asked the Minister for Labour the public authorities empowered by the Government to receive moneys from the EEC Social Fund and to provide financial assistance for activities approved by the EEC Council and the procedure laid down by the Government for submission of applications for assistance.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - EEC Social Fund.
All bodies carrying out operations for which social fund assistance is approved by the European Commission are entitled to receive payments for approved operations carried out by them.
There is, however, a provision in Article 4 of Council Regulation (EEC) No. 2396/71 of 8 November 1971, as amended by Regulation (EEC) No. 2893/77, which requires each member state to provide the Commission with a list, to be published in the Official Journal of the European Communities, of public authorities empowered by it to provide financial assistance for operations by private bodies and to guarantee the completion of such operations. Inclusion on the list of a particular body means that the grants given by that body from public funds to private firms, voluntary bodies, and so on, will be accepted as satisfying the requirement of the fund regulations that programmes undertaken by private agencies must receive a contribution from public funds.
The list of Irish public authorities which has been furnished to the Commission is as follows:
AnCO (the Industrial Training Authority);
IDA (the Industrial Development Authority);
SFADCo Limited (Shannon Free Airport Development Co. Ltd.);
National Rehabilitation Board; and Regional Health Board.
The regulations governing the social fund lay down various procedures for submission of applications for fund assistance. A basic provision is that applications must be submitted to the European Commission by the member states. In Ireland, the Department of Labour have been designated by the Government as the agency responsible for the formulation and transmission to the Commission of all such applications. The regulations also stipulate requirements relating to such matters as deadlines by which applications must be submitted, detailed information which applications must contain, and the manner in which applications must be presented. It is the responsibility of the Department to ensure that these requirements are complied with.