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Accountability of the Centre for Effective Services

Accountability of the Centre for Effective Services
CDP alternative proposals in consideration
The Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Pat Carey responded to an enquiry from Michael Ring (FG, Mayo) about the Centre for Effective Services (CES) and its accountability (Dail Eireann, Debates, 1st June 2010, 269-271). The minister recorded the establishment of the Centre for Effective Services as a joint venture with Atlantic Philanthropies to support the early childhood intervention project in Tallaght, Dublin. The department engaged the centre to assist in the redesign of the its community development and social inclusion programmes. Under an agreement signed with the CES by his department with the Office of the Minister of Children in October 2008, each agreed to provide €500,000 a year to CES to 2012 matched by €5m from Atlantic Philanthropies to:
- Assist with the planning, future delivery and development of the Local Development Social Inclusion Programme (LDSIP) and Community Development Programme (CDP) by collating and making available international evidence of good practice of what works in community based initiatives and to review design of the existing programme in the light of that evidence;
- Inform policy and practice on the LDSIP and CDP to maximize programme impact and effectiveness;
- Promote access to expertise (including international) to develop evaluation methodologies for local services and make recommendations for subsequent design; and
- Assist the department to build internal and external capacity for evidence based design and delivery.
Given the unique nature of the project, its not-for-profit remit, its unparalleled access and the support of Atlantic, it was not considered appropriate to apply a competitive tendering arrangement. He assured Michael Ring that the CES was not unaccountable. His department had a contract which listed specific deliverables and timelines. Progress was reported on regularly and all deliverables to date had met the agreed timelines.
Later, the minister told Aengus O Snodaigh (SF, Dublin SC) that his department had been able to respond positively to a number of alternative models put forward during the redesign of the Community Development Programme (Dail Eireann, Debates, 1st June 2010, 272-3). While agreement had not been fully finalized, he was satisfied that real possibility for agreement existed. Additional proposals were being considered positively but were less developed at this stage, but his department would continue to respond positively to constructive proposals.