Friday, June 7, 2013

Alignment in more detail: The role and functions of Socio-Economic Committees

Representation on the Socio-Economic Committees (SEC) and their terms of reference are currently the subject of discussion. Currently, this is what is envisaged.

§  A Socio-Economic Committee (SEC) will be established in each city and county council area for planning and oversight of all local and community development programmes.
§  SECs will have responsibility for developing a five-year City and County Local and Community plan, encompassing all state-funded local and community development interventions.
§  A national policy on local and community development will be launched in advance of the 2014 local elections.
§  It is intended that the SEC will be established in such a way that it will be eligible to be the structure through which LEADER is delivered in accordance with EU requirements.
§  It is the view of the Alignment Steering Group that, to be effective, the SEC should comprise no more than 15 members, representing the local authority, local and community interests and appropriate State agencies.
§  The local authority will provide executive support for the SEC, led by the County Manager/Director of Community and Enterprise. Decisions regarding the allocation of funding will rest with the SEC, while administrative functions, including payment of funds, performance monitoring, auditing and reporting will be undertaken by the county/city council.

The above points are taken from ‘A Guide to Putting People First’ alongside  extracts from a report written by Ian Dempsey, CEO of West Cork Development Partnership, from his meetings with officials and from the ‘Final Report of the Local Government/ Local Development Alignment Steering Group’.
Note: The Final Alignment Report acknowledged the European Court of Auditors 2010 report that among other things recommended limiting local authority involvement so that they do not dominate.
More information: All of these reports are available online.

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