Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Sean Fleming is calling on the Government to put in place a new scheme to trace exactly how the money from the National Lottery funding for good causes is spent.
“The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has transparent procedures in place as to where the money goes but nobody in the other big Departments can say exactly where their Lottery funding goes.
“Since the Government privatised the National Lottery, and it will now be controlled Camelot, transparency is needed now more than ever.
“The biggest Department receiving funding from the National Lottery is the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and the biggest area is housing, comprising grants for elderly people and mobility grants, community facilities in housing projects and support for community and voluntary organisations. Further amounts go through the HSE. Youth organisations receive approximately €50 million through the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. In these cases what we see are lump sums. None of these departments can state to which specific projects the lottery funding was allocated.
“Minister Brendan Howlin told me today that he will “speak to line Departments to seek greater clarity in the published accounts at the end of the year” but this will not go far enough. I have raised this with the Comptroller and Auditor General who agreed with my analysis that there was a lack of traceability and stated he could not trace the money because there was no mechanism in place in most line Departments.
“It is important that people know where the proportion of money from the national lottery for good causes is spent. This is essential in my view and I am calling on the Government to act on this.”