Communications Energy and Natural Resources, Dáil Issues, Oral Questions, Parliamentary Questions

To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he is satisfied that the national broadcaster has met the legal and regulatory requirements under the Broadcasting Act 2009 with regard to the outsourcing of programming by RTÉ. – Clare Daly.

To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the discussions his department had with the RTÉ authorities prior to the announcement that the broadcaster would outsource all young person’s programming; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– Clare Daly.

For ORAL answer on Tuesday, 6th December, 2016.

Ref No:   38623/16

RTÉ is an independent national public service broadcaster whose remit and obligations are set out in the Broadcasting Act 2009.

Section 114 (1) of the Broadcasting Act 2009 states the principal objects and associated powers of RTÉ and Section 98 provides that it shall be independent in the pursuance of these objects, subject to the requirements of the Act.

As such, I have not had any discussions with RTÉ in relation to its recent announcement that it intendeds to commission its young people’s programmes from the independent sector. The decision is solely a matter for the Board and management of RTÉ and, while it remains subject to discussion with the RTÉ Trade Union Group, I am satisfied that the decision is in compliance with RTÉ’s obligations under the Broadcasting Act 2009.

The decision is a reflection of the difficult financial challenges being faced by the broadcaster and the need for it to examine all options to ensure that it is operating as efficiently as possible.

I welcome RTÉ’s statement that the decision does not reduce its commitment to young people’s programming which is vital in ensuring that our children can continue to watch content with Irish voices and Irish stories.