My Department has obligations with regard to the management and control of Exchequer resources assigned to it and also to ensure that the administration of all grant funding is carried out in accordance with correct public financial procedures. All youth organisations in receipt of grant funding from my Department are required to adhere to the financial management principles associated with the provision of public grant funding.
The Education and Training Boards (ETBs), as funding intermediaries, administer funding on a regional basis to youth services on behalf of my Department. ETBs are required to carry out on behalf of my Department, the financial management and administrative system for the management and monitoring of the expenditure of youth funding and general governance of the funded youth organisation.
In order to ensure that my Department and ETBs can fulfil their respective obligations with regard to public funding it is essential that all ETBs put an appropriate service level agreement in place with funded youth organisations prior to the payment of any funding.
Over the course of 2019, the realignment of the funding intermediaries for the Targeted Youth Funding Scheme (TYFS) resulted in the transfer of the administration of funding for all Kerry youth projects to Kerry Education and Training Board (KETB). KETB as grant administering body for funding provided under the TYFS in Kerry is required to put service level agreements in place with relevant youth organisations.
In advance of entering into a service level agreement with a funded youth organisation it is not considered disproportionate for KETB to engage in a due diligence exercise to fulfil its obligations for the financial management and monitoring of grant funding administered on behalf of my Department. Youth organisations in receipt of youth funding are also subject to audit at any time by an agent of the grant administering body.
The Accounting Officer of my Department has been in correspondence with the Chief Executive of the organisation concerned and has clarified the conditions associated with youth funding provided by my Department including the necessity for a service level agreement to be in place.
I understand that KETB has made numerous attempts to arrange a meeting to discuss these matters and I would strongly encourage the organisation to continue to engage with KETB to complete the due diligence process. This will enable the requisite service level agreement to be put in place and minimise any further delay with the payment of the funding allocation for the final quarter of 2019 which has not been reallocated or decommitted.