Written answers

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection

Community Employment Schemes

Photo of Chris AndrewsChris Andrews (Dublin Bay South, Sinn Fein)
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612. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she will examine the case of a centre (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50458/21]

Photo of Joe O'BrienJoe O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Green Party)
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Community Employment (CE) is an active labour market programme designed to provide eligible long-term unemployed people and other disadvantaged persons with an opportunity to engage in useful work within their communities on a temporary, fixed term basis.

CE sponsoring authorities receive annual contracts and funding from my Department to provide for  employment of both CE participants and supervisors, as well as funding towards training and material costs.  Grant aid is provided by the Department to cover these costs on a per capita basis.

CE has an annual budget of approximately €350million.  Financial monitoring of CE schemes by my Department is undertaken to ensure proper financial management by schemes and accountability for the significant investment of state funding on this important employment support programme.

To enable monitoring and to ensure proper financial management procedures are in place for public monies,  CE schemes are required to  maintain a dedicated bank account solely for the lodgement and payment of CE public monies.  including the payment of wages directly to participants. It is a matter for individual schemes and individual participants if they wish to make separate voluntary arrangements , as referred to in the supplementary material provided by the Deputy.  Such transactions need to be managed separate from the bank account maintained solely for CE public monies, as they involve monies due to or paid to participants. It is the responsibility of the CE scheme, as a company limited by guarantee,  to ensure all transactions, including all voluntary arrangements entered into by participants,  are fully accounted for and are in compliance with relevant statutory provisions.  

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.


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