I propose to take Questions Nos. 110 and 111 together.
As previously advised to the House, the Consumers’ Association of Ireland made an application seeking funding on 27th September 2012 to support a marketing project. A number of meetings were held with the Association to discuss the details of its application and in particular the value for money that the project would offer. Arising from these discussions, funding in the amount of €46,865 was approved to support the marketing project. As part of the agreement to provide funding support, the Association committed to providing my Department with quarterly reports in relation to the various performance indicators identified in respect of the marketing project.
My Department has recently received the first quarterly report from the Association detailing various activities undertaken in connection with the marketing campaign, including statistical details of media interviews, website traffic, e-mail/telephone contacts, membership figures etc. The details of the report are currently being considered by my Department.
As regards the issue of accounts, the Consumers’ Association of Ireland is a company limited by guarantee and as such is required to file annual returns and audited accounts with the Companies Registration Office (CRO). I understand that the Association has filed an annual return made up to 28 February 2013. I also understand that accounts for the eighteen month period ending November 2012 were the last audited accounts filed with the CRO.
As previously advised, my Department is committed to achieving the best value for money in respect of the expenditure of public funds. Accordingly, my Department will continue to monitor the progress of the Association’s marketing project, not least in terms of the performance indicators identified for the project, so as to ensure that the Association remains focussed on achieving the best value for money possible from the project.