1. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if the responsibility of delegation orders are within his remit; if he has signed any recently; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48013/12 asked on 18 Dec 2012 - Ministerial Responsibilities)

The Taoiseach: Delegation of functions orders are made by the Government at the request of the Minister concerned. At my request, on 22 March 2011, the Government made an order delegating my statutory functions in relation to the Central Statistics Office under the Statistics Act 1993, the Civil Service Regulation Acts 1956 to 2005 and the Public Service Management (Recruitment and Appointments) Act 2004 to the Government Chief Whip, Deputy Paul Kehoe.
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2. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach the progress that is being made in his Department in the commitment to legislate for Cabinet confidentiality as outlined in his Department’s strategy statement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 48015/12 asked on 18 Dec 2012 - Cabinet Confidentiality)

The Taoiseach: A Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 2 and 3 together.
Cabinet confidentiality is provided for in the Constitution and I have no plans for legislation on the matter.
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3. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach the plans he has to introduce legislation to deal with the issue of Cabinet confidentiality. (Question 49777/12 asked on 18 Dec 2012 - Cabinet Confidentiality)

The Taoiseach: A Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 2 and 3 together.
Cabinet confidentiality is provided for in the Constitution and I have no plans for legislation on the matter.
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4. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach the number of Cabinet committee meetings held so far this year; if there is any committee that has not met yet. (Question 49721/12 asked on 18 Dec 2012 - Cabinet Committees)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 4 to 7 together.
All Cabinet committees, including the Economic Management Council which has the status of a Cabinet committee, have met this year and a total of 91 meetings have been held. My Department provides all necessary secretariat support for the Cabinet committee on mortgage arrears. The Cabinet committee on the children’s rights referendum met on two occasions, on 23 and 31 August, and its work is now concluded.
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5. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach the supports provided by his Department to the Cabinet sub committee on mortgage arrears. (Question 50878/12 asked on 18 Dec 2012 - Cabinet Committees)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 4 to 7 together.
All Cabinet committees, including the Economic Management Council which has the status of a Cabinet committee, have met this year and a total of 91 meetings have been held. My Department provides all necessary secretariat support for the Cabinet committee on mortgage arrears. The Cabinet committee on the children’s rights referendum met on two occasions, on 23 and 31 August, and its work is now concluded.
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6. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if the Cabinet committee on Children’s Rights Referendum has met recently. (Question 50918/12 asked on 18 Dec 2012 - Cabinet Committees)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 4 to 7 together.
All Cabinet committees, including the Economic Management Council which has the status of a Cabinet committee, have met this year and a total of 91 meetings have been held. My Department provides all necessary secretariat support for the Cabinet committee on mortgage arrears. The Cabinet committee on the children’s rights referendum met on two occasions, on 23 and 31 August, and its work is now concluded.
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7. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach the number of meetings of the Economic Management Council held this year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 56512/12 asked on 18 Dec 2012 - Cabinet Committees)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 4 to 7 together.
All Cabinet committees, including the Economic Management Council which has the status of a Cabinet committee, have met this year and a total of 91 meetings have been held. My Department provides all necessary secretariat support for the Cabinet committee on mortgage arrears. The Cabinet committee on the children’s rights referendum met on two occasions, on 23 and 31 August, and its work is now concluded.
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108. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Taoiseach if temporary promotions or acting-up allowances have not been a feature of the staffing arrangements for this EU Presidency; if he will provide a list of Departments that were given sanction to make such arrangements detailing the number by grade involved in each Department and the date sanction was sought and the date that it was given; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 56339/12 asked on 18 Dec 2012 - Departmental Staff Remuneration)

The Taoiseach: There are no temporary promotions or acting-up allowances in my Department for the EU Presidency.
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109. Deputy Simon Harris asked the Taoiseach the formations of the EU Councils of Ministers on which he sits; the number of meetings of that Council held from 9 March 2011 to date in 2012; the number of those meetings he attended; the number attended by a Minister of State; the number attended by an Irish official; and if he will provide the names of those who attended in tabular form. (Question 56554/12 asked on 18 Dec 2012 - European Council Meetings)

