Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Questions (496)

Catherine Connolly

Question:

496. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the steps being taken to raise awareness of the Dormant Accounts Fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51922/18]

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Written answers (Question to Rural)

The recent review of the Dormant Accounts Disbursement Scheme 2014-16 and 2017-2019 identifies the need for better communication and awareness building with regard to the fund, including across Government Departments, potential beneficiaries and the public. 

Specific actions taken in this regard include writing to Government Ministers at the start of the Dormant Accounts Action Plan process to raise awareness of the possibility of Dormant Accounts Funding for measures in their policy areas that address economic, social or educational disadvantage, or support persons with a disability. Furthermore, in July 2018 there was a formal launch of the Action Plan for the first time, which showcased funded measures and projects and generated significant media attention.

The issue of further increasing awareness of the fund will also be considered by the recently established interdepartmental group, and as part of that work guidance will be developed to ensure that funding recipients across all policy areas acknowledge and promote the fact that they are being funded from Dormant Account moneys, with the aim of raising wider public awareness of fund benefits and potential. 

Finally, with regard to the social enterprise measure administered by Pobal on behalf of this Department, pre-application support was provided to potential applicants, including an information day in Tullamore. This helped to ensure that potential applicants for that specific measure were fully informed on the funding call. 

Benefits of further information days and other awareness arising initiatives will continue to be explored and advanced to ensure maximum use is made of the fund to benefit citizens.