Written Answers. - National Drugs Strategy.

Bernard Allen

Ceist:

23 Mr. Allen asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation the funding, if any, allocated to date under the measures proposed by the ministerial task force to reduce demand for drugs; and the assessment, if any, carried out of the projects proposed in the designated areas. [15191/98]

Michael Creed

Ceist:

25 Mr. Creed asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation the funding, if any, allocated to date under the measures proposed by the ministerial task force to reduce demand for drugs; and the assessment, if any, carried out of the projects proposed in the designated areas. [15194/98]

John Browne

Ceist:

27 Mr. Browne (Carlow/Kilkenny) asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation the funding, if any, allocated to date under the measures proposed by the ministerial task force to reduce demand for drugs; and the assessment, if any, carried out of the projects proposed in the designated areas. [15195/98]

Paul Bradford

Ceist:

52 Mr. Bradford asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation the funding, if any, allocated to date under the measures proposed by the ministerial task force to reduce demand for drugs; and the assessment, if any, carried out of the projects proposed in the designated areas. [15193/98]

Liam Burke

Ceist:

55 Mr. L. Burke asked the Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation the funding, if any, allocated to date under the measures proposed by the ministerial task force to reduce demand for drugs; and the assessment, if any, carried out of the projects proposed in the designated areas. [15192/98]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 23, 25, 27, 52 and 55 together.

Under the national drugs strategy, the Government has allocated £10 million towards the implementation of the action plans prepared by the 13 local drugs task forces, 12 in Dublin and one in north Cork city, to respond to the problem of drug demand in those areas where drug misuse is most prevalent

Under a separate initiative, the Government has allocated £30 million over the next three years to the young people's facilities and services fund, of which £20 million will be directed at the 13 task force areas to support a variety of capital projects, including sport and recreational facilities, and non-capital projects. Local development groups consisting of representatives of the local drugs task forces, the vocational education committees and the local authorities, are being set up in the 13 task force areas to prepare integrated plans. These plans will be submitted, by the end of September, via the local drugs task forces to an assessment committee, chaired by my Department, which will assess the plans and make recommendations in relation to the allocation of funding to the Cabinet subcommittee on social inclusion and drugs.

An external evaluator has recently been appointed by my Department to carry out an independent evaluation of the Government's drugs initiative which will include an examination of the effectiveness of the structures used and the relationship between them; the effectiveness of the local drugs task forces having regard to their terms of reference, including the process by which they prepared their plans and the extent to which the plans have contributed to the response to the local drugs problem; under the various themes of prevention, education, treatment-rehabilitation and supply, the effectiveness of a number of selected projects being funded and the factors which contributed to the success or failure of these projects; how the drugs initiative dovetails with other initiatives in relation to drug misuse already being undertaken or in the pipeline; and to make recommendations on the basis of their examination.
The evaluator has also been asked to prepare performance indicators to facilitate the subsequent measurement of outputs from individual projects in task force areas. The evaluation will be completed by mid September and will inform an overall review of the Government's drugs strategy which I expect will be completed before the end of the year.