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Dáil Éireann debate -
Thursday, 20 Nov 1986

Vol. 370 No. 1

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - City of Dublin VEC Funding.


asked the Minister for Education if he is aware of the enormous difficulties regarding the shortfall of funding to the City of Dublin VEC, and the appeals made by the committee in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

My Department responded on 31 October 1986 to a request for additional funds in 1986 from the City of Dublin VEC. An appeal for further additional funding was received from the VEC on 7 November 1986 and my Department will be replying to the VEC on this issue at an early date.

When were the City of Dublin VEC advised of their second level allocation? Did they submit an appeal and if so when? The Minister has already stated when the appeal was responded to.

In a letter dated 14 October 1986 the City of Dublin VEC informed the Department of a serious overrun in expenditure in 1986. On 31 October additional funding amounting to £329,856 was notified to the VEC. The Department are now awaiting details of the specifics in terms of the further demand from the City of Dublin VEC.

Would the Minister accept that the initial appeal was submitted as early as June 1986?

That is correct.

It was submitted as early as June 1986 immediately following the advice on the second level allocation. Is the Minister aware of the serious deficiency in the discretionary non-pay section of the committee's allocation and that this very serious and large deficiency arises because this element is substantially less than the comparative sum expended last year? It is down 40 per cent. Is the Minister aware of the enormous difficulties which arise throughout the second level schools that come within the ambit of the VEC because of this factor?

The VEC did appeal their application on 3 June 1986. As I said, the Department are awaiting details of their requirements. They were allowed to have overdraft accommodation up to £1.085 million after the appeal was lodged.

How much interest?

When the details come into the Department we will respond at an early date to the VEC.

The Minister has stated that he has not received the submission. I assume it will be with him either today or tomorrow but is he aware of reports of serious breakdown in woodwork, cookery and other classes which involve the replacement of normal equipment? Secondly, is he aware of the serious difficulties which have arisen not alone in this VEC but in other committees also with regard to the sanctioning of funding when difficulties arise? I refer in particular to circular letters which have issued from his Department which have, to say the least, been quite diffuse, if not unintelligible?

I am aware of reports from around the country of difficulties encountered by the VECs. While it may be a separate question, in general where details are requested by the Department they are responded to at an early date.


I have also received some adverse comments regarding some of the circulars which were issued. Clarification has been sought on some of these and on some of their aspects but most of these have been satisfactorily resolved.


Where VECs are in difficulties the Department are willing to deal with their claims in detail when submitted.


I did allow the Deputy two questions.

I think the Minister for what he has said but would he accept that it is not fair that where a committee have acted responsibly, where they are doing absolutely everything possible, where the bottom line has been reached and where resources and commitments have been trimmed to the bone, there should be a threat of surcharge hanging over them? They serve in a voluntary capacity for the good of the education of our young people, in many cases in disadvantaged areas.

That is a separate question. When the details come in from the City of Dublin VEC they will be responded to at an early date by the Department.