Finance and Performance
Running costs for the year totalled €19,116,000. Included in this figure are payroll costs of €11,460,000. Allowing for inflation, the real operating cost of the Service has remained relatively static since 1996/97 as demonstrated in fig 2. Over this period cost reductions have been achieved through lighthouse automation, solarisation, increased ship efficiency, and re-organisation of the engineering function while maintaining the level of performance and reliability of aids to navigation required by the mariners. Much of this cost saving has however been offset through increases in payroll costs in line with inflation trends in the economy.
Pension costs for the year ended 31st March 2006 totalled €6,193,000.
Capital Expenditure by the Commissioners in 2005-2006 totalled €4,937,000. This includes a figure of €1,860,000 in relation to the redevelopment of the Dun Laoghaire site. The main engineering projects completed during this period were the re-equipping of the lighthouses at St John's Pt Donegal, Old Head of Kinsale, and Ballycotton. The Aluminium Buoy Daymark project was also completed in this year after a period of 5 years.
Quality of Service
The performance of aids to navigation is measured by comparison with the minimum standards recommended by the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) of which Irish Lights is a member. Fig. 3 shows the degree to which the various categories of aids to navigation provided by the Commissioners functioned correctly, based on a three year rolling average, compared with IALA performance targets.
The average number of permanent employees for the year ended 31 March 2006 was Lighthouse and Helipad Attendants and Assistants 76; Automated Lightfloat Attendant Masters 4; ILV Granuaile 31; Civil Engineering Coast Workforce 23; Dun Laoghaire Offices and Workshops 79; Irish Lights Office 68; making a total of 281 of which 201 were full time and 80 were part time employees. In addition, casual workers are employed around the coast on a day to day basis as required.
Light dues collected in year ended 31 March 2006 from vessels in ports in the Republic of Ireland amounted to €4,754,000, up 6% on the previous year. Light dues collected in Northern Ireland in the year amounted to £594,000. The rate of light dues payable by commercial ships at ports in the Republic of Ireland since 1 April 2006 is €0.52, down from €0.56 per net registered ton. The rate at ports in Northern Ireland is £0.35 Stg, down from £0.39 Stg.