The Taoiseach: I do not sit on any formation of the EU Council of Ministers. I am a member of the European Council, which is a separate institution. I attended all meetings of the European Council in the period in question.
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110. D’fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív den an Taoisigh cé mhéad uair, ó ceapadh an Rialtas seo, a bhí cruinniú den Choiste Rialtais ar an nGaeilge agus ar an nGaeltacht ann; agus cad iad dátaí na gcruinnithe sin. (Question 49437/12 asked on 18 Dec 2012 - Ministerial Meetings)

The Taoiseach: Bhuail an Coiste Comhaireachta ar an nGaeilge agus ar an nGaeltacht le chéile ceithre huaire ó chuireadh ar bun é ar 14 Aibreán 2011; ar 19 Bealtaine 2011, 5 Meitheamh 2012, 19 Iúil 2012 agus 5 Samhain 2012.
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111. Deputy Finian McGrath asked the Taoiseach if he will support the family of murdered solicitor Pat Finucane in their efforts for a public inquiry; and if he will raise this matter with the British Government. (Question 56813/12 asked on 18 Dec 2012 - Public Inquiries)

The Taoiseach: Successive Irish Governments have consistently supported the Finucane family in their efforts to ascertain the full truth behind Pat Finucane’s murder and the subsequent investigations, including the extent of collusion. This Government’s position has consistently been in accordance with the all-party motion adopted in the Dáil in 2006 which called for a full, independent, public inquiry, as recommended by Judge Cory. 
The British and Irish Governments agreed in 2001 to appoint a...

1. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach the number of non-party political events which he has attended in each month during 2012 which have been handled by the protocol section of his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 47363/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Official Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 and 2 together.
The table sets out the information sought by the Deputy up to the end of November 2012. It has been the long-standing practice for the protocol section to assist the Taoiseach in regard to his or her official domestic engagements. This involves liaising with event organisers on a programme for the event and subsequently attending the event in order to ensure its organisation is, from the Taoiseach’s perspective, in keeping with ...

2. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach the role of the protocol section of his Department in organising non-party political events. (Question 55213/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Official Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 and 2 together.
The table sets out the information sought by the Deputy up to the end of November 2012. It has been the long-standing practice for the protocol section to assist the Taoiseach in regard to his or her official domestic engagements. This involves liaising with event organisers on a programme for the event and subsequently attending the event in order to ensure its organisation is, from the Taoiseach’s perspective, in keeping with ...

3. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach if he will provide an update on his process of social dialogue. (Question 47414/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Social Partnership)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 3 to 7, inclusive, and 111 to 113, inclusive, together.
As I have stated previously, although the Government does not intend to return to the rigid social partnership structures of the past we do recognise the contribution that social dialogue can make to maximising common understanding across all sectors of society, as we respond to the many challenges facing the country. As part of this process, the Government continues to have regular interacti...

4. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach the groups he has met as part of his process of social dialogue. (Question 49776/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Social Partnership)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 3 to 7, inclusive, and 111 to 113, inclusive, together.
As I have stated previously, although the Government does not intend to return to the rigid social partnership structures of the past we do recognise the contribution that social dialogue can make to maximising common understanding across all sectors of society, as we respond to the many challenges facing the country. As part of this process, the Government continues to have regular interacti...

5. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach the progress there has been on his plan to abolish the National Economic and Social Development Office and place the National Economic and Social Council on a statutory basis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 50873/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Social Partnership)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 3 to 7, inclusive, and 111 to 113, inclusive, together.
As I have stated previously, although the Government does not intend to return to the rigid social partnership structures of the past we do recognise the contribution that social dialogue can make to maximising common understanding across all sectors of society, as we respond to the many challenges facing the country. As part of this process, the Government continues to have regular interacti...

6. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he has met the social partners recently; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 52234/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Social Partnership)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 3 to 7, inclusive, and 111 to 113, inclusive, together.
As I have stated previously, although the Government does not intend to return to the rigid social partnership structures of the past we do recognise the contribution that social dialogue can make to maximising common understanding across all sectors of society, as we respond to the many challenges facing the country. As part of this process, the Government continues to have regular interacti...

7. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach his plans regarding the future of the National Economic and Social Council. (Question 52243/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Social Partnership)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 3 to 7, inclusive, and 111 to 113, inclusive, together.
As I have stated previously, although the Government does not intend to return to the rigid social partnership structures of the past we do recognise the contribution that social dialogue can make to maximising common understanding across all sectors of society, as we respond to the many challenges facing the country. As part of this process, the Government continues to have regular interacti...

108. Deputy Robert Dowds asked the Taoiseach the expected cost of the Constitutional Convention to take place this year and next year. (Question 55225/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Constitutional Convention)

The Taoiseach: The 2012 estimate for the Constitutional Convention is €300,000 and expenditure up to end November 2012 was €140,390. The estimate for 2013 is €948,000.
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109. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Taoiseach further to Parliamentary Question No. 237 of 4 December 2012, if he will provide a list of all new services across his Department that have been tested for external service delivery since March 2011. (Question 55438/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Public Services Provision)

The Taoiseach: The focus of my Department is to ensure that Government policy is progressed across the whole of Government and it has one key programme which is to support me as Taoiseach and the Government. As no new services have been introduced by my Department since March 2011, the question of testing for external service delivery has not arisen.
My Department makes extensive use of shared services in the areas of payroll, finance, IT, library and security services as well as participating ...

110. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Taoiseach the way he is monitoring progress on his Department’s strategic priorities as set out in his Department’s strategy statement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55522/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Departmental Strategy Statements)

The Taoiseach: The focus of my Department is to ensure that Government policy is progressed across the whole of Government and it has one key Programme which is to support the Taoiseach and the Government. The Department’s Strategy Statement is aligned to the Government’s key priorities and policies, including major policy documents such as the Programme for Government 2011-2016, the EU / IMF Programme and the Public Service Agreement 2010 - 2014. My Department’s eight strategic priorities ar...

111. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Taoiseach if he will report on any recent or planned meeting with social partners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55523/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Social Partnership)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 3 to 7, inclusive, and 111 to 113, inclusive, together.
As I have stated previously, although the Government does not intend to return to the rigid social partnership structures of the past we do recognise the contribution that social dialogue can make to maximising common understanding across all sectors of society, as we respond to the many challenges facing the country. As part of this process, the Government continues to have regular interacti...

112. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Taoiseach if he will report on any recent or planned social dialogue with civil society groups; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55524/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Social Partnership)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 3 to 7, inclusive, and 111 to 113, inclusive, together.
As I have stated previously, although the Government does not intend to return to the rigid social partnership structures of the past we do recognise the contribution that social dialogue can make to maximising common understanding across all sectors of society, as we respond to the many challenges facing the country. As part of this process, the Government continues to have regular interacti...

113. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Taoiseach if he will provide a list of the groups he plans to meet as part of his commitment to social dialogue; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55525/12 asked on 11 Dec 2012 - Social Partnership)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 3 to 7, inclusive, and 111 to 113, inclusive, together.
As I have stated previously, although the Government does not intend to return to the rigid social partnership structures of the past we do recognise the contribution that social dialogue can make to maximising common understanding across all sectors of society, as we respond to the many challenges facing the country. As part of this process, the Government continues to have regular interacti...

1. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he held any bilaterals on his recent trip to America; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45688/12 asked on 04 Dec 2012 - Diplomatic Representation)

The Taoiseach: I proposed to answer Questions Nos. 1 to 10, inclusive, together.
On Thursday, 11 October, I travelled to the United States for a series of engagements in Philadelphia and Cleveland. The visit was part of the Government’s ongoing efforts to drive economic recovery and employment by delivering the message to international business people and investors, and to the diaspora, that Ireland is open for business. This was my first visit to Philadelphia as Taoiseach and I was delighted ...