Thursday, 9 November 2017
Department of Rural and Community Development
Leader Programmes Data
239. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the bodies responsible for entering into contracts under the new Leader programme; if his Department received legal advice on whether the local community development committees are the appropriate bodies to enter into contracts for projects under Leader; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47524/17]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 237 to 239, inclusive, together.
The 20014-2020 LEADER programme is administered by Local Action Groups (LAGs) who deliver funding in accordance with Local Development Strategies that have been approved for each LAG area.
In the case of 4 LEADER areas under the current programme, the Local Action Group is a Local Development Company. In the other 25 areas, the Local Action Group is a Local Community Development Committee (LCDC), with the Local Authority as the Lead Financial Partner and one or more Local Development Companies operating as the Implementing Partners. My Department understands that the LCDCs have the power to enter into contracts as are necessary for, or incidental to, the performance of their functions.
To date, 429 projects have been fully approved by the LAGs for funding. The approach to the issuing of contracts is a matter for each individual Local Action Group. However, I would expect that most of these projects have already been issued with, or will soon receive, a contract for funding.
My Department does not have details regarding the number of contracts that have been signed at this stage. Information regarding the date that the contract enters into effect is provided by the Local Action Groups when the first claim for payment is made for each individual project.