Question to the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (Ms. Frances Fitzgerald, TD)
For WRITTEN Response on Tuesday, 17th December, 2013.
The funding for youth projects under the Special Projects for Youth Scheme, the Young Peoples Facilities and Services Fund, Rounds 1 and 2 and Local Drugs Task Force Projects is administered by my Department through funding administration bodies. In the main, these are the Education and Training Boards (ETBs) but they also include other bodies such as the HSE, some local authorities and, up to recently, some of the larger national youth organisations.
The City of Dublin Youth Service Board (CDYSB), a statutory board established in 1942, under the City of Dublin ETB, is one such body which distributes allocations to youth projects. The CDYSB, on behalf of CDETB, has for several years, undertaken the administration of approximately 70 youth projects in the Dublin City area and has developed a strong track record in managing these payments.
In January 2013, in an effort to streamline the tasks associated with the financial management of funding for projects to achieve greater efficiency in the administration of funding, the administration tasks, formerly carried out by six national organisations were transferred by my Department to CDYSB. The six organisations are Youth Work Ireland, Crosscare, Foróige, Involve, YMCA and ECO-UNESCO.
The financial management tasks involved in the transfer are those which had, up to that date, been carried out by the national youth organisations themselves and by the Department. The ETBs (VECs at the time), had not had a funding administration role in relation to the organisations concerned. The role of the ETBs in supporting the provision of youth services in their respective administrative areas is unaffected by the streamlining initiative.
The process involved my Department consulting with CDYSB to discuss their capacity to take on the additional work, the financial and other controls that would be put in place, how the responsibilities would be taken on a “no additional cost” basis within existing resources and how the transfer of the administrative tasks would be effected. In the deliberative process, my Department received advice that, as there was no payment involved for the provision of the service, the initiative was not subject to procurement rules. Consultations and meetings were also held with the six organisations involved.
My Department continues to examine the scope for improving administrative arrangements for the financial management of the funding for youth services to achieve greater efficiency and standardisation. My Department is in ongoing discussion with ETB Ireland, the national representative association for the ETBs, on this shared objective, in the interest of the front line youth projects and services throughout the country.
In recent years, the numbers of bodies holding funding administration status from my Department has reduced from approximately 40 to some 30 at the start of 2013. It is anticipated that the number of administration bodies will continue to reduce as the integration of the former VECs into Education Training Boards is completed.