An Taoiseach was arrested outside Cabra Garda station; and if so, the details of the contact between 23 June 2017 and to date in 2018. (Question 19332/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission Investigations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Deputy is referring to a matter which was raised in an anonymous protected disclosure. That correspondence was received in my Department on 22 November 2017 and was referred to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) for investigation on 8 December 2017. My Department had no knowledge of, or involvement in, the events referred to by the Deputy prior to receiving the protected disclosure in November 2017.
As the Deputy will...

141. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the correspondence, discussions or meetings he or his predecessors, Ministerial advisers or departmental officials had with clinical pathology laboratories or their subsidiaries; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19330/18 asked on 03 May 2018 - Departmental Meetings)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I have not had interactions with clinical pathology laboratories in my time as Minister for Health. 
I am not aware of interactions involving my predecessors in this role, ministerial advisers or departmental officials with clinical pathology laboratories.
 ...

31. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the engagement his Department has had with an organisation (details supplied) in respect of the establishment of a network of regional public banks here; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18905/18 asked on 02 May 2018 - Banking Sector)

Acting Chairman (Deputy Eugene Murphy): It has been agreed that Deputy Penrose will ask the questions on behalf of Deputy Sherlock. I am sure nobody has any difficulty with that.
 ...

88. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Finance the amount of tax relief for medical expenses provided to persons in respect of costs associated with accessing IVF treatment in each of the years 2011 to 2017 and to date in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18235/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Tax Reliefs Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): I am advised by Revenue that the cost of tax relief for health expenses, and the numbers claiming, for the years 2004 to 2015 (the latest year for which data are available) are available on Revenue’s website at https://www.revenue.ie/en/corporate/information-about-revenue/statistics/tax-expenditures/costs-expenditures.aspx. 
I am further advised that, other than for claims in relation to nursing home fees, claims for different health expenses (such ...

147. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health when plans to subsidise or assist couples with the cost of IVF will be published and introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18228/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Assisted Human Reproduction)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 147, 148, 151 and 152 together.
The Government approved the drafting of a Bill on assisted human reproduction (AHR) and associated areas of research in October last year. In order to support the commencement of the legislation, officials in my Department will work during 2018 with the HSE to develop a model of care for infertility to ensure the provision of safe, effective and accessible services through the public healt...

148. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the projected costs in 2019 of the introduction of free IVF treatment as committed to in October 2017; and the estimated number of couples who would be provided with access in 2019 and in each of the following five years (Question 18229/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Assisted Human Reproduction)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 147, 148, 151 and 152 together.
The Government approved the drafting of a Bill on assisted human reproduction (AHR) and associated areas of research in October last year. In order to support the commencement of the legislation, officials in my Department will work during 2018 with the HSE to develop a model of care for infertility to ensure the provision of safe, effective and accessible services through the public healt...

149. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health when the proposed finalised legislation on assisted human reproduction will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18230/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Assisted Human Reproduction)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 149 and 150 together.
The Government approved the drafting of a Bill on assisted human reproduction (AHR) and associated areas of research in October last year. The General Scheme is published on my Department’s website. In addition, the Joint Committee on Health is currently conducting a review of the General Scheme of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill 2017 as part of the pre-legislative scrutiny process, which began...

150. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health if the proposed legislation on assisted human reproduction will be passed by the end of 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18231/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Assisted Human Reproduction)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 149 and 150 together.
The Government approved the drafting of a Bill on assisted human reproduction (AHR) and associated areas of research in October last year. The General Scheme is published on my Department’s website. In addition, the Joint Committee on Health is currently conducting a review of the General Scheme of the Assisted Human Reproduction Bill 2017 as part of the pre-legislative scrutiny process, which began...

151. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the supports that are provided to couples who require assistance in funding IVF and other fertility treatments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18232/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Assisted Human Reproduction)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 147, 148, 151 and 152 together.
The Government approved the drafting of a Bill on assisted human reproduction (AHR) and associated areas of research in October last year. In order to support the commencement of the legislation, officials in my Department will work during 2018 with the HSE to develop a model of care for infertility to ensure the provision of safe, effective and accessible services through the public healt...

152. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health further to previous parliamentary replies, if he reverted to Government at the end of 2017 as committed to with proposals for a potential model of public funding for assisted human reproduction treatment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18233/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Assisted Human Reproduction)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): I propose to take Questions Nos. 147, 148, 151 and 152 together.
The Government approved the drafting of a Bill on assisted human reproduction (AHR) and associated areas of research in October last year. In order to support the commencement of the legislation, officials in my Department will work during 2018 with the HSE to develop a model of care for infertility to ensure the provision of safe, effective and accessible services through the public healt...

153. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Health the cost of fertility medicines needed for fertility treatment covered under the high tech scheme administered by the HSE in each of the years 2011 to 2017 and to date in 2018; the number of persons assisted in each year in the same period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18234/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Medicinal Products Data)

Minister for Health (Deputy Simon Harris): As this is a service issue, this question has been referred to the Health Service Executive for direct reply to the Deputy.
 ...

563. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when arrears for a person (details supplied) will be processed; and when they will receive same. (Question 17442/18 asked on 24 Apr 2018 - Widow’s Pension Applications)

Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Deputy Regina Doherty): The person concerned was awarded a maximum rate widow(er)/survivors’ (contributory) pension with effect from 29 September 2017. The first payment issued to the person’s nominated account in a financial institution on 6 April 2018. All due arrears issued to the same account on 20 April 2018. 
I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy. 
 ...

35. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he is satisfied that his Department provided full information to and co-operated fully with the O’Higgins commission and the O’Neill report into Garda whistleblower claims; and if he has asked his officials for assurances regarding same. (Question 16448/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Commissions of Investigation)

Deputy Alan Kelly: Given all of the information that is now in the public domain, is the Minister satisfied that his Department provided full information and co-operated fully with both the O’Higgins commission and the O’Neill report into Garda whistleblower claims and has he asked his officials for absolute assurances on same?
 ...

61. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the procedure in his Department for logging all contact and communications with senior management in An Garda Síochána; if procedures have changed in recent times; and if so, when and the way in which this happened. (Question 16447/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Departmental Operations)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Records management procedures in my Department are aimed at ensuring that, whatever their provenance, letters/emails receive appropriate attention; any decisions taken, particularly by the Minister or the Secretary General, are recorded; and minutes are taken of meetings.  However, officials throughout my Department have very frequent contact with An Garda Síochána in line with the Department’s responsibilities under the Garda Síochána...

68. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if there is a policy in his Department regarding the use of non-departmental or personal email for departmental or Government business; if so, when this policy was put in place; if it will be published; if a review of the senior management in his Department has been carried out to ensure that senior officials have never used non-departmental or personal email for departmental business; if not, the reason therefor; his plans to undertake a review of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16446/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Departmental Communications)

Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Charles Flanagan): Access for all staff of my Department to web based emails is restricted by security infrastructure. The Department provides a secure remote access service to staff who require access to Departmental systems including emails outside of work hours.  Like most people, officials in the Department would have personal email accounts and may occasionally use personal email accounts for work-related business; this would be rare and born of nec...

90. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Justice and Equality his views on whether the number of cases referred to the Garda Youth Diversion Programme in each year since 2010 are accurate; his further views regarding the review into the programme that is being carried out; and when the report will be published. (Question 16445/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Garda Youth Diversion Projects)

Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): The Garda Youth Diversion Programme is an essential part of Government strategy to help tackle youth crime, and it is very important that it operates effectively.
As the Deputy is aware, a number of issues which impact on the effective administration of the Diversion Programme were identified following the completion, in June 2017, of an examination by the Garda Professional Services Unit (GPSU), and the Garda au...

116. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Taoiseach the amount of expenditure on consultancy by his Department in each of the years 2015 to 2017; the number of consultants engaged by his Department in those years; the names of the consultancy companies awarded contracts; and the steps which have been taken to reduce the expenditure on consultancy and the reliance on consultants by his Department in these years and for the future. (Question 15197/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Departmental Expenditure)

The Taoiseach: During the period in question, just one consultancy company was engaged by my Department. The details are set out in the table below:
 Year Company Details Amount 2015 RA Consulting Design & Implementation of a Staff Consultation Initiative €9,298.80 


My Department has not had a requirement for this specific type of consultancy since 2015 because my Department participates in the Civil Service Employee Engagement Survey carried out by the Central Statistics Off...

123. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence the amount of expenditure on consultancy by his Department in each of the years 2015 to 2017; the number of consultants engaged by his Department in those years; the names of the consultancy companies awarded contracts; and the steps which have been taken to reduce the expenditure on consultancy and the reliance on consultants by his Department in these years and for the future. (Question 15191/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Departmental Expenditure)

Minister of State at the Department of Defence (Deputy Paul Kehoe): The information requested by the Deputy in relation to the amount of expenditure on consultancy,the number of consultants and the names of the consultancy companies awarded contracts by my Department in each of the years 2015 to 2017 is set out in the table below:
My Department is always mindful of the costs involved in engaging consultants. External consultancy is only engaged when there is a clear need for specialised expertis...

174. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the amount of expenditure on consultancy by his Department in each of the years 2015 to 2017; the number of consultants engaged by his Department in those years; the names of the consultancy companies awarded contracts; and the steps which have been taken to reduce the expenditure on consultancy and the reliance on consultants by his Department in these years and for the future. (Question 15201/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Departmental Expenditure)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is responsible for two Votes - Vote 27 (International Co-operation) and Vote 28 (Foreign Affairs and Trade).
The Department seeks to minimize expenditure on consultants and commissions external expertise only in areas where highly specialised skills are not available within the Department and, in particular, where independent evaluation of programmes and projects is required. ...

226. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Finance the amount of expenditure on consultancy by his Department in each of the years 2015 to 2017; the number of consultants engaged by his Department in those years; the names of the consultancy companies awarded contracts; and the steps which have been taken to reduce the expenditure on consultancy and the reliance on consultants by his Department in these years and for the future. (Question 15190/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Consultancy Contracts Data)

Minister for Finance (Deputy Paschal Donohoe): The information requested by the Deputy for 2015, 2016, and Quarters 1 through 3 of 2017 are contained in documents that are already published on my Department’s website.
[PQ 226 Table 1]

[PQ 226 Table 2]

[PQ 226 Table 3]

[PQ 226 Table 4]

[PQ 226 Table 5]

[PQ 226 Table 6]

The information requested for Q4 2017 is contained in the following table. The nature of my Department’s work is such that, from time to time, reliance on specialist advice i...