Written answers

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Department of Environment, Community and Local Government

Local and Community Development Programme Project Funding

Photo of Tommy BroughanTommy Broughan (Dublin North East, Independent)
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313. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government the reason a decision has been made to allow private companies to tender for the provision of local and community developments programmes here when the practice in other countries across the European Union is not to have the provision of similar such programmes open to public tender; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27959/14]

Photo of Brendan GriffinBrendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
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314. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if he will introduce a derogation to allow tendering for SICAP by national organisations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27964/14]

Photo of Robert TroyRobert Troy (Longford-Westmeath, Fianna Fail)
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328. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government in view of his proposed changes to NCCWM if the €1.3million which is currently funding the NCCWM is available in each county to be applied for under the SICAP; as NCCWN employs the co-ordinators in each county should the community groups be applying for funding under the name of the NCCWM or each local community group apply in their own name; the rights of the employees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28287/14]

Photo of Phil HoganPhil Hogan (Minister, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government; Carlow-Kilkenny, Fine Gael)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 313, 314 and 328 together.

The proposals outlined in Putting People First - Action Programme for Effective Local Governmentseek to position local government “as the primary vehicle of governance and public service at local level – leading economic, social and community development, delivering efficient and good value services, and representing citizens and local communities effectively and accountably”.

As part of the programme of reform of local government, Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs) are being established in all local authority areas. These Committees, comprising public-private socio-economic interests, will have responsibility for local and community development programmes on an area basis including the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (SICAP).  They will develop, co-ordinate and implement a more coherent and integrated approach to local and community development than heretofore, with the aim of reducing duplication and overlap and optimising the use of available resources for the benefit of citizens and communities.

SICAP is one of my key priorities and its budget for next year will be decided in the 2015 Estimates process. In accordance with the Public Spending Code, best practice internationally, legal advice and in order to ensure the optimum delivery of the services to clients, the Programme will be subject to a public procurement process, which is currently underway.

The public procurement process is a competitive process that is open to Local Development Companies, other not-for-profit community groups, commercial firms and national organisations that can provide the services to be tendered for to deliver the new Programme. Joint applications are encouraged and organisations of varying sizes (for example smaller organisations working in consortia with larger organisations) are invited to submit joint applications. Applicants at stage one of the tendering process must demonstrate that they meet the criteria for the delivery of services in the Lot(s) applied for.

Partner Candidates have a role in the delivery and implementation of the programme. All such Partner Candidates must be identified in the Qualification Questionnaire and a contracting arrangement may be required between the Lead Candidate and any Partner Candidates. Candidates may rely on the resources of other entities in order to establish the suitability requirements on condition that they can prove to the satisfaction of Pobal that they will have these resources at their disposal when necessary.

I am satisfied that the procurement process underway is in line with best practice and that the procurement documentation on e-Tenders contains all the relevant information on the process. My Department has no role in the internal operations of companies currently implementing the LCDP and, therefore, does not have a role in relation to staff or employment matters, which are for the Board of the company, as the employer, to manage.

I look forward to the outcome of the procurement process and the roll out of SICAP in January 2015.

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