Pobal is an agency of my Department which works on behalf of Government to manage and implement a number of publicly-funded programmes designed to improve outcomes for local communities, particularly those encountering social and economic disadvantage.
Pobal operates on the basis of a framework agreement with my Department and programme-specific service level agreements with individual divisions, with an agreed programme of work with each division for any work it is requested to undertake. Those programmes include the LEADER Programme; the Social Inclusion and the Community Activation Programme (SICAP), the Scheme to Support National Organisations (SSNO), the Seniors Alert Scheme (SAS), the Community Services Programme (CSP). In addition, Pobal is responsible for the management and administration of the Social Enterprise Measure of the Dormant Accounts Fund (DAF) on behalf of the Department.
Each programme that Pobal provides supports for differs, as does Pobal’s level and type of involvement in each. Pobal’s role depends on the requirements of the division with responsibility for the respective programme and does not involve the allocation of funding on behalf of my Department in all cases. For example, in some cases Pobal will work across the programme lifecycle as with SICAP. Pobal does not allocate SICAP funding which is done directly by the Department through the Local Authorities.
Pobal supports to the LEADER 2014-2020 Programme are for ICT and Pobal also undertake certain Article 48 checks under the programme. Pobal has no function in the allocation of funding to individual LEADER project promoters. The responsibility for allocating funding under the LEADER Programme rests with the relevant Local Action Groups.
As referenced above, Pobal manages the Community Services Programme on behalf of my Department. As part of this process, recommendations are made to the Department following evaluation of applications received on the allocation of funding. The overall responsibility for decision making under this, and all other programmes Pobal has a role in, rests with my Department.