188. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the powers he has delegated to the Ministers of State in his Department; the date on which such delegation was made; if there were changes in powers delegated relative to the situation in place prior to 14 June 2017; if so, the details of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 42781/17 asked on 10 Oct 2017 - Ministerial Functions)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Simon Coveney): There are two Ministers of State at my Department, Ciarán Cannon T.D. and Helen McEntee, T.D. Minister Cannon was appointed Minister of State with special responsibility for the Diaspora and International Development at my Department on 15 June 2017. Minister McEntee was appointed Minister of State with special responsibility for European Affairs at my Department on 20 June 2017.
The Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) (No.2) Act...

327. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the actions the Government has undertaken in the case of a person (details supplied); the further actions the State intends to undertake; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 35859/16 asked on 22 Nov 2016 - Consular Services Provision)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): My Department officials at headquarters in Dublin, at our Embassy in Singapore, which is accredited to the Philippines, and our Honorary Consul in Manila, have all been engaged in this case and have provided consular assistance to this individual and to his family, since they were first made aware of this citizen’s detention in 2013.
Let me assure the Deputy that the individual’s concerns have been raised with the relevant authori...

631. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade when his Department’s annual report for 2014 will be published. (Question 30214/15 asked on 16 Jul 2015 - Departmental Reports)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): The Annual Reports of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for 2013 and 2014 will be published jointly before the end of 2015. The reports will be published online on my Department’s website and in both official languages.
 ...

734. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if there is funding available to bring underprivileged children and adults to Ireland for respite on humanitarian grounds (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11206/15 asked on 24 Mar 2015 - Overseas Development Aid)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Sean Sherlock): The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade manages Ireland’s significant programme of assistance for Palestine refugees, in the Occupied Territories and in refugee camps across the region. Ireland is providing over €10 million in support annually for the Palestinian people. This support addresses immediate humanitarian needs, as well as longer term development priorities and the promotion of human rights....

744. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of occasions since the start of 2014 in which the Secretary General of his Department has been involved in the clearing or approval of material for release under freedom of information legislation. (Question 11800/15 asked on 24 Mar 2015 - Freedom of Information Requests)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): For the purposes of the 2014 Freedom of Information Act, I am responsible for all decisions made under the Act by my Department. Access to records requested is either granted or exempted under specific provisions of the Act. Section 20(1) of the Act provides for the delegation of functions to members of staff in my Department, including whether to grant or refuse to grant the request or to grant it in part and/or to review a de...

464. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his Department, or State bodies or agencies under the aegis of his Department, use solicitors’ firms (details supplied); the amount paid to these solicitors, each year, from 2011 to 2014, by his Department, or State bodies or agencies under the aegis of his Department; the date until which his Department, or State bodies or agencies under the aegis of his Department, are contracted to use these solicitors’ firms; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9195/15 asked on 03 Mar 2015 - Departmental Legal Costs)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): My Department is responsible for two Votes: Vote 28 - Foreign Affairs and Trade; and Vote 27 - International Cooperation. No payments have been made to the firms listed in the Deputy’s question by my Department from 2011 to 2014 nor is my Department contracted to use these firms. There are no agencies or State bodies under the aegis of my Department.
 ...

418. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if his Department, or any agency of his Department, have awarded any contracts to a company (details supplied) since 9 March 2011. (Question 45347/14 asked on 25 Nov 2014 - Departmental Contracts)

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Charles Flanagan): No contracts have been awarded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to the company referred to since 9 March 2011.
 ...

176. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will provide an update in tabular form of the commitments in the programme for Government that relate to his Department; and the progress that has been made in the implementation of each commitment. (Question 14115/14 asked on 25 Mar 2014 - Programme for Government Implementation)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): I refer the Deputy to the recently published Annual Report on the Programme for Government which sets out the progress over the last 12 months of an extensive number of the Department’s commitments including increasing exports, promoting Ireland abroad, overseas development aid, humanitarian crises response, civilian corps, implementing the Good Friday Agreement and St. Andrew’s Agreement, economic co-operation to suppor...

54. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will provide in tabular form the reports, reviews and studies commissioned by him or his Department or agencies under the aegis of his Department since 9 March 2011; the date on which they were commissioned; the date on which they were completed; the date on which they were published; the cost of each; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12432/14 asked on 12 Mar 2014 - Departmental Reports)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): The Department is responsible for two Votes – Vote 28 (Foreign Affairs and Trade) and Vote 27 (International Cooperation). There are no state agencies under the aegis of my Department. The Department commissions external reports where specialised skills are not available within the Department and particularly where ongoing independent evaluation of programmes and projects is required. During the course of their engage...

51. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of posts that will be created at the new Irish consulate in Austin, Texas; the job descriptions of same; where they will be advertised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 8504/14 asked on 19 Feb 2014 - Departmental Staff Recruitment)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): The new Consulate General in Austin will be headed by a Consul General who will be an official of the Department of Foreign Affairs. The decision on this appointment will be made by Government in the coming weeks as part of its regular consideration of appointments of Heads of Mission at our embassies and consulates abroad.
Ahead of the opening of the new missions I announced in January, including the Consulate General ...

126. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will name each company awarded a contract for the provision of professional services by his Department and agencies under his aegis since May 2011; the value and purpose of the contract; if a competitive tendering process was undertaken in line with public procurement best practice; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6456/14 asked on 11 Feb 2014 - Departmental Contracts Data)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): My Department engages a range of external service providers in a number of areas where the required skills are not available in-house and it is more cost-effective to source them externally. I have set out in the following tables details of all payments to external services providers over €25,000 from 2011 to the end of 2013 in respect of Vote 28 (Foreign Affairs and Trade) and of Vote 27 (International Cooperation). T...

53. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the names and amount by which each Programme Manager/Special Advisor in his Department has exceed the relevant pay guidelines as laid down; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 54752/13 asked on 18 Dec 2013 - Ministerial Advisers Remuneration)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): The Guidelines on Ministerial Appointments issued in March 2011 state that Special Advisers are to be placed on the Principal Officer (standard) scale: €75,674 - €92,550. Appointments will be on the first point of the scale, except where the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform sanctions a higher salary rate. I have four Special Advisers in my Department. Salary details for each of them are set out in the followi...

25. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the official foreign visits he or his Ministers of State have planned to the end of 2013; the proposed dates for these visits; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 41199/13 asked on 02 Oct 2013 - Ministerial Travel)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Delivering an intensive programme of Ministerial-led trade missions is a key commitment in the Government’s Action Plan for Jobs in 2013. The number of Ministerial-led Enterprise Ireland trade missions conducted with the active support of the Embassy network has more than doubled over the past two years, up from eight in 2011 to eighteen this year. I undertook a political and trade mission to China (Beijing and Shanghai)...

157. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will provide, in tabular form, the commitments in the programme for Government within his remit; if the commitment has been met or is in the process of being met; the estimated time for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34681/13 asked on 16 Jul 2013 - Programme for Government Implementation)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): I have set out in the following table the current status of each of the recommendations in the Programme for Government for which the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has primary responsibility. Those commitments which continue to be in progress represent sustained and ongoing actions, rather than discrete undertakings for which a completion date is envisaged. 
Further consideration of the proposal to transfer th...

158. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will provide, in tabular form, the names of all external public relations, communications consultants and organisations used by organisations or agencies within the remit of his Department since 9 March 2011; the details of the services supplied by each; the expenditure on each; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 34697/13 asked on 16 Jul 2013 - Departmental Expenditure)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): There are no organisations or agencies under the aegis of my Department.
 ...

44. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the recent economic package announced by the British Government for Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30794/13 asked on 26 Jun 2013 - Northern Ireland Issues)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): I welcomed the economic package for Northern Ireland announced by the British Prime Minister David Cameron and First Minister Peter Robinson and deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness on 14 June, 2013. I spoke with the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers and commended her on the package which represents a strong commitment by the British Government in support of the work of the Northern Ireland Exe...

66. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will detail in tabular form, the names of all external public relations, communications consultants and organisations used by his Department since 9 March 2011; the details of the services supplied by each; the expenditure on each; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 28812/13 asked on 18 Jun 2013 - Public Relations Contracts Expenditure)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): My Department does not engage external consultants for public relations purposes. Occasionally, consultants or companies with some communications experience are commissioned to provide services such as project management, logistics and event management. I am very conscious of the need to achieve value for money on all consultant expenditure and commissioning of such work is in full compliance with national and EU procur...

34. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the plans he has to increase trade between Ireland and Mongolia following the recent visit of Minister of State, Costello; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 23189/13 asked on 16 May 2013 - International Trade)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): The Minister of State with responsibility for trade and development Joe Costello, TD, visited Mongolia from 28 to29 April, becoming the first Irish Minister to visit the country. During the visit, Minister Costello represented Ireland at the seventh Ministerial Conference of the Community of Democracies. He also had a series of bilateral engagements, including meeting the Foreign Minister of Mongolia, Luvsanvandan Bold...

21. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the amount of money spent on cross-Border peace initiatives in 2010, 2011, 2012 and planned for 2013; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15591/13 asked on 28 Mar 2013 - Cross-Border Projects)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): My Department provides funding to cross border projects through its Reconciliation and Anti-Sectarianism Funds. The purpose of these Funds is to assist organisations involved in reconciliation work, to support efforts to create better understanding between people on the island of Ireland and between Ireland and Britain, and to assist local initiatives aimed at tackling sectarianism. Funding is provided to cross border in...

54. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will provide in tabular form the number of organisations or agencies under the aegis of his Department that have vacancies on their board; the length of time any such vacancies have been unfilled; the number of vacancies that have been advertised; the number of applications to fill such vacancies that have been received; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4860/13 asked on 31 Jan 2013 - Departmental Agencies Board Appointments)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): There are no state agencies or bodies operating under the aegis of my Department. Set out as follows are the details of one advisory committee and one commission which operate under the auspices of my Department that have vacancies.
Emigrant Services Advisory Committee (previously known as the Dion Committee)
The primary role of Emigrant Services Advisory Committee (ESAC) is to advise the Tánaiste on the allocation o...

196. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of immediate or extended family members employed by his Department; the names and remuneration in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2900/13 asked on 22 Jan 2013 - Ministerial Staff)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): No member of my family is employed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
 ...

16. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his views on the target of 0.7% of GNP to be given as overseas development aid for 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1578/13 asked on 16 Jan 2013 - Overseas Development Aid Provision)

Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Joe Costello) (Deputy Joe Costello): Ireland’s aid programme prioritises the fight against global poverty and hunger. It is strongly focused on the poorest countries and communities in sub-Saharan Africa, prioritising investments in the areas of education, health, good governance, food security and nutrition. The programme is central to our foreign policy, has an enviable international reputation, and consistently enjoys s...

30. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his priorities for the Irish Presidency of the EU Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50175/12 asked on 14 Nov 2012 - EU Presidency Expenditure)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): The jobs and growth agenda remains the main priority of Ireland’s upcoming Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Tackling the effects of the financial crisis will remain an important challenge for the Union, but the focus must now shift to creating the conditions for economic recovery and job creation. Delivery on concrete initiatives, building on the Compact for Jobs and Growth is a core objective of our Pre...

162. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he will provide in tabular form the amount currently being spent on, or budgeted for by State agencies under his remit for spending, on the areas of communication, public relations, consultancy, advertising and human resources; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 49653/12 asked on 13 Nov 2012 - State Agencies)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): There are no State agencies under the remit of my Department.
 ...

161. Deputy Billy Kelleher asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the names of each staff member within his Department that has been rehired since March 2011 and the cost involved in each case; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47295/12 asked on 06 Nov 2012 - Departmental Staff)

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore): Details are set out in the following table of the retired officials of my Department who were temporarily re-engaged or who were already contracted to the Department during the period in question: 
 NAME /GRADE POSITION HELD DURATION ESTIMATED COST€ Frank CoganAssistant Secretary Head of Task Force in connection with Ireland’s Chairmanship of the OSCE, 2012 Contract from 7 January 2011 to 31 December 2012 7...