Written Answers. - Community and Voluntary Sector.

Pat Rabbitte

Question:

131 Mr. Rabbitte asked the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs if the funding scheme to support the role of federations and networks in the community and voluntary sector has been re-advertised; the number of new applications received; when a decision will be made on these applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3673/03]

A funding scheme to support federations and networks in the community and voluntary sector was one of a number of measures introduced by the White Paper on Supporting Voluntary Activity with the objective of supporting and developing the sector. The scheme, which was advertised on 22 October 2001, attracted 152 applications which required detailed examination and assessment, carried out with the assistance of the White Paper's implementation and advisory group. The group, which consists of both statutory and voluntary representatives, is tasked with advising on the implementation of the recommendations contained in the White Paper. A number of issues arose in the course of processing the applications received under the scheme which it was considered could give rise to legal challenge. In order to ensure that eventual funding decisions would command full public confidence, it was considered necessary to re-advertise the scheme and to seek fresh applications. Revised application procedures are nearing completion in my Department and it is envisaged that the scheme will be re-advertised very shortly.