Written Answers. - Departmental Funding.

Billy Timmins

Question:

306 Mr. Timmins asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs if she grants funding to any organisation whose membership is secret or unknown; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [2882/03]

The principal programmes providing financial assistance to non-statutory organisations administered by my Department are the scheme of grants for voluntary organisations providing various marriage, counselling and family support services, and the family resource centre programme under which funding is provided for the staffing and equipping of local community managed resource centres.

In 2002 some 466 voluntary and community groups throughout the country received grants amounting to some €6.7 million in total for the provision of counselling and other support services to families. A list of the voluntary organisations and the grants which they received is available from the Oireachtas library.

There are currently 86 local family resource centres receiving funding under the family resource centre programme for which some €5 million was provided in 2002.

My Department also provides grants to support "second chance" education opportunities and other initiatives to assist long-term unemployed people to return to work. Six organisations are involved in training and education initiatives and over 160 small projects provide support to unemployed people throughout the country were assisted with grants totalling €2.2 million in 2002.

My Department also provides core funding for the development and promotion of information and welfare rights services. Five organisations received core funding and others received smaller grants which amounted to €0.7 million to further their work in providing information about welfare rights and entitlements.

Procedures are in place to ensure that applications for grants and funding under my Department's schemes are made in an open and transparent manner in line with best practice in public accountability and having regard to obligations on public bodies, for example under the Freedom of Information Act. Organisations which apply for financial assistance are required to submit full details regarding the organisation and its work together with details of accounts and any other funding which they receive.

Where appropriate, organisations are also required to supply evidence of compliance with Government tax clearance procedures.