Written Answers. - Distribution of Lottery Money.

Seán Haughey

Question:

108 Mr. Haughey asked the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to calls by the Disability Federation of Ireland (details supplied) in Dublin 18 for changes in the method of distributing national lottery money and for the involvement in a genuine partnership of all sections of society in the distribution of lottery money which would be, and be seen to be, open, transparent and accountable; his response to this request; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1915/96]

I presume that the Deputy may be referring to comments contained in the 1996 budget submission of the Disability Federation of Ireland regarding the transfer in 1995 of responsibility of the scheme of grants to voluntary organisations from the Department of Social Welfare to the Department of Health. The transfer followed a review of funding for voluntary organisations by those Departments which highlighted an overlap between them. I would like to draw the Deputy's attention to a reply by the Minister for Health to a question regarding voluntary organisations' funding by Deputy Wallace on 7 November 1995 which sets out the criteria for grant allocations by the Department of Health.

In relation to the broader question of national lottery allocations, the Deputy may be interested to know that in the light of recommendations contained in a report prepared for the Committee of Public Accounts on the administration of lottery grants revised guidelines were issued to accounting officers by my Department in October 1994. The guidelines are intended to ensure a transparent and equitable system, particularly in relation to the more discretionary areas of lottery grants. A copy of the relevant Finance Circular 16/94 is available in the Oireachtas library.