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Scheme of funding for national voluntary organizations

Jillian van Turnout (ind, Taoiseach nominee) raised the issue of the future funding of national voluntary organizations (Seanad Eireann, Debates, 28th May 2013, 568-570).  The current scheme, which funds 64 national organizations is due to expire end 2013.  This money had been put to good use by organizations which would be well known to members, but there had been no communication from the department, which was now causing significant concern.


Responding, the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Phil Hogan told her that his department would carry out a review of the current scheme over the coming months, which would examine the degree to which its objective, rationale and approach remained valid and would make recommendations on its future role and scope, based on an examination of relevant documentation and consultation with the sector.  Policy considerations to be taken into account were economic conditions, the principles of the white paper and the role of the voluntary and community sector.  He expected to receive the review by the autumn and he would then consider options.  Jillian van Turnout pointed out that while seven months was a long time, most organizations had statutory responsibilities to staff.  When an application process took some months, seven months was a short time.  She believed that the scheme had lost its way and was a mixed bag and she had concerns about some organizations that received money from it.