Thursday, 23 September 2021
Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions
I will arrange for a more detailed reply to be issued to the Deputy. However, I will give a sense of my thinking in asking for this review to be conducted. My view is that, at present, it can be difficult to track the good causes expenditure that has occurred and at times it can be difficult for clubs and organisations to navigate the funding options available and to identify if they are eligible for funding. Some Departments do not publish details of which organisations have been awarded funding, while others may publish details of expenditure grants but not mention that the grants have any link to the national lottery. Furthermore, while the National Lottery Act 2013 sets out the areas to which funding can be assigned, there is no framework in existence which sets out how funding should be assigned. While all the spending is voted expenditure and subject to robust oversight and audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General, a lack of clarity can create a perception that money is not distributed in a fair and transparent manner. The Regulator of the National Lottery has conveyed a perception, which exists among some members of the public, that funding goes to certain constituencies, for example, and this is an issue that must be addressed. I want to improve the oversight and transparency of the system and ensure it is operating fairly and that all organisations get a fair crack of the whip.