Delegate Units, Sound Equipment and Associated Support for the Dáil, Seanad and Committee Chambers of the Houses of the Oireachtas.
The project includes the design, supply, installation, configuration, test and commissioning of all delegate conference units and AV presentation systems for the Dáil, Seanad and Committee Rooms in the Oireachtas.
SKS won the tender for this contract in March 2016. The first phase of the project is the design, supply, installation, commissioning and support of a new conference delegate system in the Dáil Chamber, Leinster House. The system includes delegate units with microphones, loudspeakers, chip card readers, channel selectors with headphone sockets and volume control and voting buttons. The system features touch screen synoptic microphone control and dual voting control positions.
The system provides assistive hearing for the deaf and hard of hearing via headphones, neck worn induction loops and a Chamber wide induction loop system. The system also provides:
- Audio only panels for Oireachtas staff and Distinguished visitors.
- Voting results for display, automatic email to the journals office and archiving.
- DAR Audio Feeds – Digital Audio Recording feeds for the Dáil reporters in the Debates office for transcription in order to produce the official report.
- Simultaneous Interpretation system to provide remote realtime translation of the floor audio when members address the Dáil in Irish.
- Ambient / Room Microphones to pick up off mic interjections and cover for operator delays in microphone switching.
- Voting results are displayed in the chamber in realtime.
- The results are shown on the two 98” UHD displays shown below and also via twenty five 10” HD Displays installed in the chamber where views of the main displays are obscured e.g. The press gallery where the press sit with their backs to the main displays.
- Design and implementation of a new clerks ‘dashboard’ to integrate all clerk controls.
- Provision of broadcast quality audio for Oireachtas TV.
This project presented the unique challenges as the provision of audio is critical and there is no tolerance for any error in the implementation of electronic voting. In addition to this the following particular challenges were encountered during the project:
- Initially the installation was planned for 2017, however the installation was brought forward to 2106 due to a change in standing orders which introduced an ‘Abstain’ option to parliamentary voting.
- The system design had to be sensitive to architectural and historical requirements while introducing new technology to this prestigious location.
- During the installation in the summer recess the Dáil was unexpectedly recalled to give statements on the ‘Apple’ issue. The chamber had to be reinstated and made available for use. SKS were able to provide the system for use six weeks early and the new system was used for the chamber and television broadcast.