Tuesday, 17 June 2014
Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
Leader Programmes Administration
435. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government the position regarding an outstanding Leader approved grant for a development committee (details supplied) in County Westmeath; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25396/14]
In line with the ‘bottom-up’ approach to rural development under the Leader elements of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013, there are 35 Local Development Companies (LDCs) contracted, on my Department’s behalf, to deliver the Leader elements of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 (RDP) throughout the country. The LDCs are the principal decision makers in relation to the allocation of project funding. Such decisions are made in the context of the local development strategy of the individual groups and in line with Programme’s Operating Rules and EU regulations.
In June 2013 the relevant LDC approved grant aid of €461,809 for the project in question. In April 2014, the LDC submitted a claim for €299,502 to my Department in respect of the project and this claim was subsequently selected by my Department’s Inspection Services Section for a pre-payment inspection. A report of preliminary findings was issued to the LDC on 30th May 2014 detailing a number of issues with the project; the report also indicated that if the Local Action Group wished to furnish additional information to clarify the issues involved, it could do so within one month of the date of the report. My Department has not yet received a response.